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Should Homeopathy Be Illegalized?

A photo of littleroom littleroom
Before anyone posts, let me say, I don't hope for this thread to become a discussion over the validity of homeopathy as medicine; it has not been shown to work any better than a placebo. If you wish to debate homeopathy, start a new thread. This thread will go with the medical science community and start the argument off with the knowledge that so far, homeopathy has not been shown to have any significant effects or theoretical underpinning warranting its use or price tag.

I think it should be legal only for adults (they have the right to be as stupid with their own bodies as they like). Alternative medicine is safe when taken in conjunction with Western medicine (the former does nothing, the latter does all the work, so you confound their effects), but when it is taken in place of Western medicine, it gets dangerous. Parents will deny their children conventional vaccines or treatments for diseases as serious as polio and vaccine, and this cannot be within their rights.

Do you think this is reason to drastically regulate the sale and buying of homeopathic substances (I refuse to call them medicines)? If so, why has our government taken such a milquetoast stance towards it?

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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
What bad does homeopathy do? It's not like it's causing deaths. If they don't work, they don't work.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@ARMY101 wrote
What bad does homeopathy do? It's not like it's causing deaths. If they don't work, they don't work.



http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/11/a_real_death_by_homeopathy.php

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/baby-death-call-for-homeopath-rules/2007/11/19/1195321684868.html

Stupidity kills.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
That's not at all what I think (or what many other people) think of as homeopathy. Many of those people died because they didn't take their medications. Homeopathy doesn't say stop taking medication, it says take alternative substances.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@ARMY101 wrote
That's not at all what I think (or what many other people) think of as homeopathy. Many of those people died because they didn't take their medications. Homeopathy doesn't say stop taking medication, it says take alternative substances.



Homeopaths allege that they can cure diseases without the need for conventional medicines. In one documentary I watched, a homeopathic clinic told the crew that they could cure stage 1 or stage 2 cancer within 2 weeks. A mother in the same documentary hadn't vaccinated her child from polio or measles because she thought her homeopathic substances would do the trick. What's the point in the "medicine" if it's no good on its own?
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
As much as I hate homeopathy, I don't think it should be made illegal. I think, with few exceptions, people should be allowed to make their own decisions as to what they want to do themselves. Homeopathy (not to be confused with naturopathy) is complete BS, but some people see it as a source of hope and, even if it only works as well as a placebo, then it still works better than nothing at all (probably).

Regulating natural health and homeopathic products would cost the government a lot, but certain potentially dangerous substances are still banned from use in any product, and a company still doesn't want to be known for selling a dangerous or inferior product, so, for the most part, such products are usually fairly safe (especially considering that they're not strictly regulated by the government). What I'd like to see, though, is the regulation of the people who sell these products and the banning of non-regulated individuals from selling these products. This would ensure that products unsafe to certain individuals would not be sold to those individuals and that sellers of homeopathic products would be firmly punished for intentionally misleading a client. In other words, sellers would be responsible for any reasonably foreseeable harm done to their clients, much like regulated health professionals are. It would also, hopefully, add another layer of protection for consumers, as these regulated sellers would have more incentive to sell only the safest and most effective (*cough*) brands and, particularly, not sell unsafe, very ineffective brands. Producers, then, would have more incentive to ensure that their products are safe.

On a related note, there are only a few people I truly hate who I haven't met. This turbo-douche is one of them: Kevin Trudeau. He misleads people into thinking that coral calcium can cure pretty much anything and - what really pisses me off - makes the claim that it works better than conventional medicine, thereby encouraging people to substitute coral calcium for chemotherapy, for example. He is one person the world could absolutely do without, and I say that in the most honest way.
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A photo of StudentAtStPats StudentAtStPats
This is why homeopathy is called an "alternative medicine". If everything else fails, maybe a miracle will happen.
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A photo of DoctorLawyerDentist DoctorLawyerDentist

@littleroom wrote

@ARMY101 wrote
What bad does homeopathy do? It's not like it's causing deaths. If they don't work, they don't work.



http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/11/a_real_death_by_homeopathy.php

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/baby-death-call-for-homeopath-rules/2007/11/19/1195321684868.html

Stupidity kills.



