Evidence Based Medicine

Written by Alan V. Schmukler

Editorial. Homeopathy 4 Everyone. August 2014

The term “evidence based medicine” has been bandied about a lot lately. Implicit in that phrase is the idea that medical treatment can somehow be made precise and that one can control outcomes. Of course, if the treatment is misguided or harmful, then doing it precisely is senseless. Also, much of the research that leads to the evidence is now tainted by conflicts of interest and no longer reliable. Aside from that, the idea of “evidenced based medicine” fails to consider one great variable, human behavior.

My four years working in a hospital, including time in ICU, PCU and EU helped me to understand that human nature will trump science every time. In the end, it is imperfect, ego driven, emotional humans who carry out, in clinical practice, the final stage of all that research. Witness the fact that death rates in the U.S. from medical errors, hospital-acquired infections, and drug side effects have remained at about 100,000 each, despite years of research and many efforts to change it. A study last year found that outpatient errors affect one in twenty U.S. adults, or about 12 million people a year1. Another study found an error rate of 10% in medications given to patients2. A study on radiology discovered that errors labeled “failure to diagnose” were responsible for up to 54% of radiology malpractice cases3. Finally, research by John’s Hopkins University4 on surgical errors, concluded that surgeons leave foreign objects (towels, sponges etc.) inside their patients about 39 times a week. They also perform the wrong surgery or operate on the wrong body part about 20 times a week.

Healing, like life, is complex and never totally under our control. We strive to make it better and control outcomes, but that goal is often not achieved. What can we do? We can try to be present (conscious), and come to our work with an open mind, a sense of humility, and genuine respect and caring for the patient.

  1. http://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/early/2014/04/04/bmjqs-2013-002627.abstract
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200672/
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200672/
  4. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/254426.php


In this issue:


Interview: We interview Ann Jerome, President of the National Center for Homeopathy (NCH) in the U.S. The NCH was an important influence in the revival of homeopathy in the U.S.

Articles: We have excellent articles from Dr. Aparna Joshi, Katja Shuett, Ton Jansen, Dr. Joel M. Moskowitz, Dr. Devika Mehta, Steven OdesRph, DIH, Catja Marion Thum, Elaine Lewis, Elizabeth Adalian, Sue Young, Dr. Ghanshyam Kalathia and Iman Navab. We have research papers by Drs. Ruhul Amin and Biplab Chakraborty, and a synopsis of research in homeopathy from Robert Medhurst.

Cases: You’ll find very instructive cases from Ellen Kire, Helen Dalton, Tanya Artus, Dr. Muhammad Sandhu, Dr. Seyedaghanoor Sadeghi, Sarah Davison, Torako Yui and Dr. Suruchi Sodhani. Edward de Beukelaer shares a veterinary case that yielded to a rare remedy.

Book Reviews: David Johnson reviews The Lacs: A Materia Medica and Repertory by Patricia Hatherly, and David Nortman reviews Homeopathy for Diseases by Peter Chappell & Harry van der Zee.

Ask the Holistic Vet : Dr. Deva Khalsa, with 30 years experience in holistic practice, responds to your veterinary questions.

The Plant Doctors : Mark Moodie, Dr. Iftikhar Waris and Pawan Singhania answer your questions about houseplants and crops.

And more… Be sure to see the the new Tips & Secrets, Crossword Puzzle, Elaine Lewis’s Tidbits and Quiz, and the new Cartoon.


Get involved! We love to hear from you so please send your questions, comments, cases and articles to [email protected]

About the author

Alan V. Schmukler

Alan V. Schmukler is a homeopath, Chief Editor of Homeopathy for Everyone and author of ”Homeopathy An A to Z Home Handbook”, (also in French, German, Greek, Polish and Portuguese). He is Hpathy’s resident cartoonist and also produces Hpathy’s Tips & Secrets column and homeopathy Crossword puzzles each month. Alan is a recipient of the National Center for Homeopathy Martha Oelman Community Service Award. Visit Alan at his website: Here.


  • Alan, you really summed it up in these two sentences:
    “Of course, if the treatment is misguided or harmful, then doing it precisely is senseless. Also, much of the research that leads to the evidence is now tainted by conflicts of interest and no longer reliable.”
    Exactly! If you’re only testing toxic substances, what does it matter that the procedure was perfect? And if the one doing the testing stands to profit from a favorable outcome, then all the tests that don’t come out favorably are discarded until one comes out right! I am so tired of hearing the phrase “evidence-based medicine”! The evidence is that it kills over 100,000 people a year when used “correctly”!

  • This article immediately drew my attention and I translated and published translation on my website, for all those which native language is Serbian or similar.

  • Sir what you said is realy shocking. If this is the true condition of the medical system in america then what would be in other countries. If patients are attened with this carelessness then where is the safty of health. Sir your last sentence should be the last one for a physician.

    • Thanks for your comment Santanu. In some countries patients have more choices, including homeopathy. Many countries embrace holistic methods. It’s a very dangerous situation in the U.S., especially in hospitals, where patients are often helpless.

  • This is the true condition of the medical system, period! The reason is their adaptation of a false premise (“Opposites cure opposites”) and that the goal, when all is said and done, is to make money. First of all, we know that opposites don’t cure opposites, so it’s a demoralizing set-up for doctors, most of what they do ends badly. It’s also fragmented, specialized, one doctor works only on ears, nose and throat; another works only on the rectum, there’s no concept of the patient as a whole. As Robin Murphy says, “Modern medicine has no hypothesis, no laws, no principles about what it’s doing.” So, the players involved in it have no reason to come to work except to make money. It’s not like those practicing alternative medicine who have an actual expectation that they’re going to cure their patients! Consequently, great care is taken because they know what can be done. In orthodox medicine, care is spread out among workers who are merely working for a substandard wage and just following orders, not really part of an exciting process to bring a sick person back to health. For example, it is now customary to drug all patients in clinical settings, such as dialysis, nursing homes, etc., why? Because if they’re drugged they don’t complain, and it makes it nicer for the staff! There’s no thought of, “Oh, these drugs pose a problem of toxicity for the liver and kidneys….” See when you have no principles, no laws of cure, etc., you never think like that. So all that modern medicine is, really, is a one-stop shop for quick fixes, pay your bill, and make room for the next patient!

  • RE: “The reason is their adaptation of a false premise (“Opposites cure opposites”)”

    Well said! It’s an entire medical system based on the wrong premise. Doctors don’t grasp the long term effects of this misguided effort. When they prescribe drugs they know may be damaging or posssibly fatal, they have to rationalize this by telling themselves there is no alternative. What ever happened to Hippocrates oath? There’s a lot of denial.

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