A couple of days ago AngryWomble already retweeted a survey that is being passed around in the British homeopath circles, to give it a bit more exposure outside of that circle. And I have to say the survey itself starts in a very nice way:
Homeopathy as a profession is under attack from groups such as Sense about Science and groups such as the Nightingale Collaboration.
This Research will gauge public opinion as to the amount of information that the public and prospective patients wish to be able to access from professionally Qualified Practitioners only.
The ‘attack’ they mention is a campaign to hold complementary and alternative medicine to the same standards as advertisers of other products and services. Which means they won’t be able to make unsubstantiated and/or misleading claims that might endager the lives of patients.
These new rules won’t interfere with homeopaths that don’t make unsubstantiated claims, so it’s not a general attack. No, this is specifically targeted at homeopaths, and purveyors of other alternative treatments, that make claims that their treatments are effective against things like pertussis, tetanus, autism, cancer or even HIV/AIDs. Despite all the evidence to the contrary. And this is something that can be very dangerous and preys on people who are desperate to find a cure.
If you take a look at the survey you will find that it very much looks like this is the group they are trying to protect. With questions like:
Qualified Homeopaths are no longer allowed to state which medical conditions they treat.
If you visited a Homeopaths website, would you find it useful or not useful to know which conditions they can treat?
Qualified Homeopaths are no longer allowed to give testimonials from genuine patients if those patients want to state that their health has improved as a result of homeopathy.(Testimonials means comments only from verifiable, genuine patients)
Do you think testimonials giving details of improvement from genuine patients should be not allowed or allowed?
The very first question opens the door for these unsubstantiated claims. And as someone who has some experience in the medical world I know how dangerous it can be to use testimonies from patients. Without any controls, or an unbiased third party, tainting of these personal results due to personal opinions and things like the placebo effect will happen. And this will give people the idea that it actually is effective, while it isn’t, and might even be harmful in certain cases.
Now if you want to read more about this survey, including a very damning analysis of what is going on around it, you might want to check out the article that has been published on SkeptiCat about this. It’s well worth a read.
Now the reason for this blog post is that the YouTuber mrgodbehere noticed this survey and made a video about this. With a very interesting suggestion. To not only give more exposure to this survey, to let a more skeptical and diverse crowd to participate, but to also fill in a shadow survey of it (set up by SkeptiCat). This survey will be used to see what other people think about homeopathy, just in case the results of the original survey aren’t published because they aren’t in their favour.
So please fill in the original survey and also fill in your answers in the shadow survey (both are very short, it won’t take more than a minute or two). And if you wish to give some more attention to this survey please feel free to mirror the video below.