UK homeopathy groups unite as hundreds lobby MPs at Westminster

Huge confidence in homeopathy’s effectiveness shown at ‘H:MC21’ event, in wake of calls to ban it from NHS

Contact: Yvonne England Dip Raw MBANT
ANH Practitioner Liaison
yvonne@anhcampaign.org

In a massive show of unity and resolve, homeopathic practitioners, patients and supporters from over 30 different groups and organisations gathered on 24th February 2010 at an event at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London. Many of those gathered were waving placards and banners, which stood out clearly against the threatening, grey sky. Many of the banners declared people’s right to freedom of choice in healthcare, or announced that ‘homeopathy worked for me’.  The event was organised by the donation funded campaign group: Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century (H:MC21), in the wake of calls from MPs that the NHS should cease funding for the popular therapy.

Throughout the afternoon, approximately 250 of those wanting to take action filed slowly down into the House from the ‘lobbyist holding area’ to meet with their MPs. Their aims are to encourage Parliamentary support for homeopathy as a therapeutic option on the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), to encourage research into homeopathic treatment and monitoring of its clinical and cost effectiveness, and to make MPs aware that the opposition to homeopathy is not based on good science, but on propagandist techniques.

Groups working together: crucial for the success of a campaign  

Ursula Kraus-Harper, Chair of H:MC21 told ANH at the mass lobby: “This is the first time that we have got all the homeopathic community together, and a lot of patients have come along too! That is such a great thing, and it is so important for the campaign!”.

William Alderson, Secretary of the group added: “Things have really moved on and the seeds have been sown for a lot more co-operation with the different groups”.

The importance of groups working together for a campaign such as freedom of health choice was a view reiterated by British actress Jenny Seagrove, who also attended the mass lobby. 


 

Petition delivered to Prime Minister at 10, Downing Street

The day of action culminated in the delivery to the UK’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, of the H:MC21Homeopathy worked for me!” petition. The large box of signatures, 28,112 in all, was handed in at the door of number 10, by H:MC21 Chair, Ursula Kraus-Harper, and their secretary William Alderson. They were accompanied by Conservative MP, David Tredinnick, two homeopaths, Helen Campbell and Grace DaSilva-Hill, Oliver Dowding, a farmer who uses homeopathy to treat his animals, and finally, Vanessa and Ethan Gabbett-Mulhallen, a mother and her child who use homeopathy.   

Afterwards, William Alderson told ANH: “ This couldn’t have been done 2 years ago. Homeopaths and patients would have felt demoralised.  Now, because their confidence has been built up, the lobby was something they enjoyed and felt buoyant about!

H:MC21 came of age today. We were able to turn the theoretical work into a practical demonstration of how people feel. Despite the attacks, homeopaths, patients and supporters feel buoyant! We’ve got the upper hand!

About ‘Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century’

H:MC21 set themselves up approximately 3 years ago, in response to the growing number of propaganda attacks by the orthodox medical profession on homeopathy in the UK. Such attacks appear to be unique to the UK. In other European countries, such as in Germany (where homeopathy originated over 200 years ago) and France, not only is homeopathy recognised, but it is a respected and widely used field of medicine.  More than 100 million EU citizens use homeopathy for their healthcare.

Professor Edzard Ernst’s attacks have been some of the most ferocious, but as ANH has clarified previously, there are major methodological weaknesses to Ernst’s methods of analysis.

The H:MC21 group questions why it has been necessary to attack the presence of homeopathy in the NHS. The group has written a damning critique of the Commons Science and Technology Committee’s Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy, showing that the committee’s arguments are biased and fatally flawed, their standards of investigation are unacceptable, and that their conclusions offer a highly unsatisfactory basis for any change in legislation.

