Sunday, January 6, 2008

I'm DYING - please.....dial 999 and ask for a homeopath.......

"Emergency homeopathic services, how can I help"
"It's my father - he's clutching his left arm, is red and blotchy in the face and wheezing - what should I do?"
"MMmmm....let me check materia medica.....Arnica and belladonna methinks. 30c in both cases - goodbye"


Silly, I know. Churlish even, yet this is the sort of tripe that homeopaths seem to think is acceptable. I don't understand the mindset at all, yet a brief trawl through some of the UK's homeopath websites presents the utter incomprehensibility and stupidity of homeopathic first aid.

The above example was taken from the site Naturally Better, the very name of which throws the Society of Homeopaths Code of Conduct out the window by comparing homeopathy favourably to conventional medicine. Still, the rest of the page in question is utter nonsense - literally unbelievable!

Firstly we have:

Arnica - Give first in any accident or injury. For bruises, bumps and bangs. It is basically for any physical shock or trauma

Those are my italics/bold. I wanted to stress the point of being told that in ANY injury, first give arnica - it's for ANY physical trauma. WTF? Physical trauma is defined as

an injury to the body, which is frequently manifested by radiographically evident abnormalities. Examples of such injuries are fractures, subluxations, dislocations, and tears.

Ref: Medcyclopedia

Utter rubbish. I can't honestly believe anyone in the right or even partially wrong mind would think to grab a 30c arnica rather than get to the nearest A&E. Or perhaps call 999. I can only think that these muppets don't know what physical trauma is, because I can't imagine anybody being as daft as to follow their instructions. Enter Kate Gathercole at Hereford Homeopathy:
Homoeopathy can also be offered for first aid relief in situations of acute shock, grief, and physical or emotional trauma


Anyway, back to those Naturally Better people. How about:

Belladonna - High fever with red face, hot head. Delirium. Earache, sore throat, sunstroke, eyes sensitive to light.

EYES SENSITIVE TO LIGHT.......look at the rest of the symptoms. Those are the symptoms of meningitis (to a layperson). MENINGITIS. I know it's a big word, but it can kill and not one molecule of arnica (/irony) is going to stop it. This sort of utterly inappropriate information should be banned because not-very-well-read people might believe it.

I should point out that not all homeopaths are so overwhelmingly stupid. Helianthus Homeopathy in Bovingdon, Herts, has obviously thought long and hard about being called to Junction 18 of the M25 with their first aid homeopathy bag:

However, cases of road accidents, deep wounds and severe burns etc. where surgery or immediate blood transfusion is required, need to be treated by someone other than a homeopath. However. in an emergency situation before other methods of treatment are possible, homeopathic remedies when given immediately can assist.

Again, the italics are mine. Someone other than a homeopath. Hmmm... who would that be? How about a city banker? In the parochial mind of the twisted homeopath, it just hurts too much to say "a qualified medical practitioner". It really must hurt. Why would you write "someone other than a homeopath" unless you meant "in a road accident, a homeopath is the LAST person you want around". Which is a statement I, incidentally, agree with. Even with the first clause.

It's late, I'm tired, but I just can't think of first aid situation, sorry emergency where no (effective) treatment would be possible, and so giving out (ineffective) sugar pills would be the best idea.

As an aside, it's yet another (and my god/allah/visnu there are many) example of the Society of Homeopaths laughable Code of Conduct being broken:

Which diseases can be treated?
Homeopathy is effective in almost all types of acute and chronic cases

**sigh** Society of Homeopaths Code of Conduct (SoH CoC) 48 part ii

No advertising may be used which expressly or implicitly claims to cure named diseases.

So what should the average punter, with an axe in his arm (for instance) do in an emergency?

Enter Helix House Natural Health Centre in Oxford:

What should I do in an emergency?

If you cannot get hold of your homeopath, consult your GP or go straight to a hospital Accident & Emergency unit.

Eh? IF? IF? These people seem like they're on planet banana! Luckily, in Rachel at Brighton Naturally has a homeopathic helpline specifically for emergencies. It's a pittance at £1.50/min, kind of like the opposite of "hear me moan" - "let me hear you moan". (Also in my mind breaks SoH CoC No 14:

Homeopaths are responsible for avoiding exploitation of their patients financially,

Who on earth in an emergency would try to contact their homeopath?

Well sadly, some people do. I would speculate (forgive me) that it isn't the middle-aged, middle-classed female worried well, but people who are perhaps not in a position mentally to be discerning. One sad case came to light last year when a homeopath had asked her patient to only follow her homeopathic remedies, which led to the patient stopping her heart medication and dying of acute heart failure.

It happens. And it shouldn't. By letting muppets like those above try to treat first aid with ineffective sugar pills because of some seemingly parochial grudge against modern medicine, peoples lives are being put at risk.

It's seems proper to remind anyone who hasn't read it, of Andy Lewis' excellent piece of work "The Gentle Art of Homeopathic Killing", which was blogged by this site here once the Society of Homeopaths threatened to sue his hosting company.

Outwith of the fact that there is not one single shred of evidence that shows it works (how else can you explain the SoH CoC 48 ii

No advertising may be used which expressly or implicitly claims to cure named diseases.

surely it is time to put the whole lot in the bin. Or at least a bin marked "Cult".


  1. I wrote to the Society of Homeopaths about their endorsement of Homeopathic First Aid kits for the "most severe emergency and accident situations."

    Paula Ross, Chief Executive, just did not want to know...

    Read about it here: Homeopathy Don't Kill People, Homeopaths do.

  2. Thanks Andy,

    It doesn't surprise me. (I had forgotten about your piece on Homeopathic first aid) - thanks for the link.

    It is criminal what they think they can do. Deluded and criminal.

  3. Deluded and criminal.

    I quite agree. Their hypocrisy is astounding too. They frequently criticise Big Pharma for exploiting its market with constant patent renewing compound tweaks, and rightly so, but see nothing wrong in running a, presumably profitable, expensive help line at £1.50/min. Whereas the NHS have a comprehensive free website and a telephone line, manned by proper health professionals, that is charged at local rates.