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09.03.2020 | main topic | Ausgabe 9-10/2020 Open Access

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 9-10/2020

Against all odds—the persistent popularity of homeopathy

Zeitschrift:
Wiener klinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 9-10/2020
Autoren:
Cemre Cukaci, Michael Freissmuth, Christopher Mann, Joshua Marti, Veronika Sperl
Wichtige Hinweise
All authors contributed equally to the final article.

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Summary

The use of homeopathy is remarkably popular. Popularity, however, is not an arbiter in a scientific discourse. In fact, the assumptions underlying homeopathy violate fundamental laws of nature. Homeopathy does not have any explanatory power and fails other criteria established for a scientific approach. Two large-scale efforts have recently documented that in spite of a plethora of clinical trials there is no evidence that homeopathic remedies have any therapeutic effect, which goes beyond that of a placebo. Relaxed regulations and lack of scientific literacy and of health education allow for continuous thriving of homeopathy. While the tide may be changing on the regulatory side, health education of the general public is presumably more important to support informed decision making by patients. Otherwise, the responsible patient, who is posited to decide on the medical choices, remains a convenient legal fiction.

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