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Old 14th November 2007, 04:17 PM   #1
Rolfe
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Procida's homoeopathic success rate

in the Rustum Roy thread, newbie "Procida" posted the following. Now this is all very interesting, but the Rustum Roy thread is about the UV spectroscopy of ethanol, not about the efficacy of homoeopathy, so I'd rather not pursue it there. Hence the new thread.

Originally Posted by Procida View Post
My use of "homeopathy" extends to the following experiments, all anecdotal.

first experiment = 28 years ago.

subject= person who had had bad accident.

result = in hospital with severe cuts bruising all over body.

experiment = using arnica cream on one side of the body, avoiding the cuts, and solely massage on the other.

complaint from patient = that I should have just used oil and massages the other since arnica cream was hocus pocus.

Answer to complaint = didn't want to be accused of not massaging both sides, and if arnica hocus pocus then there would be no result apart from my aching arms from massage.

Result = not complete. Most of the surface bruising on the arnica treated side (apart from that surrounding cuts which the jar said to keep arnica away from, don't ask me why...) disappeared very much more quickly than that on the other with the exception of very deep extensive buttock haematomas. I guess there is only so far anything can absorb from the skin?

most impressive part of experiment = one particular bruise on torso, which had to be "divided" down middle. the arnica side of the bruise disappeared with about 3/4 " disappearance extending into the rest of the haemotoma which had no arnica applied. The rest of the bruise remained.

My presumption = that the arnica cream was primarily a cream which had the actual herb in it, and if arnica does in fact remove bruising, then at least that worked.

next experiment was a two fold one. Nearly 27 years ago.

After the birth of first child, nothing the doctor or nurse suggested would unblock his tear ducts. In desperation, I tried homepathic eye-bright on the basis that I had nothing to lose apart from money.

Strangely, it worked. When the doctor's nurse saw the result, she expressed interest, as she bred dogs. (don't ask me what breed, as I don't remember) Her breeding kennel was about to be shut down, as they had had blocked tear ducts which the vet had not been able to fix, and after 18 months it was considered a major strike against them.

I gave her the left overs, on the basis that she had nothing to lose and I had nothing to gain by keeping it.

she used it, and even more strangely it worked. She, like me, rarely uses homeopathy, but she says its the only thing that works on the tear ducts in her dogs.

don't ask me why. I'm not being sarcastic in my tone, by the way.

next three, again, oldest son. At the age of three months he got eczema, which got progressively worse until he had patches from his forehead to his knees. At 7 months, I was offered steroidal cream for it. A woman who had given birth at the same time as I had, had also had a baby with eczema, but found that the eczema only disappeared when the cream was used, but came back when it was discontinued. I didn't want to play yo-yo, so on the basis that homeopathy, as a placebo, was pretty cheap, I went to a homeopath (who I've never been back to since). the doctor said I was nuts and all a homeopath would do was kill my child. which wasn't the greatest tack to take for something I was only ascribing placebo value for. The homeopath gave me a remedy, but said that the problem was me, and I was to take it, and it would go through the breastmilk.

To me, the explanation was totally ridiculous, and it still is today. But I did as told, and within three days, the most recent eczema had softened and started to disappear and progressively, over a month it went. The last bits to go, were the first bits to come.

A few weeks later, I noticed that verucae I had had in profusion for years, had all gone but just shrugged. Five years later, when they came back, I took another dose of it, on the basis I had nothing to lose, and they all went again.

In terms of oldest son, whenever he gets eczema patches (about once every 6 years or so) he takes one dose, and they go.

even now, every time I get a wart or verrucae, I take it, and they go away. Which beats both the burning and the frozen stuff as well as the creams the doctor used to prescribe or use.

next experiment birth of second son. I was haemorrhaging, and the doctor used homeopathic secale, and the bleeding took 30 seconds to stop. I bawled him out on the basis that he should have used the oxytocin as it would have been quicker. He said that in his experience the injection took a lot longer. I told him that he was a fruit loop and the bleeding probably just stopped on its own.

I mean, who knows? You can't cut a mother in half, and see whether leaving it alone stops quicker than something that I didn't believe in, and was pretty annoyed about at the time. But that was done "to" me, not something I asked for.

Next experiment. 24 years ago... the same thing happened to the second child with regard to eczema, but I didn't bother going to the homeopath, since, as the theory goes, the problem was "me". Same remedy, same result.

so that was a pretty good and safe placebo.

5th Experiment. 25 years ago..Husband, chronic intractible hayfever.

Nothing had worked. On the basis of the arnica experiment he decided to try homeopathy on the basis that he had nothing to lose.

he took homeopathic allium cepa, and also vitamin C which probably messed the experiment.

His hayfever cleared up within a week, but it might have had more to do with the vitamin c than the homeopathy, since we only used the allium cepa the first month, and since then he's just used vitamin C. He now only gets hayfever if he decides to bury himself in a privet tree for a whole day. Used to be that he only had to see one from 100 yards, and his eyes and nose would start.

apart from bruises, that's about the extent of my use of homeopathy, simply because I've had no other occasion to try either homeopathy or anything else for that matter yet.

So its either all a matter of good luck, or placebo, or it worked.

I've no idea what the answer is. I can't explain what or why. But I'm not prepared to write it totally off. By the same token, I hardly ever use it. Probably because the basic way we live is sound enough.

My view of the discussion on this thread is that its very interesting, and I'd like to understand the flaws in the article better.

I'm not prepared to write homeopathy off, but then, I also believe in the power of prayer, which wouldn't fall into the sceptic orbit either. If prayer is a placebo too, then its worked relatively well in the times of need when i've used it. so I'm not going to write that off, on the basis that its not reproducable or scientifically quantifiable either.

But I'm open to thinking about both.

Well, I've heard pretty much all of it before. Stories where the effects of homoeopathy were absolutely clear-cut, positively self-evident. My question is, if it's this good, why the argument? Anything this reliable shouldn't even need a placebo-controlled trial to convince reasonable people.

My cousin also swears by homoeopathic mountain daisy (Arnica montana) for bruising, though I have to say she doesn't appear to know what bruises do if you don't rub the stuff on them. So, if it's that good, why is it that when controlled trials are done, this robust effect gets all shy and retreats to the borders of statistical significance?

I'm a vet. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye) is a serious problem, and not rare. If all that was needed was a little homoeopathic "brighteye", I can tell you that every vet would be using it and there wouldn't be a blind dog in the land. If it can cure that one, frankly who cares which laws of physics it breaks, cap'n! (By the way I know of no country or state so draconian that it will forcibly shut down a kennels because of keratoconjunctivitis sicca. It's preposterous. It's little details like that that set me wondering about a lot of these stories.)

I've heard the eczema story before too, from the vendor of a house I was considering buying. So again, how come every doctor isn't using homoeopathy to treat this distressing condition, if it's so great and so reliable? This time it's simple. Childhood eczema tends to get better spontaneously. Homoeopathy works when it is given right before the child was going to get better anyway. And these are the cases the mothers go around shouting about. The ones who used it at the wrong time, that is when the children were not about to get better on their own, are seldom motivated to tell the world.

Warts, verrucas. Same story. Warts in particular can drag on for ages, then disappear almost overnight. That's why there are so many folk remedies for warts. Anything anyone happened to be using at the critical moment gets a good name.

Post partum haemorrhage? And in the homoeopath's experience (of how many cases, I wonder), his remedy "works faster than oxytocin"! Let's just ask ourselves again how likely this is, and if it is true, why can't it be demonstrated so that everybody can marvel.

Hay fever.... well, we've heard it all before.

The one thing that is unique about this tale is that Procida claims all these things happened, either to her or because of her. And that this is the entire sum of her homoeopathic experience. 100% success. Perfect strike rate. Even for repeat prescriptions.

Now I do know, having discussed this with people who have been able to examine homoeopaths' unedited casebooks, and one colleague in particular, that when you do that, you find that the loudly-repeated tales of miracle cure are in fact a few cherries picked carefully out of a vast expanse of not-a-lot-happening, and a bit of getting worse.

But Procida claims perfect success. Every time.

Discuss.

Rolfe.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 14th November 2007 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 14th November 2007, 04:55 PM   #2
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Wait, there's more! Procida's very first post on the forum was this one.