Then let evolution do its work.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
As much as I hate homeopathy, I don't think it should be made illegal. I think, with few exceptions, people should be allowed to make their own decisions as to what they want to do themselves. Homeopathy (not to be confused with naturopathy) is complete BS, but some people see it as a source of hope and, even if it only works as well as a placebo, then it still works better than nothing at all (probably).

Regulating natural health and homeopathic products would cost the government a lot, but certain potentially dangerous substances are still banned from use in any product, and a company still doesn't want to be known for selling a dangerous or inferior product, so, for the most part, such products are usually fairly safe (especially considering that they're not strictly regulated by the government). What I'd like to see, though, is the regulation of the people who sell these products and the banning of non-regulated individuals from selling these products. This would ensure that products unsafe to certain individuals would not be sold to those individuals and that sellers of homeopathic products would be firmly punished for intentionally misleading a client. In other words, sellers would be responsible for any reasonably foreseeable harm done to their clients, much like regulated health professionals are. It would also, hopefully, add another layer of protection for consumers, as these regulated sellers would have more incentive to sell only the safest and most effective (*cough*) brands and, particularly, not sell unsafe, very ineffective brands. Producers, then, would have more incentive to ensure that their products are safe.

On a related note, there are only a few people I truly hate who I haven't met. This turbo-douche is one of them: Kevin Trudeau. He misleads people into thinking that coral calcium can cure pretty much anything and - what really pisses me off - makes the claim that it works better than conventional medicine, thereby encouraging people to substitute coral calcium for chemotherapy, for example. He is one person the world could absolutely do without, and I say that in the most honest way.



Do you agree that it should be illegal for parents to give it to their children? That's equivalent to child abuse in my book. I really don't care what ignorant adults do with their own bodies, but denying medication to their own children is where they cross the line.

Of course homeopathy is safe. It's safe because it's water. But it's dangerous because it doesn't have any active ingredient, yet it masquerades as if it's medicine. It either helps or it doesn't. Being a placebo, but fronting like a cure, is dangerous. I agree with you that we need to be strict with who is and isn't allowed to sell homeopathic substances, but to get them to not mislead people, we'd have to force them to admit to people that it's really just water. No one would buy the substances if they were told its water with a fancy label.

I've seen Kevin Trudeau on the television a few times. He's the prime example of a filthy charlatan. The only difference between him and homeopathic practitioners and clinics is that, I suspect, Trudeau knows he's lying, whereas the clinics and practitioners actually believe in their product.


@StudentAtStPats wrote
This is why homeopathy is called an "alternative medicine". If everything else fails, maybe a miracle will happen.



It's not "alternative" as in, "if conventional medicine doesn't work, try this instead!" It's "alternative" as in, "the Big Pharma is out to get you and just wants you addicted to their pills. Here, have some natural, organic, blah blah blah instead and leave Western medicine behind."


@DoctorLawyerDentist wrote
Then let evolution do its work.



I'd rather save children from their stupid parents then let them die in the name of a better gene pool.

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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo

@littleroom wrote
Do you agree that it should be illegal for parents to give it to their children? That's equivalent to child abuse in my book. I really don't care what ignorant adults do with their own bodies, but denying medication to their own children is where they cross the line.



I don't think it should be illegal for parents to do so. It should be - and fortunately is - illegal for parents to deny their children essential health care. Doing so actually does constitute child abuse. And, legally, any health care professional who suspects child abuse MUST report it. So the pediatric oncologist who knows his or her patient was taken off chemotherapy and switched to homeopathic therapy under the parents' discretion must report the situation to Child Protective Services. The punishment for not reporting is quite severe, and the person who does the reporting is protected by law from being sued by and would likely remain anonymous to the people who were reported, so there's very little reason not to report and a lot of reason to report.


Of course homeopathy is safe. It's safe because it's water. But it's dangerous because it doesn't have any active ingredient, yet it masquerades as if it's medicine. It either helps or it doesn't. Being a placebo, but fronting like a cure, is dangerous. I agree with you that we need to be strict with who is and isn't allowed to sell homeopathic substances, but to get them to not mislead people, we'd have to force them to admit to people that it's really just water. No one would buy the substances if they were told its water with a fancy label.



This is true. I accidentally deviated to naturopathy.

