Posted: Jun 18, 2010 11:31 pm
by TMB
Shrunk wrote:
DST70 wrote:
Homeopathy is said to be ineffective mostly because it gives inconclusive or poor results in clinical trials. Clinical trials are the product of a medical paradigm that assumes a 'normal' level of diversity in human health. It's focussed on diagnosing and grouping common symptoms, and doesn't acknowledge the variation of individual response to disease and treatment. It's not a surprise to me that homeopathy doesn't show a lot of success in clinical trials.

Wrong. It is precisely because of the "variation of individual response to disease and treatment" that randomized controlled trials are necessary. If there was uniformity in response, then trials would be unecessary.

I would say wrong again. Randomised, controled trials exists to ensure that causation is not mixed with correlation, when it comes to efficacy of various drugs and treatments. However it also highlights just how much of any medical process is taken as self evident. We do not conduct randomised, controled trials to confirm that swelling arises following a bone break, we infer this on anecdotal evidence and using our judgement of inference. If someone does not feel well and they are also running a fever, we do not run a trial to make sure we are not confusing cause with correlation. This are extreme examples, but it highlights just how much we rely upon self-evident things in any human system, not only conventional medicine.

To dismiss judgement and inference in experienced practitioners as anecdotal evidence, would also mean that much of conventional medicine also is dismissed for the same reason. The actual scope of trils is very limited and mnay doctos infer from anecdotes.

This also applies to normal life. If a kid at school gets bullied and then feels upset, next time around he infers that bullying makes him upset, he does not need a trial to confirm this for him. The process around just about every form of human behavior is based upon direct experience and inference, not trials. This does not mean that trials are not useful to ensure that causation and correlation are not confused, but it means they are just a small part of conventional medicine.

The range of apparent symptoms arising from food intolerances seems bewildering. Should we suspend judgement and treatment until every one of these has been verified by a trial? If we consider food intolerances to be part of conventional medicine, imagine how limited we would be if we could only operate on the basis of things proven in multiple trials. There is also a big difference between using trials to ensure that treatment works and does not have side effects, and trials that are conducted to establish cause and correlation.