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Homeopathy at the Academic Health Center - Ethical Questions

From the Journal of Medical Ethics, 130-31 (2010)

Homeopathy is Where The Harm Is

Homeopathic remedies are not actively harmful, as they contain no active molecules: nonetheless, the harm done by omitting evidence-based medical treatment is potentially significant.

Second, it is ethically dubious to spend NHS funds on treatment that has no evidence base (beyond that of placebo effect); NHS patients rightly expect valuable resources to be well spent.

The third ethical issue with homeopathy is that it can involve deceiving the patient; indeed, if the only effect is placebo, it is probable that deception is essential to the practice of homeopathy.

A less direct ethical issue is that the NHS's support for homeopathy could weaken patient confidence in the organisation, and in science and medicine more generally.

The fifth and final unethical effect is that funding homeopathy distracts attention from the fact that there are other complementary therapies that are efficacious.

To conclude, it is likely that homeopathy is where the harm is.

And yet, if you do a search on the U of M website for "homeopathy" - here's what pops up:


Third greatest public research university in the world?

In your dreams...

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