Collecting signatures to the declaration “Homeopathy Worked for Me” is the first campaign organised by Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century (H:MC21). Its purpose is to give a voice to all those who support homeopathy as part of educating the public about homeopathy and creating a strong and positive public image for this system of medicine. H:MC21 was founded in response to a wave of attacks on homeopathy in the press and on television in the UK, including attempts to close the National Health Service (NHS) homeopathic hospitals and to end the practice of GPs referring patients to homeopaths.
The declaration was to be the primary focus, with the aim of collecting 250,000 signatures to be taken to Parliament as part of a demonstration in London. This was publicised by their first website (www.hmc21.org) which also provided information about homeopathy and lines of argument which could be used to respond to the attacks. In particular, the case for homeopathy was put in a form familiar to those used to orthodox medicine, in order to break through the barrier of terminology. As support increased H:MC21 set up a second website (homeopathyworkedforme.org), including more links, especially to available research on homeopathy. They also used their growing experience to develop wholely new lines of argument.
The original plan was for the demonstration to take place in June 2008, but is now planned for October. H:MC21 has been faced with the difficulty of publicising the campaign to a widespread and essentially isolated audience of practitioners and patients. As a result there has been a shift of focus towards building an organisation which can bring these people together as a force to promote homeopathy. As part of this process H:MC21 is arranging meetings across the country at homeopathic colleges and with groups of supporters interested in publicising the campaign. The intention is to organise public meetings across the UK during Homeopathy Awareness Week (14-21 June). H:MC21 is also linking up with other groups similarly interested in promoting homeopathy, especially the campaigns for individual homeopathic hospitals. In order to boost the confidence of supporters to take on the arguments they have produced a Resource Pack providing the key research and arguments (medical, scientific, financial and legal) to be used with PCTs, MPs and the press.
You can help H:MC21 by making it your voice:
- Sign the declaration online at homeopathyworkedforme.org or download a copy (there is an international version too)
- Tell everyone you know about it and get them to sign online or on paper
- Help us to organise a meeting in your area – we can put you in touch with others who have contacted us, and we can provide a speaker
- Raise money so that we can afford to publicise the campaign more widely
- Use the Resource Pack and write to your local PCT and MP
H:MC21 is a new type of homeopathic organisation. Rather than being focussed on supporting people within the homeopathic community, as the registering bodies and other organisations have done, it is trying to encourage that community of individuals to become a united force which can speak with authority to the public at large and to the medical profession and politicians in particular. It is a not-for-profit organisation with trustees who are homeopaths practising in the UK but with international backgrounds from the UK, the USA, Germany and India. We believe that the attacks are not a sign of homeopathy’s weakness, but of the weakness of the pharmaceutical companies, and that confronting them will provide an opportunity to dramatically change public attitudes to homeopathy for the future.