The Supreme Administrative Court has recently ruled that Swedish doctors can openly recommend homeopathy to their patients. Until recently homeopathy had not been accepted by the Swedish health authorities as an official therapeutic approach, and doctors in Sweden were not allowed to prescribe homeopathic medicines.
The court case began several years ago when a medical doctor, who was trained in homeopathy in the UK and used this therapy in his practice, was put on probation by the Medical Responsibility Board (Hälso- och Sjukvårdens AnsvarsNämnd – HSAN). The doctor appealed the decision on the grounds that he just used homeopathy when the patient requested it and only when conventional treatment had turned out to be ineffective. After being sentenced in two lower courts, he was forbidden to use homeopathy. The verdict claimed that homeopathy is unscientific, thus ignoring the growing evidence base of the effectiveness of homeopathy.
Just recently, after years of discrimination against him and his patients, his case came at last to the highest court. This court decided that patients were not exposed to any danger and the doctor had used scientific knowledge when it was necessary.
The implications of this decision are that from now on qualified medical personnel are allowed to use homeopathy. The verdict has already led to much publicity in Sweden and a rapidly increasing interest in homeopathy and other complementary therapies.