...a blog by Richard Flowers

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Day 2511: World's Biggest Liar Appears on the The Today Programme


A survey for the National Consumer Council reveals that most restaurants "push costly bottled water just to make a quick profit."

Isn't that DREADFUL.

Meanwhile, homeopathy is in the news again.

They claiming that, just because there is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that their potions have any beneficial effect, scientists are organising a CONSPIRACY to stop homeopaths from defrauding the NHS of dirty great wodges of cash on the entirely SPURIOUS grounds that spending the money on some medicine that actually does some good might be better value for money.

At the risk of confusing you, the BOTTLED WATER INDUSTRY spokesperson claimed:

"Homeopathy never harmed anybody."

This is, I am VERY SORRY to say, completely untrue.

A homeopathic doctor, Dr Marisa Viegas, has been struck off by the General Medical Council for advising a lady patient (no longer her own patient, either) who was suffering from serious heart disease that she should stop taking all medicines and then recommending a course of homeopathic treatments for her liver instead.

Tragically, APPALLINGLY, the lady patient had a massive coronary and DIED.

Another case has seen a Dutch doctor struck off and two others suspended following the equally tragic death of another lady patient, this time from cancer.

Perhaps WORST, is the SICK decision to choose WORLD AIDS DAY to hold a conference on the homeopathic treatment of AIDS… which ought to be BRIEF because there IS NO SUCH TREATMENT!

There are, however, genuine drug-based treatments. Those WILL help to prolong people's lives. Not to mention a very, very effective way of not even getting AIDS in the first place called the CONDOM. Taking money – of which there is VERY LITTLE in Africa – away from prevention and treatment programmes in order to spend it on BOTTLED WATER is tantamount to MASS MURDER!

The homeopaths put the blame on Dr Ben Goldacre, most excellent writer of the Grauniad's BAD SCIENCE column, who has written this piece for the Lancet, the medical journal that two years ago published a HUGE and AUTHORITATIVE study showing that homeopathy had no more benefit than a placebo.

In fact, Dr Ben – as he explains in more detail here – is AMBIVALENT about homeopathy and thinks that, if they could bring themselves to be TRULY complementary then there may be some benefit to be had in cases where scientific medicine has – so far – no answers.

Anyway, the "World's Biggest Liar" competition is held annually in November at the Bridge Inn in Cumbria.

This year's winner is a Mr J Graham (no relation) for a story about submarines and digital television and his prize is a thousand year's supply of bottled water. Although I could be lying.


Hywel said...

""Homeopathy never harmed anybody."

This is, I am VERY SORRY to say, completely untrue."

That isn't supported by your story though. The woman was harmed by the cock-arsed diagnosis of the "Doctor" involved and the non-use of conventional treatments that might have done some good.

The only way a homeopathic remedy could harm you is to drown in it!

Millennium Dome said...

I am SORRY, Mr Hywel, but you cannot dismiss these outcomes as just the fault of "bad diagnosis". Surely diagnosis (along with prescription) is INTEGRAL to the practice of homeopathy. More importantly, the lady patients in question took the wrong advice BECAUSE it was offered to them by someone claiming that homeopathy gave them the AUTHORITY of a doctor.