The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Watering Down

One of the Prince of Wales's little charities has been following its sponsor's example and firing off green-ink missives to government officials. The charity, which was closed in 2010 over allegations that its professional ethics approached those of the banking sector, lobbied the Department of Health over the treatment of homeopathy on the NHS Choices website. Homeopathy "involves the use of remedies so heavily diluted with water that they no longer contain any active substance", rather like electing Ed Miliband leader of the Labour party. The NHS chief medical officer has dismissed it as "rubbish", and has expressed surprise that parts of the NHS continue to offer such remedies as though they were actual medicine. The original draft of the NHS Choices information stated: "There is no good quality clinical evidence to show that homeopathy is more successful than placebo in the treatment of any condition … Furthermore, if the principles of homeopathy were true it would violate all the existing theories of science that we make use of today; not just our theory of medicine, but also chemistry, biology and physics"; which doubtless explains why the present faith-based Department of Health censored the statement out. "We may well be subject to quite a lot of challenge from the homeopathic community," squeaked one representative of the bureaucratic community in a marginal note to the draft; whereupon the relevant officials at the Department of Health reacted with the usual British professionalism, pluck and gumption, and did as they were told.


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