Skip to content

Is homeopathy witchcraft?

According to Dr Tom Dolphin, deputy chairman of the junior doctors' committee of the BMA, homeopathy is witchcraft and should not be offered as a treatment by the NHS. This view was apparently overwhelmingly endorsed by a vote at the annual conference of junior doctors, according to The Telegraph. Clearly homeopathy is going to be increasingly under attack in the present straitened financial circumstances of the NHS.

Witchcraft seems a little harsh. Homeopathic remedies may have no effect beyond that of a placebo but that is not the whole story. A homeopathic consultation is typically lengthy (an hour or more), and during that time the patient discusses his or her situation in a structured environment. The homeopath is not asking questions at random but is constructing a therapeutic context that has meaning for the patient, and many people find this to be valuable. it may help them to see their problems in a new light.

This is very similar to what happens in counselling. The theories used by counsellors may have little or no validity but many patients nevertheless find the experience valuable. I think that homeopathy can best be thought of as a form of psychotherapy. If you like to call this witchcraft, so be it; but in many traditional societies "witchdoctors" provide an important psychotherapeutic service for their clients.

There are many similarities between homeopathy and psychoanalysis. Both have been denounced as lacking a scientific basis. Both were invented by doctors (Hahnemann, Freud) but were taken up mainly by practitioners without a medical training. And both elicit extreme loyalty among their adherents.

Trackbacks

No Trackbacks

Comments

Display comments as Linear | Threaded

Love Spells on :

I wouldn't say homeopathy is witchcraft... there's no spell casting involved. There's no link to nature or spirituality, or to using the mind to control the world around you. This reminds me of Salem - people label things they don't understand and persecute them regardless.

Add Comment

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.
How many legs do snakes have?
Form options