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← The trouble with homeopathy

hungarianelephant's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by hungarianelephant

22. Comment #463533 by Peacebeuponme

Conventional medicine should seek to extract 1) from the whole and use it ethically and ditch 2). There would be no need to label this an 'alternative' approach, but it would retain the cost-effectiveness and efficiacy criteria you mention.

You are right. I was using "alternative" in the sense of an alternative to what we currently do, rather than in the sense of woo. Poor choice of word, sorry. If anything different which came from homoeopathy were adopted by conventional medicine, it would cease to be "alternative".
Your suggested double-blind trial would not be fair unless it appropriately distinguished the effects of 1) from the non-effects of 2).

My first suggested trial would not distinguish between the two (and would not be double blind), but it would establish whether homeopathy taken as a whole is effective and cost-effective. That's "fair", at least in the sense that it is the same test which has to be applied to conventional treatments in order to get funding. I agree that the optimum would be to add a double-blind procedure for the homeopathy group, in line with Richard's suggestion, as this would then distinguish between the two groups and work out which parts are effective / cost-effective.

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 14:07:00 UTC | #443740