Friday, 26 February 2010
How does homeopathy "work" ??
Homeopathic propagandists' most common argument in support of their "science" is that it "works".This issue has been dealt in detail in previous posts as to how this dubious system of treatment has survived through centuries.The "test of time" argument -- that the long existence of homeopathy proves its validity is clearly fallacious. Astrology, numerology and palmistry have also survived for centuries. Can we accept those things as scientific or rational?? Longevity can never validate anything on its own. The second argument that homeopathy satisfies patients must be scrutinized more closely.The satisfaction from homeopathy is essentially based on-
(1) Placebo effect- Improvement in patient's condition because he/she expects treatment from a remedy and there is a mental conditioning to it.
(2) "Patient friendly" approach of homeopathic practitioners - asking irrelevant questions just to appease him/her to show how careful the "doctor" is in his prescription.This compensates to certain extent psychological discomforts associated with any ailment.
(3) Aggressive marketing by homeopaths -showing that all conventional drugs have side effects and homeopathy provides 100% risk free solutions.I wonder why these advertisements are not banned in India under Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable) Advertisement Act,1954 passed by Indian Parliament.
(4)Scientific illiteracy among the masses mainly attributed to faulty education system and general illiteracy in a country like India
(5) Malpractice by some allopathic practitioners attributed to falling moral standards-prescribing unnecessary medications and advising unwarranted investigation which sometimes leads to disenchantment with regular system of medicine.
and of course government's support which officially appoints "homeopaths" as doctors in government hospitals forcing people to believe in its efficacy.