Bristol Study Contradicts Lancet

The Bristol homeopathic hospital has released the results of a study into the effectiveness of Homeopathy which canvassed 6,500 patients with chronic conditions finding that 75% of them felt better after homeopathic treatment. The results among children were even more impressive.

Read about it on the BBC website.

The criticism against this study from the authors of The Lancet meta-study are that there are no comparison cases and that most people will respond "better" to their doctors when asked how they feel.

It is this last point which I find reasonably typical and echoes what Paul O'Donoghue said on the Late Late show a few weeks ago. It is the presupposition that patients are not to be trusted when they say they feel better. The implication is that patients are not qualified to give themselves a report on whether they have improved or not. This notion is a good example of how conventional medicine, whether wittingly or not, can disempower patients. It says to patients "we don't trust you to know for yourself whether you're better or not. We don't believe you until we've run our own tests and examinations. We will decide for you if you are better, since we are more qualified than you to do so."

Conventional medicine treats the patient like they have no inner life and that overall feeling is invalid data, irrelevant to the case. The body is a machine to be repaired and not a whole system which encompasses the mind and emotions also. It should be obvious at this stage that feelings play a role in health and how the patient feels when about their healtcare also plays a role. Does such a dehumanising approach that ignores the patients feelings aid or hinder cure? Only the patient lives in their own skin, so who else is the better judge of how they are feeling?