7 Feb, 09 | by Iain Brassington
PZ Meyers has picked up a strange story: apparently, there’s an organisation called Homeopaths Without Borders – clearly picking up on MSF’s name – that intends to send crack teams of homeopaths to disaster areas. Their site’s mainly in German at the moment – they promise updates – but here’s a taste of what they have to say about themselves so far:
It is our main aim to transfer homeopathy to those countries, [sic] where public health care and medical supply of [sic]the people is sub-standard, for whatever reasons. Homeopathy also proves very effective in healing physical and mental injury in situations of war or political crisis.
My understanding of homeopathy is limited – culled from reading Ben Goldacre and (for the other side) working on the same bar as a vegan hippie for 15 years – but I believe that one of its principles is that it is possible to get big improvements in a state of affairs from vanishingly small interventions. Now, I’m sure I’m being unfair – in which case, please forgive me, and certainly don’t sue – but does that mean that HWB will do the most good by largely doing nothing in impoverished countries? For once, that’s something about which homeopaths and real mainstream doctors ought to be able to agree. Homeopathic interventions, both will admit, ought to be imperceptible.
For my part – one day I plan not to open my own homeopathic clinic. I’m sure it’ll be wonderful.