Originally Posted by Procida View Post
Well it would be nice if so-called logical thinkers could work out what its to be. I mean, either homeopathy is a load of nothing or its not. So, if its a load of nothing, then why is it that it's not possible to buy Arsenic-alb, Nux-vom, and Opium in 30C or 200C in some countries, supposedly because they are toxic?

So-called logical thinkers? Nice opening salvo.

Professor Yaffle questioned this statement, as he knew of no country where these 30C remedies are banned.

Procida elaborated.

Originally Posted by Procida View Post
An acquaintance of mine went to buy homeopathic arsenicum in Toronto and was informed that it wasn't available because it was toxic.

editted to add, ... since conventional wisdom (or is that an oxymoron) dictates that there would be absolutely nothing there after the 12th potency, then a 300 would be unlikely to be anything except nothing.

Still, nobody can find any evidence that this stuff is banned in Canada. DeeTee finds a Canadian news report warning against ayurvedic remedies containing these ingredients (Hindu ayurvedic medicine being archetypically "allopathic", and usually containing lots and lots of what it says on the tin), and suggests that this may be the source of the mistaken claim that homoeopathic remedies are banned.

Procida charmingly confesses to knowing nothing at all about ayurvedic medicine.

Then Professor Yaffle spots an intriguing similarity.

Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
Or perhaps the acquaintance doesn't exist, and Procida just copied the info from the e-mail below, without checking whether it was true. Or are you the author of this e-mail too Procida ?

http://dcscience.net/hpathy-com.pdf

Bang to rights, I'd say, but Procida sticks to her guns.

Originally Posted by Procida View Post
I couldn't get onto whatever that site it. it diverted me to a main page?

The acquaintance does exist. She happens to be a journalist.

Now I've had a bit of trouble with that link too. My browser tends to crash when opening pdfs, sadly. However, I read it at work, and I can reproduce the gist. It's our old friend Dr. Manesh Bhatia, bewailing the bad press homoeopathy has been getting, and trotting out his usual stock of reasons why homoeopathy is obviously heap powerful medicine - as discussed earlier today in the thread "Homoeopathy bleeding to death!". (Prof., I really think we can absolve Procida of any suspicion of being Dr. B!)

One of his points is that in Canada, some 30C homoeopathic remedies (I think precisely "Arsenic-alb, Nux-vom, and Opium", just as in Procida's original post) are banned as potentially toxic - which shows that the authorities really do know that ultra-dilute preparations are powerful stuff!

Now Dr. B's usual track record of accuracy is such that I'd go check if he told me it was daylight outside, at noon. So if he's the source, I'm not at all surprised that we find the facts are indeed not as claimed. (It may indeed be that he has garbled the ayurvedic story, it would be fairly typical.)

But Procida maintains that Dr. B is not her source. When she was challenged, "Arsenic-alb, Nux-vom, and Opium" turned into "An acquaintance of mine went to buy homeopathic arsenicum in Toronto and was informed that it wasn't available because it was toxic." No mention of Nux-vom or Opium this time, and the homoeopathic terminology of "Arsenic-alb" has turned into "homeopathic arsenicum".

And still we can find to evidence at all that anyone would be prevented from buying any of them in Toronto or anywhere else, because of toxicity.

Isn't it funny that Procida's very first post just happened to arrogate to herself something which Dr. B had recently posted, and to use that alleged fact in exactly the same way - that is to accuse regulators of inconsistency, by banning something as toxic they also maintain has no content.

But maybe she just read that, and thought it was a good point? No, she says she's never read it, and she got the story from a journalist acquaintance to whom it had happened personally. But the journalist only asked for arsenicum, apparently, so we're still no wiser as to why Procida's first post referred to "Arsenic-alb, Nux-vom, and Opium", exactly as Dr. B's email did.

OK, maybe Procida's journalist friend actually got it from Dr. B's publication, and Procida innocently repeated it.

Ot maybe not.

I'mk thinking that maybe what's going on is that our dear Procida is trotting out every anecdote she ever heard that was favourable to homoeopathy, and claiming that "dear readers, I was that woman!" in every case. Hence a typical collection of cherry-picked miracle cures, usually so unremarkable when heard one at a time, becomes quite another story when presented as one person's 100% success rate.

