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Do you believe homeopathic treatments work?


BOOTSA panel of scientists and doctors has told MPs that treating patients with homeopathy on the NHS is unethical and a dubious use of public money, arguing that there is insufficient clinical evidence to support such treatments.

“If the NHS  commitment to evidence-based medicine is more than a lip service, then money has to be spent on treatments that are evidence-based, and homeopathy isn’t,” said Edzard Ernst, a professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula medical school in Exeter, quoted in the Guardian.

Homeopathy is based on the principle of “like cures like” – in other words, a substance taken in small amounts will cure the same symptoms it causes if it was taken in large amounts.

Homeopathic medicines are manufactured by repeatedly diluting and succussing (shaking) a preparation of the original substance, mainly plants and minerals, in water and alcohol. After dilution the medicine is added to lactose tablets or pillules, according to the Faculty of Homeopathy, a regulatory body established by parliament in 1950.

Do top professions favour the rich?


Professions such as law, medicine and journalism have a “closed shop mentality” and are increasingly open only to those from affluent backgrounds, a report into social mobility says.

Former Labour government minister Alan Milburn, who chaired the study on widening access to top professions, said that young people need better career advice to raise their aspirations and give them greater confidence. Mr Milburn told the BBC: “We have raised the glass ceiling but I don’t think we have broken through it yet.