Homeopathy and healthcare

Sir, – The assertion by the registered homeopath Sheelagh Behan (February 26th) that homeopathy has been shown to be effective…

Sir, – The assertion by the registered homeopath Sheelagh Behan (February 26th) that homeopathy has been shown to be effective in clinical trials is so demonstrably incorrect that I am reminded of the famous quotation from Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it”.

Donald Clarke (Opinion, February 23rd) was entirely correct to be disparaging of homeopathy, and his assertions were supported by almost all major medical bodies in the world.

The National Institutes of Health in the United States makes the case clear ( nccam.nih.gov/health/homeopathy) with two devastating points: "There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition" and "Several key concepts of homeopathy are inconsistent with fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics".

In other words, not only is homeopathy ineffective, it flies in the face of everything we know about the physical world. Irish patients deserve treatments supported by facts, not by magic and wishful thinking. – Yours, etc,

MATTHEW CARRIGAN

PhD Student,

Smurfit Institute of Genetics,

Trinity College Dublin,

Dublin 2.

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