Surely not!

Rolfe.

PS. Although Procida is a newbie, she speaks as if she knows these forums - including expressing the common homoeopathic proponent's apparent expectation of "the usual personal attacks". She's not anonymous to some of us, it appears.

Originally Posted by Procida View Post
There are some here on this board who do know me, and they will tell you, that I'm telling the truth.

So, can someone here come forward and confirm that Procida really does have a journalist acquaintance who tried to buy "homeopathic arsenicum" in Toronto, but was told it was banned as it was too toxic? Or any of the rest of this surprising testament?
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Last edited by Rolfe; 14th November 2007 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 15th November 2007, 01:00 AM   #3
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A quote from the E-mail:

Quote:
Homeopathic Remedies were publicized as TOXIC! As a result Nosodes got banned in France and many western countries. You can not even buy Arsenic-alb, Nux-vom, and Opium in 30C or 200C in Canada, US and many other places ..because they are toxic! What a big joke!


And lets compare it to what Procida wrote:

Quote:
Well it would be nice if so-called logical thinkers could work out what its to be. I mean, either homeopathy is a load of nothing or its not. So, if its a load of nothing, then why is it that it's not possible to buy Arsenic-alb, Nux-vom, and Opium in 30C or 200C in some countries, supposedly because they are toxic?
Coincidence? You decide.

Anyway, as to Procida's miraculous homeopathy treatments. I was pretty underwhelmed by all the eczema stories. My 2 kids both had pretty bad eczema at about 6 weeks old. They were covered from head to toe. But they got better pretty quickly without that much intervention from me (a change in diet, just emollients and very occasional and sparing use of steroid cream) and whenever they have flare ups they are very mild and always go away on their own. Eczema is one of those things that is sometimes very hard to treat and other times just goes away of its own accord.

As to being given homeopathy for post partum haemorrhage with you even requesting it - which country did you give birth in? Any doctor who did that in the UK would be in serious trouble if a complaint was made.

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Old 15th November 2007, 01:18 AM   #4
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As to blocked tear ducts in a new born - this is very common, and generally resolves itself in a few weeks or months without any intervention.
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Old 15th November 2007, 01:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Procida
subject= person who had had bad accident.

result = in hospital with severe cuts bruising all over body.

experiment = using arnica cream on one side of the body, avoiding the cuts, and solely massage on the other.

complaint from patient = that I should have just used oil and massages the other since arnica cream was hocus pocus.

Answer to complaint = didn't want to be accused of not massaging both sides, and if arnica hocus pocus then there would be no result apart from my aching arms from massage.

Result = not complete.
Is Procida a doctor? If not, why was (s)he treating someone who was badly enough injured to be kept in hospital? Were other treatments being given by real doctors?

If Procida is a doctor, was this "experiment" run past an ethics committee?
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Old 15th November 2007, 04:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Is Procida a doctor? If not, why was (s)he treating someone who was badly enough injured to be kept in hospital? Were other treatments being given by real doctors?

If Procida is a doctor, was this "experiment" run past an ethics committee?
This story sounds quite bogus and is so full of inconsistencies I doubt it ever occurred in the way procida suggests it did.
Another ethical objection to add to those Mojo points out is that the patient didn't even wish to recieve the treatment, but Procida went ahead anyway:
Quote:
complaint from patient = that I should have just used oil and massages the other since arnica cream was hocus pocus.
Note: Occasionally in medicine n=1 trials are conducted, particularly for skin disorders (eg psoriasis) where the patient can act as their own control at the same time. It is usual to treat half the torso with the trial drug, and the other half with standard therapy or placebo. Ideally these trials should be double blinded crossover trials (where no-one knows what is the trial cream), and after a specified period the trial/placebo creams are switched over without anyone knowing when this happened.
Of course, an anecdote like Procida's provides so much more in the way of irrefutable evidence of efficacy....
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Old 15th November 2007, 04:15 AM   #7
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And another thing.....

Did Procida use homeopathic arnica or a herbal arnica preparation?
Does she even know the difference?

Now this brings me to something I don't understand....

Herbal arnica reputedly contains an active ingredient to treat bruising.

