.. Gibson,1980). A more recent study published in the Lancet compared the effects of a homeopathic preparation of mixed grass pollen with placebo in 144 patients with active hay fever. Patients treated with homeopathic remedies showed a significant reduction in both patient and doctor assessed symptom scores. There was no evidence that placebo effect could fully explain the reduction in symptoms.
( Reilly,1986). As mentioned previously, a review of 107 clinical trials of homeopathic medications published in the British Medical Journal, showed positive results of homeopathy in 81 trials. (Kleijnen,1991) Although there has been research to validate the methodology and the effectiveness of homeopathy, the concern for some of the population to rely solely on homeopathic treatment leads to the ethical issues concerning health care. Using homeopathic medicines as a first mode of treatment in nonemergency primary care would lead to its application in a wide, perhaps even a very wide assortment of acute care. At the most extreme extent, someone could say that homeopathic medicines can and should be considered whenever some type of heroic medical treatment is not necessary.
We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!
At the other end, one could say that homeopathic medicines can and should be considered only when there is no evidence that the benefits of a conventional medical treatment outweigh its potential side effects. One might think that a middle position is the best way to go, however, finding that middle position is not always easy. For instance, one might ask the seemingly important question: what evidence is there that either homeopathic or conventional medicine is more effective? There are very few studies that provide such a comparison, and even when it has been done, it is an unsound comparison. For instance, while it may be true that a painkiller will decrease the pain in patients more effectively than a homeopathic medicine, it does so with various side effects. And while a person taking a homeopathic medicine may initially have more pain than a person taking a painkiller, the long-term health of the person may be a more appropriate measure of a treatment’s successes. Conventional physicians insist that a person’s new complaint is not related with the previous one. In opposition, homeopathic practitioners assert that nothing comes from nowhere and that disease is often built from previous illnesses.
With all the research, claims, and opinions on homeopathy versus conventional therapy, rarely was it mentioned for both therapies to be utilized in combination to better diagnose and treat patients. More of an integrative approach in which homeopathy and conventional medicines are used together, instead of in apposition. One example is, while the use of homeopathic medicines can sometimes prevent the need for surgery, homeopaths generally acknowledge that surgery is sometimes necessary. When surgery is medically indicated, using homeopathic medicines before, during, and after the procedure can help the patient recover more rapidly. Another strong example of the successful integration of conventional and homeopathic treatment was demonstrated in the study on Nicaraguan children suffering from diarrhea. (Jennifer 1994).
The children were given oral rehydration therapy, a special salt solution that keeps children from dying by helping them retain water, but does not cure the underlying infection of which the diarrhea is a symptom. The study showed that the administration of individually chosen homeopathic medicines sped up the underlying healing process Another integrative approach is exemplified in the treatment of asthma. A study published in the Lancet showed that conventional allergy testing was useful in selecting a homeopathic medicine that provided benefit (Khuda-Bukhsh, 1991). Researchers used conventional allergy testing to determine what substance people with asthma were most allergic to. They then gave this substance in homeopathic doses to the subjects, and these subjects had significantly fewer symptoms of asthma than those subjects given a placebo.
The researchers called this approach homeopathic immunotherapy. An integrative approach may sometimes mean that homeopathic medicines are used first, and then, only if they were ineffective, would conventional therapies be used. The reverse approach is also possible and is presently more common; most people have already used many conventional treatments without adequate success and are now seeking homeopathic care for their conditions. As people become increasingly familiar with homeopathy, it is likely that they will use these natural and safer medicines prior to the more risky therapeutic interventions offered by conventional physicians. Part of the trick to making either homeopathic or conventional treatments work is to seek the care of well-trained professionals and to give their treatments reasonable time to act. Sometimes a person is in severe pain, and while it may be possible to find the correct homeopathic remedy, he or she wants a higher degree of certainty that relief will be rapid.
In such instances, it makes sense to use conventional medicines at least temporarily, while homeopathic medicines are recommended after the acute crisis is diminished or over. Homeopathists utilize highly diluted forms of a substance which causes particular symptoms in healthy people, can be given to someone ill with those symptoms. Once stimulated by the substance, the body goes on to heal. There are over 2000 homeopathic remedies, made from plant, mineral and animal sources. They are prescribed on the basis of health history, body type, and physical and emotional symptoms. (World Book Encyclopedia,1998).
The focus is to treat people who are unwell rather than the diseases. The first visit is likely to be an hour or so long, and involve lots of questions and answers as the homeopath gets your background. Ten people with headaches may each get a different remedy. These patients tend to be skeptical of the so-called homeopathic remedies found in health shops and chemists, where one bottle containing a combination of remedies supposedly treats the same condition in everyone. The theory of homeopathy has no known scientific basis.
It is true that small amounts of a substance may stimulate the body to fight against larger doses of that substance since this is how many vaccinations work. But in homeopathy, the amounts used are so diluted, the remedy may not contain even a single molecule of the original substance. Science says it therefore it cannot be effective. One response by homeopaths is to suggest that the diluting liquid must contain a memory of the original substance. Some published trials have found no support for homeopathy, but others suggest it has an effect on problems as diverse as diarrhea and mosquito bites.
Medical conditions that patients most utilize homeopathic methods for: General malaise 15% Allergy 11% Gynecology/obstetrics 7% Stress/anxiety 7% Advantages most commonly quoted Harmless, no side effects Natural The disadvantage most commonly quoted regarding homeopathy is that the treatments, particularly the drugs can be expensive and the time for the treatments to work can sometimes be long. (Consumer Online). Although the concept of integrative medicine makes sense, one should not have a narrow viewpoint about the subject. It is not always easy, therapeutically effective or cost efficient to use homeopathic and conventional therapies concurrently or even in sequence. Sometimes a patient, with the advice of his or her physician, must decide to use one approach or the other.
As is the case with all medical treatments the patient should be properly informed and educated about the illness they suffer as well alternatives in therapies. Ultimately it is the role of the clinician to inform patients of the risks and benefits of the various prospective treatments available. Unfortunately, while there may be a body of research to show that certain conventional medical treatments are effective in treating a specific disease, symptom, or laboratory reading, this does not necessarily mean that this treatment actually improves the overall health of people. The same limitation can be said about homeopathic research to date. There is presently inadequate research regarding true ‘cures’ that isn’t easily disputable. It is indeed difficult for clinicians to provide patients with concrete evidence and obvious data to ease the decision making process. Clinicians must therefore be humble, and they should remember the words of Hypocrites who insisted that physicians should: First, do no harm. Medicine Essays.