The Pie Man has been alerted to an article in the American Journal of Medicine by the erstwhile Edzard Ernst and Michael Baum, stomach his co-signee of the notorious letter (inappropriately written on NHS note paper) to Patient Care Trusts (PCTs) all over the UK. In the letter – as you can see – they attempt to persuade these trusts (comprising mainly non-doctors) to thwart the desire of NHS GPs to send patients on the NHS to NHS medical qualified doctors practising homeopathy in NHS hospitals! I’ve written of this before and mentioned how I would have tolerated them writing to GPs to dissuade them from making these referrals but am abhorred by their attempt to go over GPs’ heads.

Anyway in this article in the AJMed. the two honourable and esteemed Disciples of Scientism (my words for them and the  other signees of the above-mentioned letter) once again lash out at homeopathy, order this time in a crude and lazily written ‘article’. I have no intention of discussing their regurgitation of the same stuff they have been spouting for a long time but as they cite me personally, and I feel I must respond.

Reference 1. in their article comes at the end of a paragraph that ends with a sentence that says These individuals have a conflict of interest more powerful than the requirement for scientific integrity and yet defend themselvesby claiming that those wanting to carry out the trials are in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry and are part of a conspiracy to deny their patients tried and testedpalliatives.’1

And the reference given is: 1. Kaplan B. Hypocrisy of attacks on homeopathy to be exposed soon. Available at: Accessed April 3, 2009.

Now I can prove that I’ve not touched that article since April 3 so if you read what I said there, it will be crystal clear that it does not support the reference, thus illustrating just one aspect of how poor an article this is. I have never claimed that these professors are ‘in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry and are part of a conspiracy to deny their patients tried and tested palliatives’. Perhaps Ernst just fingered me as what he thought of as an example of such an individual and pressed the speed-type button on one of the references he has on me. However  in the end I must admit defeat and take off my hat to these two eminent professors. It is no mean feat to get a lazily-written, supercilious diatribe, high on opinion and low on facts like this published in a prestigious medical journal. A colleague of mine has just had a brilliant riposte to the article turned down by AJMed – no surprises there! Perhaps he can be persuaded to put some of his excellent points in the comments section here.

So all that’s left to me is to order the Pie Man to deliver this pie to both Ernst and Baum. Ernst knows of this pie and once made a pathetic attempt to ‘refute’ it in his column in Pulse. To him I say: Meet me anywhere at any time for a debate on this. To Prof. Michael Baum, please study the pie carefully.  It was baked by the British Medical Journal after all.