Homeopathy – VHI have it right
27 November, 2009
In London, a Commons cross-party science committee is looking at UK government policy on homeopathic medicines. And scientists and doctors told MPs this week that giving homeopathic remedies to patients on the National Health Service is unethical and a dubious use of public money. It’s worth checking out what the Bad Science blog has to say on this, and on homepathy generally.
In Ireland, I note that VHI appears to be the only sane health insurer, and refuses to cover homeopathic treatments. The Irish Society of Quacks, sorry Homeopaths, reviews the position on their website. So I am happy not be subsidising delusional and/or fraudulent practices with my ever-increasing annual subscription to the VHI, while being a bit worried that VHI might weaken in the face of a “patients’ petition” being organised by homeopathic practitioners.
TCD’s University Times had an excellent article recently on this subject, entitled “Coming out as homeopathophobic”. It included these interesting comments:
In Britain, taxpayers contributed £10 million, or the equivalent of 500 nurses’ salaries to the refurbishment of the Royal Homeopathic Hospital. In Ireland, VHI is the only health insurance that refuses to cover homeopathy (though presumably the decision is pragmatic rather than a matter of principle). For an industry that relies on the placebo effect, the healing nature of caring, interpersonal relationships and bogus, unscientific claims, the scale of investment is startling. In this context, the appeal by the Irish Society of Homeopathy for Homeopathic books that are to be distributed to an ‘academic’ clinic in Southern Kenya takes on an unpleasant moral dimension.
The credulity and deceitfulness of people never ceases to amaze me.