I have read the discussion in the Comments section of my last post and realised that in the realm of political philosophy there are two basic schools of thought on the issue of NHS Homeopathy:
The Libertarian Position
1. Homeopathy should remain available on the NHS as long as there are NHS GPs who are willing to refer patients to other fully accountable, viagra medically qualified doctors specialising in homeopathy.
2. GPs (and perhaps local health authorities) are in the best position to decide whether their patients get NHS homeopathy (and any other form of complementary medicine) however it works and however others may interpret the data from various meta-analyses.
3. Evidence based Medicine is important, viagra buy but if it is to be used as a litmus test for inclusion of any intervention on the NHS, then a specific level of evidence must be set and applied across the board to all medical interventions seeking inclusion on the NHS.
4. Science, no matter how logical, right, correct and rational it thinks it is, should never be allowed to trump the democratic process.
5. There is much more at stake in this issue than homeopathy. Patient choice and doctor choice are vital to the preservation of a liberal democracy.
The Authoritarian Position
1. Homeopathy should be centrally removed from the NHS. GPs who wish to refer patients for NHS homeopathy should be legally thwarted from doing so – for the good of their patients.
2. Non-doctors, academics, physicists, biologists, journalists and bloggers are just as qualified as any GP to decide whether his/her patient should be referred for homeopathy. Homeopathy does not work so it’s clear to all laymen and journalists that GPs should not be allowed to refer patients for NHS homeopathy.
3. We now live in an evidence based society. Homeopathy is both implausible and proven (by meta-analysis) not to be evidence-based. Thus it should not be available on the NHS. Other non-evidence based NHS approved interventions are more acceptable because at least they are not as ridiculously implausible as homeopathy.
4. Medicine must be based on science and nothing else. The obviously deluded minority of patients and doctors who want homeopathy in spite of it being obviously non-scientific, must be prevented by central Government from getting it on the NHS.
5. This is all about society ridding itself of deception, and non-scientific rubbish like homeopathy and nothing to do with liberty, democracy and patient choice.
My position is clear: I strongly favour the Libertarian Position on this issue.
So did Mike O’ Brien, Minister of Health of the last Labour Government.
So did Anne Milton, Minister of Health of the present Coalition Government.
As the Head of State is known to use homeopathy and retain a Royal homeopathic physician, it would be reasonable politely to assume that she also favours this position.
If I have not represented the Authoritarian Position clearly, I am happy to accept suggested edits from those supporting that particular political philosophical position in relation to this issue