Homeopathy and science

 

Sir, – Dr Muiris Houston’s column “There is no clinical evidence to validate homeopathy – and it can even do harm” (Health, March 22nd) is on the money! There is absolutely no credible evidence that homeopathy works. Sure, there is lots of unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence, but it is no more than that. Homeopathy is as close to voodoo science as you can get and it still amazes me that people believe in it. The idea that ultra-dilute solutions of a compound – that are so dilute that we are talking about a single molecule in a volume the size of the Atlantic Ocean – can have an effect is, to my mind, plainly ridiculous. There is no possible rational mechanism as to how it might work. It is interesting to see that you can buy homeopathic remedies for all sorts of conditions, but there is no homeopathic pill for contraception. I wonder why! – Yours, etc,

Prof THOMAS

COTTER, PhD, MRIA,

Professor of Biochemistry,

University College Cork.

Sir, – Sheelagh Behan (March 27th) criticises an Australian report that found that homeopathy does not work for not having an expert on homeopathy among the researchers.

She also refers, approvingly, to “the Swiss government report, a five-year study which found in favour of homeopathy”.

The majority of this report’s authors are homeopaths. In fact, only one of the medically qualified authors is not a homeopath or an alternative medicine practitioner.

Dr Felix Gurtner of the Swiss federal office of public health made clear in the Swiss Medical Weekly that the report was not “published or commissioned by the Swiss government”. – Yours, etc,

Dr JOHN DOHERTY,

Vienna.

Sir, – Further to Sheelagh Behan’s letter, no voice is given to homeopathic practices when it comes to medicine in the same way that no voice is given to astrologers in discussing the structure of the universe or no voice is given to flat-earth devotees by globemakers. With regards to Ms Behan’s comment that homeopathy will generate cost reductions for the HSE, has she seen the price of water recently? – Yours, etc,

DARRAGH MOONEY,

Ranelagh,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – I can only assume that homeopathists have torn up Dr Muris Houston’s article and put it in water, banged it against something, and then put a few drops of that water in another container of water, and so on, and are now drinking it. – Yours, etc,

DAVID DOYLE,

Goatstown,

Dublin 14.