Homeopathy Under Threat: What YOU Can Do

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I got the following email today from the British organization  H:MC21, an organization dedicated to keeping homeopathic medicine available throughout the world in the 21st century:

 

 

“A number of Medicines Acts are being consoidated and simplified. However, if the proposals go into force as they stand:

“You would no longer able to get homeopathic medicines by phone or online
To get any unlicensed homeopathic medicine a face-to-face consultation would be required at a registered pharmacy. Unlicensed medicines number in the thousands and make up the majority of homeopathic prescriptions, while there are only 50 licenced homeopathic medicines. This will also mean you cannot legally buy unlicensed homeopathic medicines online or over the phone as you currently do.

“Homeopaths would not be able to dispense or prescribe medicines.
“Homeopathic practitioners would not be able to dispense unlicensed homeopathic medicines to their patients. This arises because homeopaths are not recognised by this law as being supplementary prescribers and it will be illegal for homeopathic pharmacies to supply them with the essential (unlicensed) medicines required for their patients.

“Patients would have to get homeopathic medicines personally at a handful of licenced homeopathic pharmacies in Britain
Hundreds of thousands of people who currently have prescriptions filled for unlicensed homeopathic medicines will be unable to obtain their urgent medicines. The estimated 6 million users of homeopathy in Britain cannot be expected to be supplied medicines face-to-face by less than five licenced premises.

“Stop this from happening by writing to your MP.”

You can identify the name of your MP here.

You can find out who sits on what committees by going here.

“It is critical that you include your name and address (with postcode) and that you personalise your letter with your own views and experiences.

“Notes about letters to MPs

“Keep the letter short (a page or less), and emphasise any points which are relevant to the particular MP.

“It is not necessary or recommended to include all the text suggested here.

“I’m deeply concerned a draft proposal set out by the MHRA as part of its consolidation and review of the Medicines Act 1968 could have a significant impact on my ability as a patient to access homeopathic medicines in the UK.
In its current form section 10 of the proposal would only allow unlicensed homeopathic medicines to be bought directly from a pharmacist face-to-face, in effect outlawing the purchase of these medicines over the telephone or via online ordering. This would mean I would be deprived of the medicines that I have found to be so beneficial to my health.
There are only five homeopathic pharmacies in the UK, so most homeopathic medicines are ordered from these specialist pharmacies either by phone or via the Internet. Therefore the enforcement of section 10 in its current form will have serious consequences for the six million people in the UK who choose to use this form of complementary medicine.
If not revised the proposal would also have serious consequences for more than 2,000 homeopathic practitioners, many of whom would find it impossible to treat patients like myself because they can no longer obtain the appropriate homeopathic medicine.
I understand that a central plank of government health policy is to increase patient choice. Section 10 will eliminate choice for people like me who want to be treated with homeopathy.
I would like to call on your support in getting the Health Minister to revise slightly the proposed language of the revised Medicines Act to ensure that I have continued access to a full range of homeopathic medicines and my right to choose homeopathic treatment is maintained”
“Other activity:
“H:MC21 is working on getting other activity off the ground, and more news will be sent out soon.

There is also a petition at AVAAZ.

And here are complete details on the act itself.

“This information is also available on the H:MC21 website.

“All the best from the H:MC21 team.”

 

 

 

Now, what completely galls me is that those who oppose homeopathy seem to be dead set on taking away the freedom of choice that those of us who find value in homeopathy wish to make.  What right have they?  It violates every basic freedom and right–what indeed could be more basic than an individual’s right to choose what form of medical treatment he chooses for his OWN BODY?–that each individual lucky enough to live in a democratic society enjoys.

Wake up Britain!  Pay attention.  This potential destruction of a basic right to choose is far more important than you can possibly know.  If homeopathy is taken away today in response to the very loud (and very wrong) voices of the few, what right will be taken next?  If you can’t enjoy the freedom to choose the medicine that you wish, just how free are you to make ANY decision?

 

Don’t just sit there and let this freedom be taken away.  Speak up.  Make a noise.  Get mad.  And get very very loud when you get mad.  Post this article on your own blog.  Tweet about it.  Let the world know that you care, whether you are British or not.  This is not a British issue.  This is a basic human right that is being seized.  We should all have something to say about it!

