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Posted by Angela Rawlins, Feb 18 2008 1:58PM

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I have just received this email from a collegue


Dear Friend/Colleague,

You may not be aware that last week the controllers of BBCHealth ( <> ) , the health section on one of the most accessed websites in the world, decided to remove all coverage of
complementary medicine! They used to have substantial coverage with over 40pages on this
subject covering all the major therapies, their pros and cons, evidence for their effectiveness, how to find a qualified
practitioner, etc.

However the site has in recent months been targeted by the self-appointed 'Quackbusters', (scientists and medics vehemently
opposed to complementary therapies such as Prof David Colquhon et al) who sent a deluge of letters and emails claiming
that complementary therapies such as homeopathy and cranial osteopathy were 'unscientific' and should be removed. As a result
large chunks of this part of the site were simply removed overnight and now, following recent cutbacks, it was decided that, rather than update this part of the site, it should simply be removed altogether!

It may seem incredible that a public service site this prominent can deem complementary medicine so insignificant that it no longer
warrants any coverage other than the odd news story. This is despite the fact that complementary medicine is used favourably by a
significant proportion of the population (recent surveys have estimated that around 1 in 5 Britons use it at some point or other)
and that increasing numbers of people are now seeking to train in these therapies.

However, as the 'quack busters' become more organised and active, evidence of the backlash against complementary medicine is appearing all over the place - such as the removal of NHS Trust funding for homeopathy, the threatened closure of the homeopathic hospitals, many negative news stories in the press and so on. Rather than taking a reasoned view and considering the evidence from good research studies on complementary medicine these individuals seem simply hell bent on trying to 'stamp out' complementary medicine in any way possible. The BBCi removal of complementary medicine coverage (which has been in
place for almost 15 years!) is one example. If you care about complementary medicine and believe information pages
on it should be returned to BBCi, please, please
take just a minute to express your views using their online comment form at: to make your view known. As a public service company
hey have to listen to your views so your email will make a difference. Apparently for all the many letters and emails that they relived that were against complementary medicine they only received handful in support. Therefore if you are in support please let
them know so they
may revise their thinking on this subject. Please act as soon as possible and pass on these
> > details to anyone
> > else you know who may also be willing to write in
> > support of
> > complementary medicine.
> >
> >
> >
> > Thank you!
> >
Rodney Stuart Robinson
Mar 3 2011 6:50PM
Dear Angela, I just read your post of 2008. Here in 2011 attacks on complementary medicine have reached fever pitch. It really is time for CAM practitioner to stand up and defend themselves. This may be done by letting our views be heard and not allowing misleading statements to go unchallenged. CAM registration is a needless smokescreen and a distraction from the real issues. We should turn the bright light of accountability and scrutiny to where it belongs - on conventional medicine. There are so many cases where conventional medicine offers no help and no hope and yet we sit back and take relentless critisism from this quarter even as we offer help and effective relief to patients who have been rejected by the [conventional] system.

As a complementary therapist I hear many stories of what I feel to be bad conventional management of some conditions. To be more specific, I mean stories of cases where the prescribed treatment made the original problem worse or produced new problems, often due to due side effects of the prescribed medication. Now my point is that in all cases that I have seen, that is where the situation is left as far as the GP is concerned. The patient may eventually seek my (alternative) help but before this stage there comes a point where they lose faith in the GP and don't return to him/her feeling that there is “no point”. In this way we have general practitioners unaware of the dissatisfaction the patient feels with their treatment as very few people make formal complaints about their GP.

Secondly we have the unsatisfactory situation of the public being completely unaware of which practices produce good/bad/ugly results and for what type of conditions. Schools and hospitals have league tables but what information is available for a patient regarding quality of service provided by GP surgeries? What about doctors who are rude or show arrogance toward their patients? There should be a clear system whereby complaints satisfaction, dissatisfaction can be fed back and reported on.

I think we have to take the argument back to its source and letter writing about all these issues may just be a way to acheive this.

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