Dr Eswara Das
After the USA, UK ,Canada and Australia, multinational allopathy pharmaceuticals now aiming on Indian Homoeopathy – this articles highlights on how they tried to put an end to Homoeopathy there.
There are efforts to brand Homeopathy as quackery; some attribute the results of the medicines to placebo, more forcible challenge is that it is not scientific. There is onslaught on the very basis of Homeopathy- Its very existence.
Experience demonstrates that the onslaught on Homeopathy is organized, motivated and proportionate to its growth. This started with the Abraham Flexner Report in 1910, on the Study of Medical Education in USA and Canada, when Homeopathy was in its zenith under James Tyler Kent. ( Kent died on 5th June, 1916)
Flexner was not a physician, scientist, or a medical educator. He held a Bachelor of Arts degree. At that time, there were 155 medical schools in North America. He examined the facilities in these colleges using the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as the model. When Flexner was preparing this report, “modern” medicine was facing vigorous competition from several quarters, including osteopathic medicine, chiropractic, naturopathy and homeopathy.
Flexner clearly doubted the scientific validity of all forms of medicine other than those based on scientific research. He considered the other medical disciplines as quackery. Medical schools that offered training in these disciplines including homeopathy, were told either to drop these courses from their curriculum or lose their accreditation and underwriting support.
There were 22 Homeopathic schools, more than 100 homeopathic hospitals, over 60 orphan asylum and old age homes and over 1000 Homeopathic pharmacies in North America. The requirement of a Homeopathic institution was not used as the criteria for evaluation. Flexner found those Homeopathic institutions not meeting the required norms to teach medical students. Some of these schools put a resistance, but could not succeed. This put an end to the Homeopathic teaching in America and Canada.
The second is the Report of the Science and Technology Committee in the UK: This high power committee was constituted to determine if government policy on homeopathy is “based on scientific evidence”. Expert witness was examined.
“Do you have any evidence that homeopathy works beyond the placebo effect?”
The expert witnesses were a journalist who has ridiculed homeopathy; one a representative of the drug industry, one from a drug company and a Homeopath. The evidences given by the Homeopath was put under the carpet, and drawn conclusion non majority evidences!
This happened in a country with 7 homeopathic hospitals, out of that one has been there for 100 years, where 42% of doctors refer their patients to a homeopath, where homeopathy was made a medical specialty by an Act of Parliament. The committee just asked if homeopathy works. This happened in spite of evidence that the London Homoeopathic Hospital cured three times as many people during the cholera epidemic in 1854.
Then came the recent findings of the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia, 2015.
The homoeopathy system has grown from a therapeutic approach to a complete medical disciple with potential strength in curative, preventive and promotive health. It has grown from the boundaries of Germany and France and made lasting signature on almost all the continents. It is not that Homeopathy does not work. We know it works even in clinical conditions for which there is less or no treatment on other medical systems.
From the time of Dr Hahnemann, we have been hearing about the art and science of Homeopathy from our teachers. With this concept, we studied Homeopathy, we have been practicing Homeopathy, we have been teaching Homeopathy.
With this concept, Homeopathy has grown beyond the boundaries of Germany and France, where its founder lived and is now practiced across all continents.
Homeopathy is said to be the second largest medical discipline, accepted by the public. I am not sure, about the number of its practitioners in the world, but in India it is about 276 thousand. We also know that patients across the world are using Homeopathy for over 200 years. I can confidently say that during this long period not even one case has been reported with adverse drug reaction and not even one medicine has been withdrawn from the market due to drug toxicity. Does anyone want more evidence that Homeopathy is a safe medical science?
Inspite these, there are efforts to brand Homeopathy as quackery; some attribute the results of the medicines to placebo, more forcible challenge is that it is not scientific. There is onslaught on the very basis of Homeopathy- Its very existence.
The Global Homeopathy Foundation took note of these views and decided to organise its first World Homeopathy summit, here in Mumbai, to seek answers from scientists who knows better science than ordinary practitioners of Homeopathy. We feel, we could mobilise the best of the brains from around the world. This being our first effort, we might have missed few. The GHF shall pursue for better explanations on Homeopathy, as a mission, till we are better informed. We want a better informed medical system rather than a faith based system.
The patients who use Homeopathy should know that they are taken care on a scientific basis. The students who opted Homeopathy should have confidence that they are learning a scientific medicine. The teachers who are teaching Homeopathy should be able to answer their students more rationally. The scientists here and their friends who are committed to science, should find answer – Is Homeopathy scientific?
GHF is to facilitate communication with the people who can find answers and people want answers. If Homeopathy is unscientific, let us say in loud and clear voice that it is unscientific and join with its crusaders to save the mankind from the quackery of Homeopathy.
