Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm voting yes to AV and this is why...

I was going to write out my reasons, but this excellent blog post basically does it better:

Succinctly: AV is the proportional representation I want, but it's probably our only stab at electoral reform, which we dearly need (assuming you want our Government to reflect the will of the electorate), so, whilst not perfect AV seems a step in the right direction, and is certainly a step needed before we have a truly proportional system.

Charities and woo

Regular readers will know that as well as being all skeptical, another one of my "things" is helping charities*. Alas, I was thus concerned when a friend alerted me to this in the MSRC newsletter:


Homeopathy is based on the principle that ‘like cures like’. Highly diluted substances are used, usually in tablet form or drops. The Homeopath will ask a number of very detailed questions to make up a concise case history of you. This will look at the whole person, including personality, temperament, state of mind and lifestyle, before choosing remedies tailor-made to the individual.

Substances are taken which trigger the body’s healing mechanisms. A past condition can resurface and manifest itself in a mild form for a short time. Some substances would be quite poisonous in their undiluted state but they are so dilute that they cannot be detected in the normal way. They are thought to work through cellular memory at a vibrational level.

In MS, Homeopathy may help lessen fatigue, increase energy, warm up cold extremities and help to detoxify the body.

To find out more about Homeopathy or to find your nearest practitioner please click below:

[ The Society Of Homeopaths ]

Rather coincidently, this story cropped up in Third Sector news today as well:

Health charity criticised by Advertising Standards Authority
Regulator tells the Maperton Trust to stop claiming that a £19 badge will repel head lice
The holistic health charity the Maperton Trust has been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority for claiming a badge with a picture of a unicorn on it could repel head lice.
I've mentioned before about how it's sometimes possible to promote religion by accident: when a religious charity doesn't make it obvious that one of their main goals in the promotion of a religion when they set up an appeal. It certainly looks like the same can happen with quack treatments - whilst the Merton Trust may be quite explicit for their support of things that don't work, well, unless you follow this reasoning to get your evidence:

While conventional medicines concentrate on the physical structures and functions, alternative and complementary medicine is holistic in nature considering optimum health as a balance in the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states. This difference makes comparing conventional with non conventional systems of health care extremely difficult. We feel that comparing the satisfaction of the receivers of health care offers a way forward and our trials were based on what the patient said their problems were and what they thought after treatment.
Other health charities it appears will support quack remedies too. I must confess, that when I look at a charity to see if I want to give my time or money to it, I won't search for quackery, but now I will. MRSC for example has a page for especially for woo. This disappoints me.

So the lesson I have learnt today, and hope to pass on to you is that, if you don't want to promote bogus treatments, search for them on a charity's web page first, just to make sure. Charities may well be doing good, but there are lots of charities around, and if I want to give my time and money, I want it to go to charities that will make the most of it, and don't waste their time with rubbish.

Thankfully, the excellent charity Sense About Science, and the newly formed (but not a charity as far as I know) Nightingale Collaboration are on hand to help fight the good fight against nonsense, and I would encourage you to support them.

*the main reason I'm big into helping charities is that, quite idealistically, I feel they are one of the best ways to help make a positive difference in the world. For example, I have no medical training, but can help fight diseases like meningitis, by running a marathon etc.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...