To treat bruising homeopathically, one requires a diluted preparation of a substance which causes bruising (not one which "cures" it).

So... Wherefore homeopathic arnica?
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Old 15th November 2007, 05:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I've heard the eczema story before too, from the vendor of a house I was considering buying. So again, how come every doctor isn't using homoeopathy to treat this distressing condition, if it's so great and so reliable? This time it's simple. Childhood eczema tends to get better spontaneously. Homoeopathy works when it is given right before the child was going to get better anyway. And these are the cases the mothers go around shouting about. The ones who used it at the wrong time, that is when the children were not about to get better on their own, are seldom motivated to tell the world.
I had eczema as a child. I don't any more. However, I have to confess to not treating it with anything, which is about as powerful as homeopathic remedies get.
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Old 15th November 2007, 05:43 AM   #9
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From the link in post 2:

“Remember, at the turn of the last century there were 25 full-time homeopathic medical colleges in USA and every third doctor was a homeopath. If Homeopathy could evaporate from such a strong position simply because of the political and financial strength of the allopathic syndicate, why can't the history repeat itself now??”

Could the ‘evaporation’ just, maybe, possibly, be due to it being ineffective?
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Old 15th November 2007, 06:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The one thing that is unique about this tale is that Procida claims all these things happened, either to her or because of her. And that this is the entire sum of her homoeopathic experience. 100% success. Perfect strike rate. Even for repeat prescriptions.

Now I do know, having discussed this with people who have been able to examine homoeopaths' unedited casebooks, and one colleague in particular, that when you do that, you find that the loudly-repeated tales of miracle cure are in fact a few cherries picked carefully out of a vast expanse of not-a-lot-happening, and a bit of getting worse.

But Procida claims perfect success. Every time.

Discuss.

Rolfe.
You should expect 100% success (or at the very least 99%), so her claim makes perfect sense.

I think we need to frame this differently.

It's a matter of attention and anchoring.

Consider what happens when trying to recall these things. It's very difficult to get an accurate account of the course of symptoms/disease when taking a history. The heart attack that happened "two years ago" really happened ten years ago. The symptoms that have been "present for three months" were already complained about a year ago. This isn't done deliberately. We have difficulty estimating these things unless we can anchor them to something where the timing is known. If the heart attack happened at your daughter's wedding, there is no difficulty in recalling the date. But most of the time we don't really have the opportunity or inclination to track these things.

Add to that our tendency to notice only those things that are unusual in the first place. Regression almost guarantees that next time you ask, things will be better. It's just that most of the time we don't ask.

We have thousands of opportunities for success, but we squander most of them by not paying attention and by not providing a way to anchor the timing to a known event. Taking a homeopathic preparation solves both these problems. Now attention will be paid to that we would have ignored previously (the waxing and waning of eczema), and we have a specific event (the taking of a therapy) by which to time the course of events.

It doesn't require cherry-picking to find examples of success. Success is almost inevitable. It requires cherry-picking to find examples of failure. The error that Procida and the homeopaths make is not cherry-picking. It is that they falsely attribute homeopathy as the cause of the success when in reality it merely serves as the marker. Arguing that they are cherry-picking is unpersuasive to them because they can see that they are not cherry-picking.

The real cherry-picking occurs before the homeopath (or Procida) even becomes involved. Nobody goes to visit a homeopath because they are doing well. Procida doesn't choose to treat herself or a friend when the symptoms have waned. It's just that that part of the process is almost invisible.

The process of attention and anchoring should lead to success almost all of the time, so you should not express any surprise at Procida's success rate. The problem with comparing that to the homeopath's casebook is that you considered all events, not just those events that would have been marked by the process. The process of marking an event is cherry-picking, but once the event is marked, it doesn't require cherry-picking to find success.

I realize I'm rambling and I'm not saying anything you don't already know. I just think the argument should be framed differently in order to be persuasive (when the possibility exists).

Linda
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Old 15th November 2007, 06:52 AM   #11
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Mmmm, that's an interesting way of putting it. Really, we're getting back to geni's point - "homoeopathy is a system of excuses masquerading as mediicne". If your system of excuses is comprehensive enough, then every single thing that happens, no matter what it is, is evidence that - "homoeopathy works!"