 

Getting THMPD But Good

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It is time to seriously consider the THMPD–the Traditional Herbal Medicine Product Directive.  THMPD will become law as of May 1st of this year (it was passed back in 2004, but only now will be enforced) unless planned challenges block the directive.  Should it become law, it will remove literally thousands of herbal supplements from the shelves of stores throughout the European Union.

As this blog is based in the United States, and as a large chunk of my readership shares my geography (if not my opinion when it comes to homeopathy and herbal medicines), I can feel your interest in my topic of choice fading with the realization that the new law affects “them” and not “us.” But whether a reader is based in Ohio or in France, in London or in Phoenix, the overwhelming importance of what is now playing out should be enough to hold everyone’s interest.

This is all about choice, all about your choice and mine to decide what does and does not constitute appropriate medical treatment. THMPD has, to put it mildly, been controversial for the better part of a decade.  Some insist that it is a means by which all medical treatments can be simplified and made safer.  Others, myself included, insist that, far from making medicine safer, THMPD will make it all the more dangerous because when safe and effective treatments are no longer an option, more of us will have to turn our lives over to the allopaths, whose medicines have been shown again and again to be toxic and unsafe.

More important–and it is perhaps hard to conceive of something being more important than life and death through medical treatment–THMPD makes infants of us all.  It places the government in loco parentis and sends the message that lay persons are just too plan stupid to be allowed to decide the when, why and how of medical treatmenf FOR THEIR OWN BODIES.  This is a matter of the most basic human right, the right to choose the quality of one’s life, and it is not to be taken lightly.

An easy parallel to the situation at hand that illustrates why all Americans should be paying close attention and be preparing to take action is the onset of America’s involvement in World War II.  We were idiotic isolationists for way too long during the WW II era–president FDR begged Congress to agree that we should join the battle again the Axis powers.  But our government would not be moved until we were attacked directly.  And that attack so crippled us that we were ill prepared at the onset for what was to come, especially in the Asian theater.

If we don’t take action now.  If we as individuals don’t raise our voices now, both here and abroad, then we will most certainly see the day when we face the same attacks here at home.  I, for one, don’t want to give up my right to buy herbal tinctures, homeopathic remedies and Bach Flower remedies.  I don’t want to live to see the day that I have to go to some allopath’s office and pay for an office visit in order to get a prescription for Vitamin C.  Nor do I want to pay the inflated price for that Vitamin–a price that will most surely continue to rise and rise once it is put into the hands of a pharmaceutical company.  And I especially do not want homeopathic remedies to be put into the hands of allopathic doctors–those who understand their use or even their basic philosophy least are the last people who should have the keys to the medicine cabinet.

In short, if we don’t start screaming right now, we are likely, in very few years from now, to find ourselves good and THMPD.

What to do?  Start with your representatives, your Senators.  Especially your Tea Party folks who have vowed to “take back our government.”  These are the guys who made a big noise against changes in our medical care.  Let’s all make sure that one thing that is guaranteed to not change is our legal right to herbal medicine, to vitamin supplements and to homeopathic remedies.  Let’s nail those rights down right now, so that we don’t have to fight for them later on.

Here are some links for today.  The first one here is for a good article on the NGO and it’s legal attempts to block the THMPD.  And to drive things home a bit more, here is a great article from Whole Foods that will tell you about all the products that will not be available in the USA any longer is they are outlawed in the European Union.  Thought that only the French would suffer if the THMPD becomes law?  Guess again.

 

 

Ill Wind

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News from Great Britain, as usual, sucks.

 

Now anyone with any knowledge of the kinds of stunts and dirty tricks that are ongoing in GB was most certainly aware that after Prince Charles walked out on that limb to see to it that the citizens of that great nation remained able to choose their method of medical treatment as part of the national health service, those who have rather petulantly made it their business (and one has to wonder why) to see homeopathy not only removed as a medical option, but also ridiculed to the point that it has become rather like an elementary school shunning, would most certainly not simply accept their defeat and go on their way.  They have, of course, most certainly not.  Because theirs is not an idea of a free nation, one in which people have the right to choose all sorts of things like who they marry, what work they undertake and what kind of medical treatment they prefer.  No, theirs is a notion that they know better and that you had damned well listen to them when they tell you how to go about your day and live your life.

