The lure of homeopathy

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 08.48.08Dalrymple writes that his mother

suddenly suffered from a non-life-threatening but disfiguring skin condition of her scalp that caused her great distress.


old ladies in their 80s worried about their appearance are not high on the National Health Service’s list of priorities; and this, combined with a severe shortage of dermatologists, meant that she could not be seen on the NHS for 18 months. In dermatology the Grim Reaper is used as an auxiliary in the government’s Waiting Time Initiative.

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 08.48.28So Dalrymple mère

went private. Even the private dermatologist had a waiting list of nine months, however, so she chose another. He prescribed something that made her condition much worse. She consulted another, with the same unhappy result.

Finally she sought out a homeopath and,

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 08.53.45to both my pleasure and my chagrin, his ministrations cured her. At least, she got better after them.

In the circumstances it was difficult, says Dalrymple, to persuade Dalrymple mère that homeopathy had

no rational basis, quite the reverse, and that properly conducted scientific trials had demonstrated its inefficacy. She had undertaken the only trial that interested her, and it was successful. What more could a patient ask?

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 08.49.04Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 08.51.50Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 08.50.59

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