Rolfe.
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Old 15th November 2007, 08:02 AM   #12
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I wish my electronic designs would regress to a higher functional state if I left them long enough.

Alas, what didn't work the day before is still just as 'sick' when I arrive at work in the morning.
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Old 16th November 2007, 06:03 AM   #13
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I did once have a simple-minded laboratory analyser that responded to the well-known "give the guts an airing" treatment (also known as "letting the demons out").

Rolfe.
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Old 16th November 2007, 06:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by fls View Post
You should expect 100% success (or at the very least 99%), so her claim makes perfect sense.

I think we need to frame this differently.

It's a matter of attention and anchoring.

Consider what happens when trying to recall these things. It's very difficult to get an accurate account of the course of symptoms/disease when taking a history. The heart attack that happened "two years ago" really happened ten years ago. The symptoms that have been "present for three months" were already complained about a year ago. This isn't done deliberately. We have difficulty estimating these things unless we can anchor them to something where the timing is known. If the heart attack happened at your daughter's wedding, there is no difficulty in recalling the date. But most of the time we don't really have the opportunity or inclination to track these things.

Add to that our tendency to notice only those things that are unusual in the first place. Regression almost guarantees that next time you ask, things will be better. It's just that most of the time we don't ask.

We have thousands of opportunities for success, but we squander most of them by not paying attention and by not providing a way to anchor the timing to a known event. Taking a homeopathic preparation solves both these problems. Now attention will be paid to that we would have ignored previously (the waxing and waning of eczema), and we have a specific event (the taking of a therapy) by which to time the course of events.

It doesn't require cherry-picking to find examples of success. Success is almost inevitable. It requires cherry-picking to find examples of failure. The error that Procida and the homeopaths make is not cherry-picking. It is that they falsely attribute homeopathy as the cause of the success when in reality it merely serves as the marker. Arguing that they are cherry-picking is unpersuasive to them because they can see that they are not cherry-picking.

The real cherry-picking occurs before the homeopath (or Procida) even becomes involved. Nobody goes to visit a homeopath because they are doing well. Procida doesn't choose to treat herself or a friend when the symptoms have waned. It's just that that part of the process is almost invisible.

The process of attention and anchoring should lead to success almost all of the time, so you should not express any surprise at Procida's success rate. The problem with comparing that to the homeopath's casebook is that you considered all events, not just those events that would have been marked by the process. The process of marking an event is cherry-picking, but once the event is marked, it doesn't require cherry-picking to find success.

I realize I'm rambling and I'm not saying anything you don't already know. I just think the argument should be framed differently in order to be persuasive (when the possibility exists).

Linda

Actually I've been thinking about this possibility, and I don't think it covers the present case.

Look at several of the preceding posts.

Quote:
By the way I know of no country or state so draconian that it will forcibly shut down a kennels because of keratoconjunctivitis sicca. It's preposterous.

Quote:
As to being given homeopathy for post partum haemorrhage with you even requesting it - which country did you give birth in? Any doctor who did that in the UK would be in serious trouble if a complaint was made.

Quote:
Is Procida a doctor? If not, why was (s)he treating someone who was badly enough injured to be kept in hospital? Were other treatments being given by real doctors?

If Procida is a doctor, was this "experiment" run past an ethics committee?

Quote:
This story sounds quite bogus and is so full of inconsistencies I doubt it ever occurred in the way procida suggests it did.
Another ethical objection to add to those Mojo points out is that the patient didn't even wish to recieve the treatment, but Procida went ahead anyway:

Practically every part of the story has inconsistencies suggesting it didn't happen the way it is narrated. The apparent status of the writer is also highly inconsistent. First she's "experimentally" treating a patient in hospital, apparently against the patient's will. Is she a nurse? (Even for a nurse, this would probably class as misconduct.) Then she's a new mother, trying something out on her baby (and passing it on to the practice nurse, for her dogs). Then again she's a mother, and consults an actual homoeopath about her child (and just for the hell of it she tries the remedy prescribed for the kid on herself too). Then she's having another baby, and being treated with homoeopathy by her doctor, without her consent. Finally she's experimenting on her husband.