 

Well, here they come again, and if they can’t win in the open, they will accept winning by trickery, deceit and secret means.  Take today’s issue, one in which  just a little bit of the legal code can be rewritten in order to say that, while homeopaths can talk about homeopathy all they want to, they can no longer touch or sell homeopathic remedies.  For that, for the actual remedy, you will now have to see an M.D., who will have to write you a prescription.  Now, this dance has been attempted here in these United States in the past and has failed.  Because, thanks to the overly complicated laws of these United States, the states themselves to a large part govern and control medical treatments.  Indeed, the states themselves reserve the right to define just what constitutes medical treatment and what does not, which makes such skullduggery as is being attempted in England a far more difficult thing to do in my beloved land of the free and home of the brave.

 

If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, then just click here.  The linked article explains it very well.  It is, simply put, a political version of the shell game.

 

So, today’s post is something of a plea.  For those of you reading to take up pen (well, keyboard) and write a letter.  You may have seen one like it on the internet.  It is being daisy chained all over the place.  This letter needs to get off in a hurry to poor besieged Andrea Farmer, who needs to be told in no uncertain terms that you really really really think it is wrong to deprive millions of people of the right to be treated with the medicine of their choice just because they happen to be British.  Now, that may be a good reason to deprive them of a great many other things, but not medicine.  Surely not medicine.

 

So, here’s the information you need.  A letter to be used as a pattern by which you can create one of your own and Andrea Farmer’s contact information.  It’s a snooze or lose time and those come up infrequently, so make sure to not just sit there–do something.  Let your voice be heard.  Even if you are not British, speak to Andrea as the distant cousin you are and let her know what you think of this infringement of basic human rights.

 

Here’s the info:

 

 

Copy and paste into your email server. Personalize your message.

 

Dear Andrea Farmer,

I am writing to you about the MHRA consultation document entitled; Review of

Medicines Act 1968: informal consultation on issues relating to the PLR

regime and homeopathy. As a member of the public who chooses to use

homeopathy and benefits from its application/practicing homeopath (delete as

applicable), I am deeply concerned by the current orchestrated campaign

against homeopathy, which is led by a self appointed pressure group, Sense

About Science, and a number of bloggers.

 

I consider it to be a fundamental right of any citizen living in a country

which purports to be a democracy, to have ready access to the healthcare

option of their choice. This includes homeopathy, which as you know is

included in the original NHS charter.

 

I find your statement below acceptable for the new registration labels, and

can see no reason to change this statement:

 

“A homeopathic medicinal product licensed only on the basis of safety,

quality and use within the homeopathic tradition”

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Your signature here

 

Send to

andrea.farmer@mhra.gsi.gov.uk

 

Andrea Farmer

MHRA, Area 5M

151 Buckingham Palace Road

Victoria, London SW1W 9SZ

 

 

 

Time to put up or shut up.  There are some powerful (and power-hungry) people in England who have targeted homeopathy, as well as some rather loopy and fun folk who have sadly gotten caught up in the cause.  It’s important that politicians all around the world start to hear from other persons with other opinions and that those of you who count on homeopathy stop thinking that it will always be there for you and start doing something to make sure that that’s the case.

 

More later.  Get busy.

 

Re: Flying Monkeys

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Well, this has been a wacky day in Psora Psora Psora land.  Thanks to all who made it so special and so much fun.

Return often, if you will.  It gave what would otherwise have been a dreary, wet day some welcomed activity.

Did we resolve anything?  No.  Is it likely that we will resolve anything?  No.  I truly believe in homeopathic medicine.  I truly believe that there is no such thing as false hope, only hope and that hope is too valuable a commodity to ever dismiss.  Ever.  And I truly believe that healing is always possible.  Healing on every level of being:  body, mind and spirit.

I am, I admit, somewhat surprised that there are those who feel that these are controversial beliefs.  Or worse, that find them to be deluded beliefs or even dangerous beliefs to write about on a little blog floating out there somewhere on the internet.

But it appears that it is highly controversial to suggest such things and that, in suggesting them, I am being, among other things, a coward, a hypocrite and deluded.  As I said, among many other things.

