Sunday and Monday have come and gone without the WHA??? Week posts I promised. Well, that's moving for you. I will not be attempting to make up for the missed posts, as writing about this garbage is stressful enough without doing multiple posts on it per day.
Today I'm going to be addressing what I think is arguably the largest problem with homeopathy: the indifference of the majority. While speaking with my father, who is a pretty good sceptic for someone who doesn't work at it (this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. People who work at it, like myself, are likely putting too much thought into it, obsessing if you will), a major misconception was aired.
It goes something like this: if some people find homeopathy works for them, then what's the harm, and why should we get upset over it?
Anyone who's talked to me on this subject knows what I'm about to say, but I don't think they've heard it without the cursing and fuming that usually surrounds me at this point.
The problem is that homeopathy is not a harmless practice. One of homeopathy's tenets is that modern medicine is going about healing all wrong; in the majority of the large homeopathic websites this is presented subtly, but conversations with homeopathic supporters often reveal a more vitriolic opinion.
This opinion leads easily deluded individuals to scorning medicine in favour of witch-doctory -a practice that could get them killed. Even worse, parents deceived by even well-meaning homeopaths attempt to medicate their children with nothing more than water. Within the last few years a good example of this has been anti-malarial homeopathic remedies: pills supposedly effective at completely eliminating any chance of contracting malaria. Anyone with a basic knowledge of what homeopathy is should be appalled by this. Homeopaths are selling water pills to people who will be travelling to malaria-prone areas of the world. They are risking these peoples' lives.
For more wonderful examples of the immediate, physical harm homeopathy can have, check out one of my favourite websites:
In addition to the direct harm to the consumers of homeopathic "remedies", there is a more subtle effect on the nature of medicine itself. Homeopathic practitioners' views on medicine undermine the work that real doctors have been doing for the last hundred years -namely convincing people that this whole "medicine" thing is a good idea. Homeopaths (and other CHNWoo adherents) instil a fear and distrust into the common person by claiming that doctors are only out for their money, or that medicine is ineffective by treating only the "symptoms and not the cause" (a misconception that I think deserves its own post).
That is the harm. When they are not outright killing their patients, homeopaths are bilking them out of their money for useless vials of water and sugar pills.
[get it? WHA??? Week... I thought it was clever]