2008 November

Editorial November 2008

by Jan Scholten
Lack of proof does not mean proof of non existence:

In the editorial of October I referred to "Trials of Homeopathy" by Michael Emmens Dean. It is indeed a very interesting book, giving an overview of different trials. Many trials show a very positive result for homeopathy. Also many trials show that there was no effect. It is always interesting to look at why some trials do not show an effect of homeopathy. For homeopaths that is not a very difficult thing to do. We know that it is quite easy to not produce an effect: just give a remedy that is not similar at all. It could very well be that some trials produce no effect because the incorrect remedies were prescribed.
It is interesting that in all the meta analysis published there is no indication given of the quality of the homeopathy. All researchers all scored for quality of the method of research and probability and the like: all scores for the quality of how to do a research technically, but the first requisite for research is the quality of the research as such: is it good homeopathy? Why the quality of the homeopathy is not scored is obvious: no homeopaths were part of the groups doing the meta analysis. A second reason is that scoring the quality of homeopathy would be difficult as there are many different opinions of homeopaths of what is good homeopathy.
Another approach would be to look which researcher gives a very positive outcome for homeopathy and conclude from that what kind of homeopathy is good. This will also be a difficult procedure, but it can also be rewarding, showing what direction to go further with research and practice.
Coming back to the research with negative results. They are often seen as evidence that homeopathy is just placebo. I always have wondered about such a strange conclusion. It is evident to all who have done research that no effect in a research is very easy to establish. A small error in the set-up can easily lead to no effect. Negative effects do not say much. It would be easy to do research in regular medicine without any effect, for example prescribing antibiotics in viral infections. It would be a strange conclusion to say then that regular medicine is just placebo.
It would be similar to conclude that parrots do not exist, because one hasn't seen them, looking on the arctic.

We would like to find enthusiastic homeopaths who are willing to translate cases and articles for Interhomeopathy, from dutch or German in to English.
Please come forward and let us know.....
The editors;
Jan Scholten; mail@alonnissos.nl
Anne Wirtz; park@annewirtz.demon.nl

Categories: Editorials
Keywords: editorial


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