This all having been said, I posted something as an answer to a comment in the last thread that I think, upon reflection, is just too good to hide away.  The Bible says we should never hide our light under a basket.  Journalists say we should never bury the lead.  So I want to move this answer to a comment up here–to make it a post all on its own.

I took a lot of hits today, and got called a lot of names.  I found that surprising.  Shows what an internet novice I still am.

Some of the heat I took was over calling my friends from Great Britain Flying Monkeys.  And for showing pictures of the monkeys in the posts.

In answer to one of the posts about my choice of the Flying Monkey moniker, I wrote:

I do think that allusion to the Flying Monkeys is apt. And also funny. They did come launched at me the first time as a like-minded army, all saying the exact same things. That time there was a lot of discussion about the merits (or lack thereof) of bleach. This told me that the monkeys were not ever aware of my blog or what I had been writing. They did not bother to read the blog, they just commented/ranted on it.

It undermines their argument when they all fly in that way. How much better to get one post that is real and thoughtful (and I DID get a few, I admit it), then to get dozens that are just the same thing over and over again. When argument comes in this fashion it can never seem to be the result of contemplation, of real thought. Instead, it seems like (as I’ve said before) the Tea Party rhetoric that we have had a good deal of lately here in the USA. People who offer nothing but criticism, who betray no sense of reason, no search for a point of commonality have very little to offer. With Rhys and with many others, I have reached, I think, a point of agreeing to disagree. For those who choose allopathic medicine, I hope that it brings them the relief and full cure that they are hoping for. I would rather be wrong about my dislike for allopathy than to have anyone suffer as a result of using it. In the same way, I would like to think that those who disagree with me can still wish me well and hope that my choice works well for me.

This is as it should be. This is how we should be.

And, along the way, we should never lose our sense of humor.

I stand by this.  I hope that you will, on reading it, stand next to me.  At least on this.  At least as far as what has been said here in this post at the end of a very long day.

Obamacare: Should We Beware?

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Since then-candidate Obama began promising us all “Change we can believe in” and, as part of that picture, universal healthcare, I have been wondering what that healthcare would mean to those millions of us who routinely choose the “alternative” route to healing.

And, as a quick aside, let me say that I have always resented the use of that word “alternative” when applied to homeopathy, acupuncture and other forms of treatment that do not march in lockstep with the allopathic concept of medicine.  Just by allowing the use of the term alternative, we allow for all other forms of medical philosophy and practice to be marginalized.  To be defined in terms of the allopathic “norm.”  And, as there is nothing “normal” about allopathic medicine, save the fact that it is culturally dominant, I reject the term alternative and will do what I can to stamp out its current usage.  Therefore, in all future postings, I will use the word “holistic” in its place.  Because one of the major differences between homeopathic and allopathic medicine is this concept of holism.  Homeopathic treatments are holistic in the sense that they are “whole being” treatments.  Allopathic practitioners work from the equally jovial and nonsensical notion that they can treat one or two aspects of the being in something of a vacuum–that they can treat one part of the body without impacting the whole.  (For an example of this sort of thinking, slam your finger in a car door and see how you feel–does that fact that only that small part of your body is wounded impact the rest of your being as well or not?  Do you feel the pain only in that finger or throughout your arm, you body?  Does it affect your mood as well? )

Okay, this brings us to  Executive Order 13544, an order that was signed by our President this last summer and an order that gives new powers both to the dreaded FDA and to the Department of Health and Human Services.  These two departments have now, in compliance with the United Nations’ Codex Alimentarius, been given the power to decide which vitamins and supplements and which forms of alternative–there’s that word again!–are safe and efficacious and which should be removed from the marketplace.  In the name of “our own good”, a government agency that have itself proven to be both ineffective and unsafe is now deciding what is safe and effective FOR US.  (The benign-sounding purpose of the Codex is to give the entire planet access to untainted food, water and medicine.  All well and good.  However, the way it is being enacted in the United States is neither well nor good, as we shall see.)

