Memorandum submitted by Professor Vincent
Marks (HO 19)
1. Homeopathic products have no place in
a society and more especially a National Health Service that aims
to protect people from unnecessary harm arising whether due to
ignorance or misfeance. Homeopathy has no justification for continuing
to exist in a world where medical practice is a craft that relies
upon the basic sciences of anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology
and psychology and demands evidence of efficacy.
2. Homeopathy has none of these attributes
and whilst it may have been justified because when inaugurated
because it fullfilled one of the prime maximes of medical practice
namely, "First do no harm.." which was in sharp contrast
to much of orthodox medical practice at the time, it no longer
3. Homeopathy produces harm, in my experience
and in numerous published reports,not by commission but by omission,
and by the denial of access to remedies of proven benefit. Licensing
homeopathic remedies gives them a credibility they do not deserve
or warrant from either a pragmatic or philosophical point of view.
4. Evidence based medical practice should
not have to compete for funds with what can legitimately be described
as a cult practice based upon nothing than unsubstantiated dogma.
5. This has repeatedly been shown, through
fair trials, to provide no benefits beyond those achievable by
diligent use of the placebo effect whose adantages cannot be used
to full effect by practioners of modern medicine.
6. Registered Medical Practioners are ethically
bound to explain to their patients the scientific basis of treatments
they recommend and both the desirable and undesirable consequences
7. I am not aware of any genuine evidence
base for homeopathy whose philosophy flies in the face of all
known physical, chemical and biological science.
8. The proposition that "like cures
like" was a preposterous proposition based on nothing more
profound than the imagination of its author.
9. Properly conducted randomised controlled
clinical trials of homeopathy (fair trials) have not established
any benefit greater than can be achieved by placebo therapy and
that cannot be explained by chance.
10. Claims that animals respond to homeopathy
do not withstand scrutiny but are often attested to as pragmatic
evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy in spite of its implausibility.
Vincent Marks, MA, DM,FRCPath,
FRCP (Edin & Lond)