See also:

Homeopathy Evidence Check: A response from the profession

The Society of Homeopaths Press Statement 

British Homeopathic Association Response Part 2: Expectations of the evidence base

Views on the attacks on homeopathy and its availability in the NHS

Strong opinions and other various comments were voiced by practitioners, patients and supporters, as they queued outside Westminster to lobby their MPs. There follows a selection of these:

Homeopathy is really effective, so they have to attack it to protect their interests. There are so many people who have benefits from homeopathic treatment” Member of staff from the Homeopathy Japan Co. UK Ltd. School

I am very encouraged by the vitriolic attacks on homeopathy. It shows how threatened the medical establishment and drug companies are by us. There’s a complex web of vested interests driving it all. Why is the propaganda from the skeptics so easy to find?! There’s definitely a war going on!!” Homeopath since 1998

I believe that it does work and I believe that it should be available” F. Dartford BDS Lond. LF Hom (dent), Homeopathic Dentist

It beggars belief that they continue to say that homeopathy doesn’t work… If it didn’t work, I wouldn’t have clients coming 5 days a week every week!” Homeopath with the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths, 14 years experience

Where do you start?!...well,  its not putting my patients off!” Homeopath, 15 years experience

The attacks are totally twisted facts and untruths! I get very angry! ...homeopathy also cured my hayfever and my asthma” Homeopathic patient for 18 years, after being told by a doctor that there was nothing more they could do.

People should have a choice. The element of choice is being bulldozed out by big business. Capitalism is unsustainable” Homeopath

We believe that homeopathy should be integrated into healthcare. Homeopathy plays a part, and people should be given a choice” Homeopath

They (the skeptics) refuse to accept that it (the as yet unexplained mechanism that is responsible for the effectiveness of homeopathy) could be anything to do with physics rather than chemistry” Ursula Kraus-Harper, Chair of H:MC21

It’s a tragedy that we have to be here defending homeopathy. I think the Western model of illness is over-simplistic, and that many of the allopathic prescriptions handed out by GPs are very damaging. Homeopathy has no side effects whatsoever and it’s very powerful medicine!” Homeopathic patient for 23 years

Views on the NHS homeopathy hospital closure threats

It would be a disaster. I had ME for 8 years. My homeopathic treatment gave me my life back!” RLHH patient

It feels like we are going backwards instead of forwards in healthcare!” RLHH patient

This is just another big revenue opportunity for the big drug companies. Knock homeopathy over and get people into their drugs. I know homeopathy works because I’ve seen it work! Why reject something that’s worked for more than 200 years, if its still working?!” RLHH supporter, and husband of RLHH patient

If they close the hospital, I’ll chain myself to the railings!!” 96 year-old Jane Gilchrist, League of Friends, Royal London Homeopathic Hospital

“…and all the League of Friend’s members will join her!” Chairman, League of Friends, Royal London Homeopathic Hospital

Views on effectiveness with animals

Oliver Dowding, an organic farmer, who has treated his dairy cows homeopathically for 15 years, also attended the mass lobby. He told ANH that: “They (dairy cows) don’t lie, but they do get better!”.

Finally, a small dog, named Frankie, also attended the Westminster event. Her owners told ANH that in March 2006 she had a fast-growing T-cell lymphoma confirmed with a biopsy from her regular vet, who gave her 5 months to live.  Frankie’s owners told us that that they took her to a homeopathic vet, and added: “four years later, here she is! Living a normal, healthy life!”. Frankie carried her very own placard, which read “I’m Frankie, living proof that homeopathy works!”.  

 

Up-coming homeopathy events

2 key homeopathy events are scheduled to take place this March:-   

23rd March 2010: “Third EU Homeopathy Day” in the European Parliament, hosted by Marian Harkin MEP. “The event will focus on the need to respect the choices and preferences of the 100 million users of homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine in Europe and to act on their request for the integration of homeopathy and complementary medicine into health care policy”.

27th March 2010: “Scientific Research in Homeopathy” Conference, organised by the CMA. Key speakers at this event include the above-mentioned organic farmer, Oliver Dowding, and ANH International’s Dr Robert Verkerk.

 
For more information, please visit our

Health Choice campaign page.

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Updated: 1 Mar 2010

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