The Society of Homeopaths took the content of the 2006 BBC Newsnight programme on malaria very seriously and responded via press statements and media interviews promising action if it were required. We contacted the programme makers directly to ask for their evidence that any Society members had given dangerous or misleading advice to members of the public. They were unable to provide a single example. The Society’s professional conduct procedures cannot be invoked without a specific complaint, an alleged offender or any evidence. In these circumstances, The Society was unable to investigate a specific case. Nevertheless, as a further precaution, we reissued our Guidelines on advice for the prevention of malaria and sent a copy to every member within a day of the programme being aired.
The Society instructed lawyers to write to the Internet Service Provider of Dr. Lewis’ website because the content of his site was not merely critical but defamatory of The Society, with the effect that its reputation could have been lowered. Dr Lewis, in his article, stated as fact highly offensive comments about The Society and it is for that reason that The Society decided it had no option but to take action. The very crude abuse posted on various websites and e-mailed to The Society since our action suggests that these bloggers/authors are not people who are interested in a real debate on the basis of either science or the public good but who simply want to attack homeopathy, for the very sake of it.
Due to the unpleasantness and surprisingly vitriolic nature of the postings on the Quackometer website and others, The Society has taken a conscious decision not to respond to these bloggers.
Uh, homeopathic whiners: Le Canard Noir gave specific examples of members of the Society of Homeopaths violating the Society’s code of ethics by advertising that they could cure specific diseases. If that’s not enough, what is? I reiterate the relevant part of the Society’s code:
• Advertising shall not contain claims of superiority.
• No advertising may be used which expressly or implicitly claims to cure named diseases.
Le Canard Noir gave examples of members of the Society of Homeopaths publishing advertising that expressly and/or implicitly claims to cure named diseases, including asthma and malaria.
As for the “unpleasantness and surprisingly vitriolic nature of the postings,” the Society of Homeopaths deserves every word. It’s a great thing to see it squirm.