In my life, I have held the notion that civilization is intended to move forward… a slow but steady pace, but forward nevertheless. Therefore, it dismays me greatly to see that the government of Ontario is green-lighting a college for homeopathy. This body would function like a real professional college, overseeing the qualifications and care standards of homeopaths and homeopathy as a practice.
This college will now ensure homeopaths are “qualified.” A homeopathic qualification is, fuctionally, no different than a psychic qualification, or a faith healing qualification. Homeopaths are primitive witch doctors after only your money. Nobody should ever lose sight of that. If they make you feel better by soothing your nerves, or distracting you while your body heals your minor ailment on its own, so much the better, but make no mistake: they cannot fix you, and no amount of homeopathic “qualification” will change that.
Homeopathy is 18th century quackery that has been proven time and time again not to work. Thus, by allowing a professional college, the government is legitimizing a practice that has been discredited, quite literally, for centuries.
Nominally, the government suggest that this college and the supporting legislation will allow safety standards to be enforced. This is a silly approach because the only safety issue in homeopathic medicine is that people use it at all instead of seeking real medical advice.
Homeopathic concoctions are placebos, nothing more. They don’t treat any medical condition. If you’re using homeopathy instead of a bona fide medical treatment, you are endangering your health (or possibly the health of your children, or as I have read, your pets).
And so Ontario turns back the clock on civilization a little bit. Instead of advancing the people of Ontario into the future, we’ve been dumped into a dark pit of deceipt where hucksters will exploit sick people for their money.
There is only one correct way that ensuring the safety of the public with respect to homeopathy should have been handled: regulation and warning labels. Treat homeopathy sales like tobacco sales – restricted to adults only, and all homeopathic practices and products should carry prominent warning labels that say something like:
Homeopathy is not supported by scientific evidence. Homeopathy and homeopathic products are provided for entertainment purposes only and are not intended to treat any ailment. If you believe you are ill, contact a licenced medical professional.
If Homeopathy is harmless, what’s the harm in letting this go?
Homeopathy is NOT harmless, that’s the rub. In truth, most people who go to homeopaths don’t have a treatable condition… they just want someone to talk to, they get their little placebo and all is well. The problem is when people substitute homeopathic treatment in place of real treatments for disease. When that happens, people die needlessly (even children – yeah, click that link and read about how awesome homeopaths are).
The government talks about the safety of homeopathic products, but it’s not the products themselves that are unsafe. The unsafe part is allowing people to continue thinking that homeopathy is an appropriate, safe medical treatment system when it is dangerous quackery.
I expect more good sense from my government. This should be an election issue when the time comes. Ontario should be chasing these magicians away, not allowing them to set up a professional college.