I think people would still buy it even if they knew it was essentially water with a fancy label. I've had a lecture on homeopathy and the lecturer (a homeopath... yes, it was a painful lecture, and, yes, students hammered the lecturer with questions) freely admitted that homeopathic products were essentially just water. She still believed they were effective and cited studies that attested to that. What she forgot, though, is that if you repeat the same study twenty times over, you would EXPECT (according to the statistical methods used in medical research) to find one study that suggests homeopathic products do work, even though they actually don't. So, yeah, you can find good studies that suggest homeopathic products work, but you'll find many more good studies that suggest they don't work. Thus, the consensus in the scientific community is that they don't work. But there are unreasonable people in this world who let their biases do the thinking...
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
I don't think it should be illegal for parents to do so. It should be - and fortunately is - illegal for parents to deny their children essential health care. Doing so actually does constitute child abuse. And, legally, any health care professional who suspects child abuse MUST report it. So the pediatric oncologist who knows his or her patient was taken off chemotherapy and switched to homeopathic therapy under the parents' discretion must report the situation to Child Protective Services. The punishment for not reporting is quite severe, and the person who does the reporting is protected by law from being sued by and would likely remain anonymous to the people who were reported, so there's very little reason not to report and a lot of reason to report.



Ah, that does change things. I agree with you here.


@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
This is true. I accidentally deviated to naturopathy.

I think people would still buy it even if they knew it was essentially water with a fancy label. I've had a lecture on homeopathy and the lecturer (a homeopath... yes, it was a painful lecture, and, yes, students hammered the lecturer with questions) freely admitted that homeopathic products were essentially just water. She still believed they were effective and cited studies that attested to that. What she forgot, though, is that if you repeat the same study twenty times over, you would EXPECT (according to the statistical methods used in medical research) to find one study that suggests homeopathic products do work, even though they actually don't. So, yeah, you can find good studies that suggest homeopathic products work, but you'll find many more good studies that suggest they don't work. Thus, the consensus in the scientific community is that they don't work. But there are unreasonable people in this world who let their biases do the thinking...



My idea that humans, with the right facts, could all be rational has yet again been contradicted. Boy, this is depressing.
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A photo of DoctorLawyerDentist DoctorLawyerDentist
What about the placebo effect? Has that been shown to be beneficial? Obv, not as a replacement for conventional medicine, but as miracle attempt or in addition.
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A photo of tinktattoo tinktattoo
I don't think it should be made illegal. I think it should be up to the person. If a child is involved maybe have medical approval as well if that is needed. I think it has a lot to offer if given the chance. The world has become to dependent on medicine. Andyhose don't always work either
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A photo of bradc14 bradc14
Homeopathy is basically a last ditch effort for people who have tried drugs or medicine that fails to cure a disease as some people believe we are able to fight off every known disease in this universe. If your gonna die from something your gonna die from it, simple as that.
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A photo of Jesseyeahh Jesseyeahh
Why does everything that is even minutely sensitive to some people have to have its legality put in debate? If people are stupid enough to go with homeopathy, then it's probably the least of their problems anyways.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@DoctorLawyerDentist wrote
What about the placebo effect? Has that been shown to be beneficial? Obv, not as a replacement for conventional medicine, but as miracle attempt or in addition.



Yes, the placebo effect is beneficial. If homeopathic substances didn't act like they were cures, then there'd be no problem. And there are plenty of other ways to induce the placebo effect without having to pay what people pay for homeopathic substances. A kind, patient, and competent doctor is one example.


@tinktattoo wrote
I think it has a lot to offer if given the chance.



What does homeopathy have to offer, exactly? It's been given the chance many times, actually. It's like saying that psychics have a lot to offer. No, what they're really doing is adding another pile to the dump of irrationality in our world.


@Jesseyeahh wrote
Why does everything that is even minutely sensitive to some people have to have its legality put in debate? If people are stupid enough to go with homeopathy, then it's probably the least of their problems anyways.



I think that when a massive industry is based upon false advertising, a scheme that not only threatens people's wallets but their lives, it is a serious issue that the law should decide upon. I suggest you read the websites I linked to earlier to see that this issue is not "minutely sensitive to some people." If we don't make it illegal, it should at least be made transparent and inform customers every time what it is that they're really buying.
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