Anti-vac­ci­na­tion home­opaths face be­ing struck off

Daily Mail - - Valentine’s Day Life - 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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