The advocates of woo-woo in the U.K. have had a bit of a setback:
In all the furore over cuts to the NHS, doctors have voted to stop one service all by themselves – and unlike what is expected to follow, this is something we should all celebrate. The British Medical Association (BMA) has voted to stop offering homeopathic treatment on the NHS.
It’s better still. They also say that homeopathic products should no longer be labelled “medicines” and should instead be marked “placebo” when sold in pharmacies. In entertainingly robust language, Dr Tom Dolphin of the BMA’s junior doctors committee described homeopathic remedies as “nonsense on stilts”.
It’s worth reading the full “nonsense on stilts” quote from the news article:
Dr Tom Dolphin, from the BMA’s junior doctors committee, said that he had previously described homeopathy as witchcraft but now wanted to apologise to witches for making the link.
“Homeopathy is not witchcraft, it is nonsense on stilts,” he said.
“It is pernicious nonsense that feeds into a rising wave of irrationality which threatens to overwhelm the hard-won gains of the Enlightenment and the scientific method.
“We risk, as a society, slipping back into a state of magical thinking when made-up science passes for rational discourse and wishing for something to be true passes for proof.”
According to the Society of Homeopaths, homeopathy has been available through the NHS since its creation in 1948. You’d think that 62 years would be more than enough time to establish that it actually does something, but so far there’s not much in the way of evidence to suggest that it does.
It does my heart good to see doctors in the U.K. standing up for evidence based medicine. Perhaps there’s hope for all of us yet.