I have issues with this:

First, I have an issue with anything that gives the FDA more power.  Most especially since they are the body that brought us poisoned eggs, and who made us fear salads, as they are filled with foodstuffs–from lettuce to spinach to tomatoes to spring onions–that have, in recent times, been found to contain harmful toxins.  Now, no doubt, any spokesman for the FDA would portray them as well-meaning and overburdened.  This may be true, but the fact that they already seem to have more “on their plates”  (forgive the pun) than they can handle means to me that they don’t need any new tasks.  Indeed, since they are so overburdened with their well-doing, I suggest we give them all a nice, long vacation and set up a new system that safeguards us from the true threats of tainted foodstuffs and from medication (you see the ads for them day and night on TV) whose side-effects include “coma”, “death” and other startling developments.  In other words, if we are going to sign onto the Codex initiative, let’s actually do what it is supposed to do.

Second, I am wary of this whole process because the panel that is being assembled to judge the quick and the dead in the natural health community is comprised of only allopaths, of proponents of standard Western medicine.  Natural, holistic or “alternative” medical practitioners and providers are not being given a voice.  In a nation in which we lag behind that entire planet with it comes to healthcare, especially natural and holistic healthcare (homeopathy, for instance, is considered a form of standard medicine across Europe, Africa and most of Asia and South America), we are being asked to allow a panel of doctors whose training includes precious little in terms of nutrition, much less homeopathy and acupuncture, to judge the efficacy of something  that they do not understand and have been trained to reject?  Excuse me, but after thirty years of studying, teaching and writing about homeopathy, I think I know a bit more about it than a doctor who still uses the word homeopathy interchangeably with “herbal” or “holistic”.  Note that, while the official government site tells us that the panel will be fair, balanced and diverse, it has yet to prove to be any of those.

Further, I have an issue with the fact that the homeopaths, et al, are not being given a voice because it would not be deemed acceptable in any arena save healthcare.  You could never, for instance, have a panel on “Faith in America” and have only Christians or only Jews on the panel.  And you could never have any political panel the contained only Democrats.  In all other aspects of life and the debate of what is or is not appropriate a mix of voices and viewpoints is called for.  Certainly it is called for here.  And yet, the FDA, the HHC and the precious panel of “experts” are being given the reigns and they may soon make decisions that millions of us will regret.

Do you want to consider a world in which, when you go to your health food store to buy a vitamin or a supplement, you can only buy the chemical equivalent of one because the FDA has found that the natural supplement is not standardized enough–because it is natural?  Do you want to be denied not only the right to buy homeopathic remedies (now over-the-counter medications) or to see a homeopathic physician because the FDA has determined that homeopathy is unsafe or unscientific?  Is it right that those who know the least about a philosophy and practice should have the right to deny it to those who freely choose it and find it both safe and effective?

And, again, do we want the FDA of all agencies, to have the right to judge whether or not anything is safe and effective?  They have proven themselves to be incompetent when it comes to guaranteeing the safety of our food.  Now are we going to let them determine the safety of alternative medicine as well–medicines that have not been shown in any way dangerous or threatening to the commonweal?  It seems to me that giving the FDA more power to determine what is and is not safe to consume is as smart a move as giving the family dog the keys to the car.

I, for one, not only want the right to choose for myself what medicine I will use and what medicine I will not (Hint:  it advertises on TV that its side-effects include coma and death) and, further, I want the medicine that I choose to be fully covered by the insurance that Obamacare will force me to buy.

I believe that Candidate Obama had a vision of a great nation.  But I also believe that that vision has not come to pass.  He has forced through his healthcare plan in a way that will force me to buy health insurance, but will not in any way inhibit the insurer from charging me whatever he wants to, given my age and health.  And now, with the signing of Executive Order 13544, Obama goes a step further and seeks potentially (and please note the word “potentially”–I do not wear a tinfoil hat or typically have paranoid delusions, I am merely noting a potential turn of events) to sweep away a system of health and healing that actually works, that benefits millions of Americans.

This is surely the time to make some noise.  To call our Congressman and Senators’ offices.  To contact the media, to write letters.  To dance the blogger’s dance on the internet.  It is also a very good time for those who don’t understand the principles of holistic healthcare–specifically homeopathy (I am biased, I admit it)–to educate themselves and decide for themselves whether or not we as a nation can afford to hand this all away.  The British have recently been faced with the same question.  In the end, after much debate (they actually allowed all voices to be heard), they decided–homeopathy remains a part of the British health system and is fully covered by national healthcare.  We need to make the same wise decisions here and make them quickly, before it is too late.