I realise this could all be the same person, but the attitudes to homoeopathy switch back and forward with nausating speed. First she's actively experimenting, on her own initiative. Then she's just giving it a shot, on the basis of conventional treatment apparently not working. Then she's not self-prescribing, she's consulting a homoeopath (at this point her doctor is violently against the idea). Then she's being treated with homoeopathy in an emergency, against her will, by her actual doctor (a different guy from the last one, presumably?). Then she's back to just giving it a try in the family.

And still she's sceptical. She won't write it off completely, she thinks the jury is still out, but she hardly ever uses it.

There's an inconsistency of attitude here that fits far more with this being a collection of stories, all from different sources, presented as a first-person experience to add verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing (and cherry-picked) narrative.

Rolfe.
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Old 16th November 2007, 07:17 AM   #15
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I agree. Important information is clearly being left out of this set of stories.

And I did cheat and use your post as a stepping stone in order to make a point I've been wanting to make (but admit it, we all do that ).

And many people would be surprised to learn just how many of these stories fall if you make a point of investigating their truthiness.

But, our skepticism can be perceived as unreasonable. Our critiques often depend upon questioning the verisimilitude of all parties and upon minimizing the unlikeliness of an event. And while these actions are valid - more often than you may think the parties are not being fully honest, the unlikeliness is frequently grossly overestimated - trying to convince believers of this validity is often frustratingly fruitless.

So I'm suggesting that rather than getting hung up on those points, it may be possible to concede them (and thereby invalidate complaints we are unreasonable), and still demolish the validity of their 'evidence'.

I will not pretend that I know whether or not this would be successful, though.

Linda
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Old 16th November 2007, 11:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
I had eczema as a child. I don't any more. However, I have to confess to not treating it with anything, which is about as powerful as homeopathic remedies get.
I had eczema as a child. I was taken to a homeopath once a week for about six weeks. The treatment caused no improvement whatsoever.

Re: the 'homeopathy is bleeding to death' email, I trust you've all taken up the author's invitation to email him in order to join the fight-back...?
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Old 17th November 2007, 04:36 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by fls View Post
I
And I did cheat and use your post as a stepping stone in order to make a point I've been wanting to make

See also: appearance of autism "after" MMR vaccination versus subsequent analysis of medical records showing signs typically already present.
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Old 17th November 2007, 04:37 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Deetee View Post
Note: Occasionally in medicine n=1 trials are conducted, particularly for skin disorders (eg psoriasis) where the patient can act as their own control at the same time. It is usual to treat half the torso with the trial drug, and the other half with standard therapy or placebo. Ideally these trials should be double blinded crossover trials (where no-one knows what is the trial cream), and after a specified period the trial/placebo creams are switched over without anyone knowing when this happened.
Except that with homeopathic arnica, if we take Procida's story at face value, she "holistically" treated half the body.

That's just made by brain hurt.
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Old 17th November 2007, 05:05 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Wait, there's more! Procida's very first post on the forum was this one.

So-called logical thinkers? Nice opening salvo.

Professor Yaffle questioned this statement, as he knew of no country where these 30C remedies are banned.

Procida elaborated.

Still, nobody can find any evidence that this stuff is banned in Canada. DeeTee finds a Canadian news report warning against ayurvedic remedies containing these ingredients (Hindu ayurvedic medicine being archetypically "allopathic", and usually containing lots and lots of what it says on the tin), and suggests that this may be the source of the mistaken claim that homoeopathic remedies are banned.

{snip}
I too would love to know Procida's source on this one. I dug up two links to Health Canada web pages which state that 30C isn't banned. If those two pages are correct, then Procida's journalist friend is a pretty shoddy journalist. (Or do bloggers count as journalists now?) If Procida is correct and it is illegal in Canada to sell arsenic at 30C, I would love to see that proof right in front of me. I wouldn't mind trying to run a few sting operations on some of these places...
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Old 11th December 2007, 08:18 AM   #20
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Not that Procida's still reading this forum (I'm not holding my breath), but I thought to post this anyway. This was purchased just last week at a store in downtown Toronto... and quite easily as well (thank you Skeptics Canada). I still would love to know the name of this "journalist acquaintance" who said that this stuff was illegal, so I know what newspapers not to read.

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