Sunday, October 12, 2008

The BMJ Pie that doth mislead us all

Maybe I should give up talking about how homeopathy has served this country well for nearly 200 years. I thought I presented a convincing expose of the apparent ‘evidence basis’ of orthodox medicine using a pie published by that well-known supporter of all things alternative, wacky and charlatan – The British Medical Journal’s Handbook of Clinical Evidence.

I thought that the pie showed that only 13-15% of conventional techniques were purely evidence based and another 44% were of probable benefit but did not have the evidence basis demanded of homeopathic doctors for their art. I thought I was being generous in ‘giving’ orthodox medicine the whole 44 + 15 = 59% as ‘more or less evidence based’ even though my colleagues told me that such generosity had no chance of being reciprocated. But further discussions on this forum (please read the important views of this learned forum on the site of the man I like to call King of Scientism and Magician Extraordinaire, James Randi) have now convinced me otherwise.
Finally I see that this pie is profoundly misleading because as one of the above mentioned Disciples of Scientism has correctly pointed out, it somehow does not consider the frequency of use of recognised orthodox interventions.

THUS WITH DEEP REGRET I MUST CONCLUDE: The publication of such a dangerously misleading pie (and no parallel diagram to take into consideration frequency of use of interventions) is an act of profound medical irresponsibility inexplicably uncharacteristic of a publication by (until now) one of the world’s top five medical journals. British medicine simply isn’t what it used to be and from now on I will look exclusively trans-Atlantically for truth, elegance and beauty in medicine.

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