If Homeopathy is scientific, what is the science in Homeopathy that our friends failed to observe? The World Homeopathic Summit is all about, the search for truth. The truth, for which Hahnemann spent all his life.
It is always perceived that the practice of medicine and the science of medicine may differ in many contests. We do not know much about the science our traditional medical practices. Still these are becoming popular. This not because of the heritage tag they carry, but because these practices had been taking care of health for centuries and continue to deliver good health.
If anybody read the classical text books of the scientific medicine, there may clinical conditions for which the aetiology of diseases is unknown than the number of diseases for which the cause is known. Still treatment is given to patients without pointing any finger.
The application of medicine on patient is based on several concepts – experience, evidences and expectations. On the basis of these, Homeopathy is gaining popularity and patients are accepting it. The three Es stated above form the basis of popularity of Homeopathy among the masses. Some criticize Homeopathy that it defies the scientific knowledge. There are also comments that the medicines do not contain any identifiable molecules. These may be true to some extent; however the fact is that more than 75 % prescriptions are medicines that contain identifiable molecules like mother tincture, IX, 3X, 6X and so on. Can the critics say that Homeopathy is scientific up to the extent where identifiable molecules are there and beyond that it is unscientific?
It is noted that the people who resort to doubt Homeopathy are the one who have never made efforts to understand Homeopathy or experienced Homeopathy. History shows that those who came to critically investigate Homeopathy have got converted to Homeopathy and became the staunch supporters.
Homeopathy remained a protected science and did not encourage the scientists from pure and applied science or mathematics to look into its concepts on an unbiased manner. Thus, Homeopathy has got neglected by the mainstream science for a long time.
In order to face such challenges, GHF is facilitating a multi-dimensional approach to encourage evidences on the science of Homeopathy. (i) GHF would facilitate the pure and applied science to look into the intricate aspects of Homeopathy and persuade the scientists to come with plausible explanation on the unexplored aspects of Homeopathy. The World Homeopathy Summit is the first effort of GHF to bring the mainstream pure and applied scientists and Homeopaths on one platform, thereby bridge the gap that exists in Homeopathic research. (ii) GHF as a movement shall create a group of lovers of Homeopathy with patients who have got benefit out of Homeopathy. We request each practitioners of Homeopathy, who has a commitment to their profession, to persuade their best patient to enroll as An associate Member of GHF, so that they will become the voice of the success of Homeopathy. (iii) GHF shall facilitate civil society, policy makers, social groups, dignitaries; celebrities etc who has experienced or understood the merit of Homeopathy to highlight the same in different platforms (iv) Shall enroll Patrons of GHF who may become voice on policies in health care.
The efforts of GHF’s will be to make future free of detractors criticizing the very basis of Homeopathy. This is possible when we take Homeopathy from a faith based practice to evidence based science. GHF is committed to find answers on concepts of Homeopathy, which remain as riddle to many, within the defined boundaries of science. GHF join with all those who pledge not to pass the criticisms that Homeopathy face today to the next generation.
We could bring eminent personalities like Shri Madhavan Nambiar, Former Secretary to Govt of India, Shri Dangayach an international expert, Ms Ela Gandhi a world renowned activists, Shri Samadani, a very well known political figure etc to our fold. The common factor with all of them is that they are lovers of Homeopathy. The Trustees like Dr Sreevals Menon, Dr Rajesh Shah, Dr Jayesh Singhvi, Dr Esmail Sait, Dr A. Kannan and Dr Praveen and Associate Members like Dr Shivang Swaminarayan, Dr Rajesh Sharma, Dr S M Singh are dynamic with progressive thoughts. They have a vision and commitment. They have tried to bring the best of the brains from pure and applied sciences before you. We have deliberately avoided clinical cases presentations, which normally you get in seminars and conferences. This is a summit of intellectuals with a different purpose and objectives. GHF is trying to open the windows and doors of Homeopathy for scrutiny by the Science as we know now.
I on behalf of the GHF, request to enjoy the company of the great teachers we have assembled today, interact with them and also give a feedback, after the summit to deliver you something better next time.
The Global Homeopathy Foundation is a movement, looking Homeopathy from an outsider’s perspective. It strives to promote Homeopathy from the point of view of a patient, a student, a scientist, an enthusiast, a teacher, a promoter etc. GHF is by no way in conflict with professional organizations; rather it supplements their objectives.
We are here to hear something about the science of Homeopathy, listen something about the science of Homeopathy, speak about the science of Homeopathy and discuss the science of Homeopathy. I am sure in the next two days, this hall will vibrate with the discussions on the science of Homeopathy and it will resonate around world. I wish, by tomorrow evening, when we leave this hall, we will be better informed about the science of Homeopathy.