Penny Mordaunt, a front-runner to win the Conservative party leadership election and become prime minister, has consistently argued for the use of homeopathy in the NHS, according to an analysis of her parliamentary records and public remarks.
Homeopathy is a form of medicine in which highly diluted medications are used, according to its proponents, to encourage the body to heal itself. The NHS’s top physician has dismissed it as a hoax, and the health system does not pay it due to “the lack of any evidence for its benefit.” A high court ruling supports the NHS’s stance.
Prof. Stephen Powis, the national medical director of the NHS, has previously stated that homeopathy has no place in the NHS and is not a substitute for carefully researched and tested medical care. “We have been very clear in our recommendations to GPs that they should not be prescribing these bogus treatments, which are at best a placebo and a waste of public money,” the statement said.
According to a Guardian analysis, Mordaunt, who is the betting favorite to succeed Boris Johnson, has frequently voiced his support for homeopathy and urged for family doctors to be allowed to prescribe it.
Mordaunt’s statement urged the government to let health commissioners to send patients to “authorized homeopathy” and “homeopathic doctors.” Charlie Peters, a journalist and broadcaster, was the first to draw attention to her support for the motion.
The Guardian discovered that Mordaunt once more defended homeopathy four years later. In a tweet, she asserted that doctors of general medicine (“GPs”) “should have flexibility to decide” whether to provide homeopathic therapy to NHS patients.
The Office for National Statistics’ data director Peter Stokes said on Twitter in July 2014 that Mordaunt was a “supporter of homeopathy on the NHS,” adding that it was “hard to vote for someone who don’t believe in evidence-based decisions.”
Mordaunt replied by writing: “Hello, I favour consuming cranberry juice for UTIs and promote increased access to osteopathic care. Please email me for further information.
Both reasonable, but you also signed [the 2010 early day motion], Stokes responded. The worst sort of hoax medicine is homeopathy.
I don’t think GPs are resorting to homeopathy to treat cancer, Mordaunt retorted. Do you agree that they ought to have a say in the matter? Email me for further details.
Five months had passed since Dame Sally Davies, the government’s chief medical officer at the time, had reaffirmed her opposition to homeopathy as a time and money waster. In February 2014, Davies stated, “There is no proof that homeopathy extends life for cancer patients – or indeed for patients with any other ailment.”
When contacted by the Guardian on Friday, Mordaunt’s campaign staff did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A project director for the pro-science organisation Good Thinking Society, Michael Marshall, stated: “Homeopathic medicines have no place in modern healthcare, given that they have been shown to be unsuccessful, and can even be actively dangerous when patients are encouraged to believe they might work.
“It is hard to consider that a major candidate for the highest position has such a bad understanding of the relevance of evidence when it comes to healthcare and science, and that she feels comfortable debating the conclusions of medical experts in public.”
We truly hope Ms. Mordaunt has withdrawn her support for this pseudo-scientific therapy, and that her other opinions and policy stances have a significantly higher concern for evidence and reason, Marshall continued.
What is Homeopathy?
A German physician named Samuel Hahnemann created the alternative therapy method known as homeopathy in the 1790s.
According to the theory of “like cures like,” a chemical that causes one set of symptoms can also relieve those same symptoms.
According to the NHS, another idea is based on a “dilution and shaking” procedure known as succession.
According to this theory, the ingredients used in homeopathic medicines are repeatedly diluted in water until nearly little trace of the original component is left.
Numerous medical conditions, including allergies, migraines, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis, are ‘treated’ with homeopathy.
Does Homeopathy work?
Despite the fact that the efficacy of homeopathy has been extensively studied, the NHS claims to have discovered no high-quality evidence that the practice is a successful treatment for any medical condition.
In its 2010 report, the Committee came to the conclusion that many homeopathic treatments are so heavily dilute that it is highly doubtful that even one original molecule is left.
Homeopathic treatments are therefore made entirely of water in situations like these. NHS England has advised GPs and other prescribers to stop offering it as a therapeutic option as of 2017.
Is Homeopathy Conducted in the UK?
In the UK, homeopathy is still privately practiced, although it is an unregulated profession. This implies that regardless of training or prior experience, anyone can work as a homeopath.
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