Recently, EASAC, the European Academies ’Science Advisory Council, issued an opinion that received significant negative press coverage in Hungary (well beyond the message of the original Communication). This organization has a member from the academies of science of each EU country with one scientific representative. The opinion on homeopathy was developed by a working group of EASAC, and – according to its own website – the Hungarian member of the committee was László Vécsei, professor of neurology in Szeged.
Although other areas of natural medicine are not able to stand their ground by scientific standards, this does not mean that they should be banished from the toolbox of healing. In the CAM, in other words, in the basket of natural medicine there are countless therapies of similar potency, and there is nothing extraordinary about these areas of medicine causing a series of slow and mild effects rather than meeting expectations with immediate effect. However, there is no such industry behind bioenergetics or reflexology as the production of homeopathic medicines, which only in Europe approximately employs 10,000 people, so it doesn’t poke anyone’s eye as much as the homeopathic industry is gaining ground at the expense of conservative medicines. In recent years, there has been shadow boxing around homeopathy. Homeopathy seems to have been raised too high by its representatives and interests, which irritates many in the camp of opposings to be expelled from there. They fight something that had no and has no measurable effect by scientific standards, while in the counter-camp it defends something that does not exist. It should not even try to be proved that there is such an effect, and perhaps homeopathic remedies should not have been given similar titles as conservative medicines.
What could have contributed to the formulation of a negative opinion?
Firstly, the belief of the European population in homeopathic medicines is unbroken, increasing by 6% a year. The turnover of homeopathic medicines in Europe exceeds one billion euros, in the USA $ 3 billion, and at that time we had not yet talked about India and other parts of the world. In some European countries, e.g. In Germany, every second adult regularly consumes a homeopathic remedy. In some European countries, e.g. In Germany, every second adult regularly consumes a homeopathic remedy. This is obviously a concern for manufacturers of conservative drugs.
There is aversion to natural remedies in scientific circles anyway. Anointed and voluntary proclaimers of science live by the view that sacred science must be protected from superstition, while the thing slips unnoticed into a medieval witch hunt, and some would gladly burn all the elements of the subject. Homeopathy, CAM, so complementary and alternative medicine are part of natural medicine. There are countless methods within the CAM basket that have no convincing scientific evidence. This is not because that method is hanky-panky, but because it cannot be proven by the standards of scientific studies. At the same time, there is no doubt that representatives of homeopathy, unlike those of bioenergetics or foot massage, are well-situated physicians who have tried, not least because of the honor of the uniform, to give the impression that homeopathy is scientific. This indefensible slip was then exploited in scientific circles. They do not emphasize dietetics, not herbs, not manual medicine or physiotherapy, but homeopathy, whose uniform procedure makes it possible to depreciate the whole subject by generalization. Also, by eliminating homeopathy, they hope to weaken the whole basket of natural remedies.
Universities that rise to hysteria against homeopathy create real charlatanism
Meanwhile, a significant proportion of health care in developed countries, up to 50%, cannot be called an evidence-based procedure. But an experiential process: nursing, psychotherapy, part of manual professions (surgery, gynecology, dentistry), etc. Doctors don’t know about this either, and they constantly make it look as if each procedure is scientifically based. Although experimental medicine and experimental drug research have indeed significantly transformed and made health care more exact, in my opinion, still empiricism continues to be the foundation of health care activity. In addition, many wild sprouts of drug-centricity appeared. Methodological descriptions, the healing effect of the doctor’s personality, the modification of lifestyle principles, the improvement of psychosomatic foundations are at least as important parts of medicine as the mass of publications around newer and newer drugs, with which it is usually not possible to cure patients, only to prolong life by symptomatic treatment, which of course is not a small number at all, but it does not replace the complementary therapies that mean a holistic reform of human life.
Homeopathy is practiced legally in Hungary by all doctors who have the appropriate qualifications. Degrees were available at universities. With some universities now withdrawing from homeopathy education due to media hysteria, they are not achieving a victory for science over charlatanism, but for charlatanism to gain ground over science. In the future, anyone can teach or examine those who want to study, but they will not receive a permit for a non-university degree, so they will practice homeopathy illegally. This pushes those who practice it and those who use it, into the grey and then the black zone.
Much of the complementary medicine has not been introduced into health care because it is scientific, but precisely because it can be performed as a complementary medicine by a doctor or a naturopath with the corresponding basic medical qualification. It was introduced to be in a controllable range and to prevent the patient from being precarious by two incompatible care systems. Due to the nature of complementary medicine, it cannot be unprofessional because the patient receives everything that is vital to him. Alternative medicine may be unprofessional, but which doctor wants to treat appendicitis with a homeopathic pellet?
The law of health determines the legality of homeopathy
I am not a homeopath. I am a doctor, an internist, who uses complementary methods, and within that, occasionally homeopathic remedies. Nor do I use homeopathy more than conservative medicine. Homeopathy is part of complementary medicine (or, as our health law puts it, non-conventional medicine). There is a special passage in the law about unconventional medicine because the law itself recognizes that these methods are not necessarily scientifically based, but they are no less important.
Section 104 of the Health Act reads as follows:
The aim of non-conventional healing and quality of life improvement (hereinafter together: non-conventional) procedures is to affect the state of health in a positive way, the prevention of diseases, and to enable protection against health hazards and harmful factors.
(2) Non-conventional procedures are based on different approaches to health and disease, methods resulting from a different approach from conventional, science-based procedures, which – in accordance with the provisions of a separate legal act – are procedures that are complementary to conventional methods of treatment, they supplement, replace and improve lifestyle methods. An unconventional procedure can only be used as a substitute procedure under medical supervision.
(3) The scope of non-conventional procedures and the conditions necessary for the performance of certain activities is determined by a separate legal act.
There is nowhere that unconventional procedures must be based on science. Health law itself gives legitimacy to non-scientific complementary procedures! What legislation does SOTE follow when it withdraws from homeopathy education, and on what legal and professional grounds has it taught homeopathy for 20 years?
Homeopathy cannot therefore be banned on the basis of current law and public demand. It is completely unscientific to form a single opinion about homeopathy or naturopathy as a whole, as it is so diverse and so multi-coloured that it cannot be judged in general by some studies and scientific publications. This is as unscientific as if to say that physiotherapy is scientific. On the other hand, in Germany, low potencies (i.e. lower dilutions) are not subject to the same legislation, obviously low potencies, so ten thousand or hundred thousand dilutions can elicit reactions in a living organism on a biological basis much more than much higher dilutions.
In connection with homeopathy, there is no mention of the drug trial observations, which form the basis of the introduction of all homeopathic remedies and form the knowledge base of medical history and pharmaceutical history. Or about nosodes, that is, agents made from abnormal tissues and microbes made on the basis most similar to vaccines, or possibly classic mono-preparations that obviously work completely differently and with different efficiencies than complex homeopathy.
In my opinion, complementary medicine will not be poorer if homeopathy is not declared well-founded, but patients who may receive the homeopathic procedure in a more unprofessional form, definitely.
Article by Dr. József Tamasi
Source: Naturopath Magazine