Homeopathy and healthcare
Sir, – “Journalists must always be aware of their role to serve the public’s right to know,” the former editor of The Irish Times Geraldine Kennedy, was reported as saying (June 24th, 2011).
The public does indeed have a right to know and to an informed choice about healthcare. Donald Clarke (February 23rd) by discrediting any complementary or alternative options to conventional medicine, does not serve the public interest well.
Surely we’re entitled to know that regarding homeopathy 43 per cent of Randomised Control Trials (RCT) have a balance of positive evidence, 6 per cent have a balance of negative evidence, 49 per cent have not been conclusively positive or negative and 2 per cent do not contain data that are suitable for analysis.
According to the British Medical Journal, a review of conventional medical procedures funded by the National Health Service produced the following figures: 11 per cent beneficial, 24 per cent likely to be beneficial, 7 per cent trade-off between benefits and harms, 5 per cent unlikely to be beneficial, 3 per cent likely to be ineffective or harmful and 50 per cent of unknown effectiveness.
Thus homeopathy is as effective as conventional medicine, if not more so.
This debate has been going on for a number of years, but we have yet to see a fair and impartial view of the matter published and the public informed of the choices that are available when it comes to healthcare. In the rest of Europe and the world, homeopathy and various therapies are widely accepted and used by doctors and other practitioners. Does our right to know not extend to our health? – Yours, etc,