Friday, February 16, 2018

Homeopathy and Autism in the Chronicle Herald

I came across this article via social media (a friend sent it to me as she saw it in the trending section).

Little did I know the rabbit hole I was going down...

I am really confused about it.  This is not even an article.  It seems to be some sort of endorsement for a book written by Amy Lansky.  This endorsement makes sure to add in PhD following the name, to of course add some credibility.  According to Wikipedia, Amy has a PhD (1983) in computer science from Stanford University.  I'm not sure how that applies to or makes her an expert in health concerns.  She apparently left the computer science field to study homeopathy.  Even though she took correspondence courses and some "clinical training" her biography does not claim that she is a homeopathic doctor (which is an oxymoron term if you ask me....more moron than anything else). Her timeline in her biography on her own website is confusing.   She started her studies in 1996. She didn't complete the advanced program.  She did clinical training for "several years."   She then edited a homeopathic journal for 2 years.  She then wrote about curing her son.  By her own admission the article she wrote about her son was in 1997.  I know I'm not good at math but even I can figure out that 1996 plus correspondence learning plus several years of clinical training and then 2 years of editing work equals more than 1 year later.

  Her book "Impossible Cure" is now used as a textbook for homeopaths.   Well that's kinda scary.  She didn't even complete the course but she is an expert enough to have a textbook?   Looking at her school's requirements are kinda scary as well.  No prerequisite is required as "Anyone can study homeopathy."  Their clinical training each year encompasses 2 day summer school in the UK or 20 hours in a program in Australia.  OK, so that makes her several years of clinical training suspect now.  Clearly, if one can so easily obtain a homeopathic degree, why would anyone trust them with their health?

Amy is also a proponent of other new-age quackery.  In her own words:  "1993. At that point, I became very interested in the possibility of higher-dimensions in space after watching an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."  She uses these ideas to support the use of homeopathy and other pseudo-scientific practices.  She seems to think that these practices work because of unknown (and untestable) psychic/supernatural type phenomenon.

It is interesting to note that on her "Impossible Cure" website, it carries a lengthy disclaimer (as do many quack websites because they know their stuff is bunk and they could be sued over it) "This book is not intended to be a replacement for good medical diagnosis and treatment by a licensed physician..."  Here I have to agree but would go one step further and state that it is to be avoided at all costs.

This endorsement in the Chronicle Herald is written by Sarah Trask, who calls herself a "homeopathic doctor."  So this is why it doesn't read like a real article and is merely an ad for her practice.  The article doesn't give any real information.  That is because it is not there to inform but to mislead, give undue credibility to quackery and to promote her own self-interest.   Her own biography is ambiguous with unnamed illnesses she was supposedly cured of by homeopathy.  Of course you will never see real proof of these cures.  And you will often never hear of other proper medical treatment used by the cured (because who wants to admit that they also did several rounds of chemo when they can attribute being cured by homeopathy alone?).  Sarah even admits in her own way that homeopathy is a faith-based practice.

It really is sad that Sarah got away with writing a personal endorsement in a newspaper and trying to disguise it as an informative article. To claim that water (homepathy is diluted in water.  At 23C there is often not even a single molecule of the "active" ingredient present.  In the article it is claimed a silica 30C solution is used) can cure ASD (autism) is despicable.   Shame on the editor of CH.

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