Early Day Motion 342: British Medical Association Motions on Homeopathy

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Early Day Motion 342: British Medical Association Motions on Homeopathy was an Early Day Motion proposed by David Tredinnick on 29th June 2010. It is similar to Tredinnick's EDM 284: BMA Annual Representative Meeting Motions on Homeopathy proposed just 8 days earlier, before the BMA voted on the motions.

The motion stated:

"That this House regrets the decision taken at the Annual Representative Meeting of the British Medical Association to oppose further commissioning and funding of homeopathic remedies in the NHS; further regrets that doctors who opposed the motions were excluded from the meeting; notes that none of those voting on the issue had studied or had any experience of homeopathy; further notes that many of the 500 doctors trained in homeopathy in the UK prefer to use homeopathy, when appropriate, before using powerful allopathic drugs; further notes that surveys show that a large proportion of the population have at some time or other used homeopathy or herbal medicine; further notes that 140 books have been published on homeopathy and that there is overwhelming anecdotal evidence that homeopathy is effective, frequently in cases when patients have not found relief through conventional medical treatments; further notes that those who do not want homeopathic treatment or remedies are under no obligation to have or take them; believes that there should be further research in this area; and calls on the Government to maintain a policy of allowing health commissions to refer to homeopathic doctors and approved homeopaths when they think it appropriate."

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Amendment

An extensively amended motion, EDM 342A1, was proposed by Julian Huppert. The amended motion read:

"That this House welcomes the policy adopted by the British Medical Association (BMA) concurring with the conclusions of the Science and Technology Select Committee's Fourth Report of Session 2009-10, Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy, HC45, and opposing the funding of homeopathy on the NHS; recognises that the BMA decides its policies democratically whereby any member can stand for election as a representative to its Annual Representative Meeting or to its Council; considers that a professional medical organisation is better placed to judge the evidence for the efficacy and the cost-effectiveness of a treatment, and the ethics of prescribing placebos based on a pseudo-scientific explanation of a non-existent mode of action, than the homeopathy industry itself; regrets that a small minority of doctors seek to use placebos in preference to appropriate reassurance or effective medicines; believes that the number of people who choose to use homeopathy or other non-evidence-based approaches is a separate question from whether the NHS should spend scarce resources on such things; further believes that the existence of anecdotes and books, even hardback ones, that suggest that homeopathy is effective merely highlights the importance of differentiating, through techniques such as randomised controlled trials, between evidence and anecdote; notes that those who want to use homeopathic treatments are not prevented from accessing them through commercial outlets; and agrees with the Select Committee that putting patients through pointless further clinical trials, and the spending of scarce public sector funds on any more research into homeopathy, cannot be justified."

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List of signatories

The motion was signed by 16 MPs: