A recent article published at CanadianBusiness.com and written by a professor of business ethics was intended as a targeted attack upon a supermarket chain in Canada called Loblaws that sells homeopathic products. The professor accused the retailer of being unethical and compared the use of homeopathy to buying lottery tickets, calling it a Ponzi scheme (Read the full article here). In the professor’s own words:
“The problem here is of course that homeopathy doesn’t work. It cannot work … Homeopathy is the healthcare equivalent of a Ponzi scheme. Loblaws—and any other retail outlet that sells it—should be ashamed.”
The irony of this article is rather striking, especially given that the author is an ethicist. The Center for Homeopathic Advocacy (CHA) wishes to highlight one particular response to this irresponsible piece of journalism penned by Ronald Whitmont, MD, president of the American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH). The AIH is a professional organization that was founded in 1844, prior to the formation of the American Medical Association. Its membership includes medical doctors, osteopathic doctors, naturopathic doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
The CHA believes that Dr. Whitmont’s words go straight to the heart of the matter, emphasizing the hypocrisy of those who form biased and uneducated opinions about a medical therapy that they know little about. Homeopathy is safe, effective, inexpensive, and is the treatment of choice for millions of satisfied international consumers.
Here is Dr. Whitmont’s incisive response to Professor MacDonald in its entirety:
Your examples of Ponzi Schemes and Lottery Tickets are particularly dramatic, but I’m afraid you have your facts completely reversed: Homeopathy is neither of these, but mounting evidence points to the possibility that conventional pharmacologic medicine may very well be.
The British Medical Journal, BMJ, has been gathering and publishing data on Evidence Based Medicine for many years and the results are unequivocally clear: only about 11% of all conventional medical therapeutic interventions demonstrate adequate scientific justification for their use. Most conventional treatments (nearly 50%) have no verifiable scientific evidence of effectiveness, while nearly a third have either been scientifically proven to be of “no benefit” or have been proven to be harmful. One wonders why these conventional interventions continue to be shamelessly pushed on the public without so much as a nod toward scientific verification.
Conventional medicine promises beneficial returns on a huge health care investment from each of us (we currently spend nearly 20% of the U.S. GNP on health care). Over the last century, as medical expenditure increases so do the rates of chronic illness. Today, we have an epidemic of chronic illness that affects nearly 50% of the population. Most of these illnesses were virtually unknown before the introduction of modern pharmacologic medicine, and rates continue to rise the fastest in populations that use these interventions the most.
Additionally, conventional pharmacologic medicine (when used in accordance with the “Standard of Care”) is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths annually in the U.S. alone. Conventional drugs, used according to prescription, are between the third and the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. today.
Data from numerous sources including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) support these figures.
Homeopathy, in clear distinction, is one of the safest forms of medicine on earth. Populations that receive homeopathic treatment show benefits across all health indices, including quality of life, recovery from acute and chronic conditions, and patient satisfaction. Many studies, including one recently released by the Swiss government, show that homeopathy is both clinically and financially effective, and that those treated homeopathically have lower rates of both recurrent acute and chronic illness. Additionally, population groups that respond the best to homeopathy are those that already have the most severe forms of illness.
Homeopathy has proven efficacy in the field across multiple disciplines in a vast array of medical conditions. Conventional pharmaceutical medicine operates beneath a thin veneer of science and is associated with alarmingly high (and rising) rates of chronic illness as well as a worrisome safety profile. Which form of medicine resembles a Ponzi Scheme, and which system of medicine reminds one of a Lottery?
The most important questions raised by your interesting commentary are not: why are homeopathic medicines being sold at Loblaws (as they are in most pharmacies worldwide), but: “Why has conventional pharmacological medicine been left unregulated for so long?, Why is the health care industry the largest and most well-funded lobbying force in Washington, DC?” and finally: “When will people remove the wool from their eyes and see that they are already part of one of the largest Ponzi Schemes in human history?”
Source: Center for Homeopathic Advocacy