With acknowledgements to the House of Commons Technology Committee
Extracts from the report (I have added italics and underlined text)
* The the intentions of those that provided the 'evidence' for the committee is not questioned but the best intentions do not make the evidence, constructed on false premises, and conclusions to be valid.
* The disbursement of state resources is the key concern, not the effectiveness of homeopathy which the Committee attributes to the placebo effect.
* Homeopathic medicines can also be administered via skin and olfactory routes.
* Substances used as medicines in homeopathy are actually more potent when they are used in undiluted form, for example, Arsenicum Album can kill a human being if the dosage is sufficient. Dilution of substances DOES NOT MAKE THEM MORE POTENT but rather it enables some remedies to resonate with the emotional and mental planes of the organism. In some cases, dilution of substances transforms an inert substance into a remedy, for example Lycopodium Clavatum. In all cases of sufficiently diluted substances the toxicity is removed. For example, Arsenicum Album 30 cannot poison a human being.
* A homeopathic remedy is one that is prescribed on the basis of the law of similars. Homeopathy is the treatment of a disease with a substance that produces similar symptoms; the principle of dilution and ultra- dilution of substances is a completely separate matter to consider. The reason that Hahnemann decided to dilute substances was based on the idea that this would reduce the aggravation to the disease that was manifested following the administration of undiluted homeopathic remedies. Hahnemann continued the process of diluting medicines and found to his astonishment that the substances continued to act and that the higher dilutions of the remedies released hitherto unknown powers of the substances to act medicinally.
The report of the Select Committee on Homeopathy is the judgment made according to the world view of the panel that the RCT method to determine the efficacy or non/efficacy of a treatment is the best method. If the genetic constitutions of all human beings were exactly the same, I suppose then they could all be treated exactly the same. Evidence does suggest that although human beings are all very similar in genetic make-up, the little differences between each organism are what makes each person unique. This is the reason that the RCT method will fail with homeopathy because if we had, for example, 10 patients with the same generic disease name, the process of their homeopathic treatment will not be the same. Assume only 10 remedies are relevant to the particular disease and applied only to a group of 10 patients:
Order of prescription:
Patient A: 3/5/1/7 cured
Patient B: 9/ 5 / 10/ 1 cured
The RCT method of testing will be ‘game over’ at stage 1, at stage 2 the process will fail at the very outset.
*Homeopathy does not advocate that all substances behave in the same way.
Of the millions of chemical, plant and animal substances on the planet, the number of these substances used in homeopathy is a small fraction. The majority of substances on the planet do not have energetic correspondence to disease manifestations in human beings and other animals.
NO further comment required for this ‘Report’
In my opinion, despite the honourable intentions of the Honourable Members of the House of Commons to establish ‘the truth’ about homeopathy’s lack of scientific proof of ‘efficacy’ and thereby justify eliminating it from receiving ‘scarce’ State funds, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy, Fourth Report of Session 2009–10 is not exactly ‘rubbish’. There are some points to consider but the level of the analysis of homeopathy is at GCSE level and, in my opinion, basic errors of analysis of homeopathy render the report ‘worthless’ as a document to guide state policy in regard to the provision of homeopathy in the UK.
RCT / Case studies
To claim that the only or the best method for testing medicines is the RCT method is rejected here. For homeopathic RCTs to be effective in determining efficacy the selection of the control group would be a herculean effort to ensure that the subjects of the trial are actually all susceptible to the remedy being tested. For example, for 'hyperactivity' in children a number of remedies may be helpful in different phases for each individual. Some of the more frequently occurring remedies that have some similarity with this condition are Anac, Cham,Hyos, Lyc, Med, Nux-V, Stram, Sul, Tarent Hispanica and Tub. How is a RCT going to test for effectiveness in the treatment of hyperactivity? The hyperactive child would have to be in the state of the remedy being tested at the time of testing in order to reflect a fair outcome to the trial. In case studies, a child diagnosed and certified as 'hyperactive' can go through individualised treatment and if their hyperactivity magically resolves then the case is evidence towards positive case outcomes. Possibly, the most appropriate method for testing homeopathic treatment outcomes would be to use rigorously controlled case studies in which individualised treatments (including placebo, Mr Ernst) are carried out for a particular disease or condition. In homeopathy, there are very few remedies that are specific to one particular disease and therefore cannot be verified as effective against a particular disease. In homeopathy, the name of the remedy IS the name of the disease.