Thursday, May 19, 2005

Misleading the patient for fun and profit

Here is a place where you can have fun with homeopathy.

Just type in your particular disease in the Online Remedy Finder, fill out a symptom form, and they will recommend a special medicine. I chose a simple one: sharp headache and got that the homeopathic remedy which best matches my symptoms is Nitricum Acidum.

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It is like falling in love. As in any romance, current talk about homeopathic remedies is usually marked by uncritical acceptance, blind commitment and magical thinking.

Never ask if this is true (i.e. are there good grounds for believing this?). To ask questions about evidence and reasons for believing is to reveal an annoying and pernicious bias in favor of rational ways of knowing and western science. It is to show a disregard for the kind of validation that can come from people's subjective experiences. It is to give offense to those who have strong beliefs about the effectiveness of a treatment.

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