The Pro-Homeopaths Strike Back! (or, Charlie Bit Me!)
Remember the other day when I posted about the Straight.com advocating homeopathic preparations to contain the H1N1 virus? Remember how I pointed out that the article was written by a practicing homeopath? I didn’t want to point it out at the time of writing because I was a little unsure of the veracity of the claim, but it turns out that the author of the article, homeopath Sonya McLeod is indeed the daughter of the the paper’s owner, Dan McLeod.
I so far see at least 2 conflicts-of-interest: 1) The financial conflict of having a homeopath advocate that everyone should protect their health with homeopathy and 2) The blatant nepotism of allowing the owner’s daughter (who has no medical expertise) to dispense medical advice about a very serious health issue. An anonymous commenter on my previous post offered a great idea: we could issue a complaint to the British Columbia Press Council because of these breaches of journalist ethics. But hold off on that until you have read the rest of this post.
Well, we got their attention, because the Straight.com has responded. The response was written under their “Blog-Politics” heading, and was written by one ‘Charlie Smith’, whose other articles seem to be otherwise regular news/commentary. Charlie, it seems, is rather unhappy with the response received by the skeptic community. Charlie blames medical science for more deaths. Charlie wonders if skeptics would be so outraged if we knew how many people died on a hospital bed.
Charlie, is mad.
Let’s deconstruct. I’ve got my baloney-detection-kit ready for this one.
The study also reported that 9,250 to 23,750 preventable deaths occurred.
You read that correctly: up to 23,750 preventable deaths took place in acute-care hospitals in Canada in a single year, according to the CMAJ study.
Well, not exactly. The numbers 9250 to 23,750 were an extrapolation, not a confirmed body count. So yeah…a little dishonest, Charlie. Not as bad as having a homeopath advocate homeopathy instead of medical science, but still….a little dishonest. More to the point, science-based medicine knows of its flaws. That’s why that report was launched in the first place: to look into the ways to improve healthcare in Canada. Have homeopaths ever done a look into the deaths caused by homeopathic-exclusive care?