Daily Mail

Anti-vaccinatio­n homeopaths face being struck off

- By Eleanor Hayward Health Reporter

HOMEOPATHS will be struck off the profession­al register if they promote dangerous anti-vaccinatio­n myths – in a major victory for the Daily Mail’s campaign.

The medical watchdog said it will only allow the Society of Homeopaths to remain a recognised organisati­on if its 1,200 members are banned from promoting alternativ­es to vaccinatio­n.

The Profession­al Standards Authority (PSA) said homeopaths must not ‘provide advice on vaccinatio­n or offer or provide homeopathy as an alternativ­e to vaccinatio­n’.

Members will also be forbidden from offering ‘Cease’ therapy, a supposed cure for autism relying on the debunked idea it can be caused by vaccinatio­ns.

In November, the Mail revealed how Linda Wicks, chairman of the Society of Homeopaths, was using Facebook to campaign on behalf of the ‘anti-vaxx’ movement. An undercover probe also exposed how homeopaths are flogging useless ‘homeopathi­c vaccinatio­n kits’ which they falsely claim boost natural immunity.

Professor Stephen Powis, England’s top doctor, said: ‘Taking homeopathi­c remedies, instead of evidence- based, effective and scientific advice – particular­ly on lifesaving inter ventions like measles vaccines – risks sending well-meaning parents down a path that puts them and their children at great risk. Homeopaths should be banned from advertisin­g quack remedies for autism, but frankly this is not enough and they should not be issuing medical advice, full stop.’

The Mail launched its Give Children Their Jabs campaign in October after an alarming NHS report revealed falling uptake of all ten childhood jabs including MMR. The chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has also attacked the homeopathy industry for spreading toxic ‘misinforma­tion’ about vaccines.

The Society of Homeopaths has been given three months to ensure that all registered homeopaths do not provide advice on vaccinatio­n. Instead, they should refer all patients to the NHS for further guidance.

Homeopathy is based on diluting active ingredient­s so intensely that typically none of the original substance remains. Evidence shows they are no more useful than sugar pills.

Last year, the Good Thinking Society, which promotes rational scepticism, was granted permission for a judicial review of the PSA’s decision to accredit the Society of Homeopaths. A spokesman said: ‘As our legal challenge is due to be heard on March 18, we need to take some time to carefully examine this new reaccredit­ation decision.’

On its website, the Society of Homeopaths says it ‘does not endorse the use of homeopathi­c medicines as an alternativ­e to vaccinatio­n for the prevention of serious infectious diseases’.

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