Monday, June 14, 2010

Saw-argh-lha and homeop-argh-y

Nadia Sawalha was on the Wright Stuff this morning, bigging up homeopathy.

As evidence that it is "complementary medicine" and that a practitioner would never risk someone's life, she said that one night when her child was very sick with a chest infection, she rang her homeopath at 2am ("can't do that with your doctor!*" smugly) who told her to take her into A&E. Yay, good old homeopath saves the day, tells stupid client what she should have been able to figure out for herself.

To Nadia herself I say: You blue-pencilled moron. If you're that dependent on your homeopath that you need to be told by her/him to take a child with a major chest infection to the hospital, there is something wrong. Not with hospitals. With you.

I'm not unsympathetic to people needing a little push to get to A&E - sometimes you wonder if you're being a worry-wart parent, a fussing hypochondriac or if it could wait 'til morning. Sometimes you think "I can walk this off", as your leg hangs off by a string, haha. And you just need someone to say, "No, you're right to be worried, get something done about it".

But it completely undermines the point about complementary, if your first port of call is the homeopath. That makes it alternative or the preferred option, and conventional medicine your last resort, and that's just #sigh, for reduction in swearing# er, disapproved of by me. When it comes to children. By all means get some special water for your own illnesses. You blue-pencilled moron.

* Yes you can. You can call out doctors and they will come out (or tell you to go to A&E). You can call NHS Direct (who would tell you to go to A&E), you can call a blue-pencilled
ambulance, you can just blue-pencilled go to A&E and drop-in clinics.


Anonymous said...

it's always a shame when someone has to resort to a barrage of swearing to get his point of view across - especially when it's such a narrow-minded one. Of course for someone unaware of homeopathy or other alternative therapies, the first port of call is going to be the doctor or A & E. If you use homeopathy or other alternative medecine, then that will be your first call. And isn't it great, that unlike a doctor, a homeopath is willing to call on other specialists when he knows it is outisde his area of expertise.

Mephitis said...

Yes, a barrage of four(!) naughty words! :D But no, I feel suitably chastened by the criticism and shall reflect that by turning it into my Gran's method of swearing.

Oddly enough, I am aware than someone who uses homeopathy as their first port of call will use it as their first point of call. However, the argument that was being made on tv was that it was a complementary therapy, as in "in addition to" conventional medicine.

And I pointed out, albeit in a snarky way, that the homeopath in question did the right thing.

Your suggestion that doctors are unwilling to call outside help is a nonsense, however. A GP will call specialists in particular fields of medicine - and I have known them to recommend acupuncture and such-like to my relatives.

ellie said...

No you can't call your GP at that time of the morning but she could have, dur, called NHS direct and spoke to a qualified nurse/doctor on duty who would have given her the same advice for free. But then she is a celeb, and can't be expected to know that.

In reply to Anon above, one of my GPs is also a qualified homeopath - just to point out they aren't a separate species.

Mephitis said...

Yes, you can't get your actual GP o the phone, but you get passed onto or ansa-ed a number for whoever's covering.

I have no prob with homeopaths as a supplement. I won't kid anyone on, I think it's placebo - but there's a place for placebo in health.

Whether the NHS should pay for it, I don't know. I think probably not, as it's stretched enough. But suggesting it as an alternate route for pain management, etc, why not?

Thing is, it isn't and shouldn't be treated as equal to conventional medicine, as far as I'm concerned. All opinions are not equally valid. It doesn't have the study results to give it validity. AFAIK, its results have been on a level with placebo.

Ellie said...

The overdose campaign did make me smile.

My homeopath GP did once prescribe some homepathic remedy for an eye complaint - didn't work at all, my eyes just got worse and worse until she gave me good old sodium chrom drops. Probably unfair to judge on one episode but I did.

You're right of course, she could have called the GP and got put through to the 'on call'. NHS Direct I've personally found good - as long as it's not overly complicated.