Following is the response to yesterday’s blog about a letter from a dermatologist to the newspaper, pleading with parents to adhere to medical advice.

Reproduced from the Sydney Morning Herald from June 9 and 10.

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Treatment is a sore point

Dr Gayle Fischer says eczema is “readily treated” by modern medicine (letters June 8). As the mother of a child who has suffered eczema from six weeks to her current age of 22 I consider this a fantasy of self-belief.

Western medicine does not treat eczema well. Parents who slather their children in Sorbolene, do not use soap and do all the other things they are told to do to “manage” the disease are treated as whingers when they tell doctors the treatment is not working.

They are intimidated from seeking further help until the disease is so out of control that the fear of being labelled a whinger is outstripped by desperate concern for the welfare of their child. The casualty department rides in on a white charger, doses the child up with steroids for a few days and bingo, aren’t we wonderful? Until the next time.

When Western medical practitioners in India saw my daughter had severe eczema they told me to try homeopathy, which has a good record there – a much more honest assessment of the strengths and interests of Western medicine than Dr Fischer’s.

Ellen McEwen Croydon

What is natural about rejecting treatment?

Gayle Fischer is right to be concerned about the disturbing trend of parents shunning effective medical treatments for their children on the basis that “natural” equals good (letters June 9). I recently heard a parent say that vaccination “seems unnatural”. I admit polio is more natural than vaccination, but avoiding a natural case of polio by unnatural means is preferable for the child.

Sadly, a child has died because of her parents’ misguided belief in homeopathy. The authorities seem to be doing nothing about the consistently false claims made by homeopaths. In a few minutes of browsing the internet I found them claiming homeopathy could protect people against swine flu, and that vaccination and anti-viral drugs should be avoided because they weaken the immune system.

Guy Curtis Seven Hills

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Western doctors in India may well have recommended homeopathy to Ellen McEwen (Letters, June 9). But did it work?

Anne Kirman Kellyville

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If you wish to respond to this debate, write to the Sydney Morning Herald, letters to the editor.


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  • I am actually thinking of advocating prayer over homeopathy, just as effective and free to boot 🙂

  • Jason

    Sorry, didn’t know where else to put this. In the Arnica-Montana complaint/retraction “case” (http://www.arnica.com.au/index.php — hahaha), I read her response to the complaint, and amongst the rest of her whinging and 3 pages of life history, she said:

    “Controlled trials cannot be used for Homeopathy but there is a mass of unpublished evidence eg at the Glasgow Royal Homeopathic Hospital UK and at many other Homeopathic Establishments world wide including the casenotes made by Hahnemann himself in Leipzig university archives from the late 18th and early 19th century clearly showing the effectiveness and efficacy of Homeopathic treatment.”

    Putting aside the rest of that laughable paragraph for a moment, why can’t controlled trials be used for homeopathy?

    HMM…

  • It’s quite good and relieving to see that at this point in time the people who are supportive of evidence and science based medicine have been allowed the last word. Oh so often the media only allow small exerpts from those whose points are based on evidence then allow the final blurb to come from someone who essentially is speaking out their arse.