Another nail in the coffin of Medicine's own Zombie reveals
Professor Paul Glasziou, a leading academic in evidence based medicine at Bond University, was the chair of a working party by the National Health and Medical Research Council which was tasked with reviewing the evidence of 176 trials of homeopathy to establish if the treatment is valid.
A total of 57 systematic reviews, containing the 176 individual studies, focused on 68 different health conditions - and found there to be no evidence homeopathy was more effective than placebo on any.
Still it persists, not only in the UK but also in the US. And a simple google search about health insurance payments for homeopathy will reveal that the homeopathy industry is very busy writing long winded explanations of how to con your insurance company into covering homeopathy.(Key trick: have your homeopath recommend a Nurse Practitioner which have prescription authority in many states, and who will write you a prescription for homeopathy along with a statement of medical necessity).
Professor Glasziou writes in his BMJ Blog:
One surprise to me was the range of conditions that homeopathy had been evaluated in, including rheumatoid arthritis, radiodermatitis, stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth) due to chemotherapy, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. What subsequently shocked me more was that organizations promote homeopathy for infectious conditions, such as AIDS in Africa or malaria.
One wag posted to the Blog comments:
Prof Glaziou, I've been washing a homeopathy bottle every day for the last month, but the residue just keeps on getting stronger. Any advice?
But modern medicine has moved beyond being this sort of "paternalistic" profession where we tell people what to do and how to live their lives. Nowadays we're supposed to recognize that individuals have every right to choose their own treatment or even no treatment at all. We ourselves cannot recommend or allow inappropriate treatments, but what the patient chooses to do is all part of patient autonomy.
no, you can still tell your patients how to live their lives - thats part of your job - but you are not responsible if your patient doesn't follow your advice, ie, your patient can't sue you because they got cancer after you advised them to quit smoking. your responsibility is to make sure your patients get all the information they need to make the best choice and to know the risks associated with each choice, but they're responsible for making their own choices and accepting the consequences of those choices.
no, you can still tell your patients how to live their lives - thats part of your job
No, I can suggest to them what my profession scientifically (ie demonstrated through research and literature) believes to be their best options. I "tell" them nothing. There's a fine difference, but it's there. I give advice, I don't tell people what to do.
your responsibility is to make sure your patients get all the information they need to make the best choice and to know the risks associated with each choice, but they're responsible for making their own choices and accepting the consequences of those choices.
Yes, this part I agree completely. But once again the difference is that before, the doctor would speak to a patient with the authority of a parent towards a child. "This is the best option for you - take it or leave it". Now, the doctor speaks to the patient as a professional adviser to a client. "What I recommend you do is this, for this reason and that reason. If you don't do this, then probably X will happen and... etc". There is a real difference there.
you're confusing "telling" with "ordering". you tell them - give them the information - but can't order them to do anything. and yes, your personal feelings, ethics, and morals have no place in patient treatment, just cold, objective information. it doesn't matter what your personal feelings are about, lets say abortion, because its not your life, if the patient is seeking one then its your duty to help them get all the information and risks as well as help them be as safe as possible during the procedure, if they choose to get it done, via referrals to specialists or whatever. self-sovereignty is the human right that still gets infringed upon more than any others, even though its probably the most critical of all of them.