EDM 284 refers to “tens of thousands of patients who depend on homeopathy”. I think Caroline Lucas is being somewhat disingenuous in claiming that in signing the motion all she is supporting is a level playing field. There is very clearly a huge political benefit to her in appearing to support homeopathy, and whilst she is paying lip-service to the concept of evidence-based medicine her claim that signing Treddinick’s motion is consistent with this is really rather ludicrous.
The motion calls for no change to the “policy of allowing decision-making on individual clinical interventions, including homeopathy, to remain in the hands of local NHS service providers and practitioners who are best placed to know their community’s needs.” It does not mention NICE.
And what does “burden of evidence” mean here? Does she, in fact, mean burden of proof, having failed to understand the difference, or is this an attempt to lower the barrier…?
The EDM also criticises the BMA for exceeding its remit by failing to properly consult (despite the fact that the motion was passed by its membership). Caroline Lucas is simply claiming it is beyond the BMA’s remit altogether, and that the motion is simply critical of the BMA and neutral on homeopathy.
The most insidious thing about this letter is the reference to the BMAs “own vested interests”. The implication here is that, rather than it being a valid and legitimate act for a professional body to (in the words of Julian Huppert’s amendment) “express its views about the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of any putative health treatment and the appropriateness of the NHS commissioning such treatments” that instead the BMA and its membership are incapable of evaluating the evidence without becoming susceptible to mysterious and malign forces.
I am really quite annoyed. My level of respect has dropped further.