Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Professor condemns therapies

Professor condemns therapies

An outspoken medical professor has condemned two widely-used alternative therapies, homeopathy and chiropractic.

Britain’s first professor of complementary medicine stood by his views as he warned he may have to quit Exeter University.

Professor Edzard Ernst was appointed to the university in 1993 with the aid of a £1.5 million grant from builder Maurice Laing.

Yesterday the professor said repeated studies had failed to establish significant benefits from homeopathy or chiropractic.

He said there was good evidence for some herbal treatments.

Careful studies by the university had shown that arnica made no difference to injuries and treatments had also failed to help children with asthma.

He told the Observer: "The treatments do no good. But the long interview - about an hour-and-a-half - carried out by an empathetic practitioner during diagnosis may explain why people report improvements in their health.

"However, that kind of attention cannot be afforded by the NHS. If it were true, we would have to tear up all our physics and chemistry textbooks."

He added: "I think my peers would prefer someone who didn’t rock the boat."

A spokesman for Exeter University told the paper: "Professor Ernst’s department has enough money to go on for a couple of more years. We are still trying to raise cash. It is premature to talk of closure."

Date: December 20th 2005

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