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Alternative medicines: a real alternative to scientific medicine?

Learning Outcomes:

* To identify some of the main alternative medicines: acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnotherapy.
* To evaluate the arguments for and against alternative medicines as effective treatments.


Read the folowing statements made about alternative medicines. Think about which statements you agree / disagree with, then share your thoughts on this discussion wall.

"Orthodox medicine has so much to learn" Prince Charles.

"The public and the NHS are best served by using the available funds for treatments that are based on solid evidence." Letter to NHS trusts.

"There is so much anecdotal evidence that thousands of people gain benefit from using complementary medicines." Terry Cullen, British Complementary Medicine Association.

"Many previous studies have demonstrated that homoeopathy has an effect over and above placebo." A spokeswoman from the Society of Homoeopaths.

"We need clinical trials to demonstrate that these placebo therapies actually enhance quality of life." Professor Michael Baum.

"There is a considerable body of positive evidence that homoeopathy works. Most of the meta-analyses - the pooling of statistical results - have been positive." Dr Peter Fisher.

Thought about it? Share your views here.


Doctors attack bogus medicines

Q&A Complementary Medicines

Complementary Medicines - a guide

10 lesser known alternative therapies


Using evidence from the links above write a speech arguing either in favour of, or opposing the funding of alternative therapies on the NHS. If you want or need support writing this speech, use one of the writing frames available for download on this site. When you have finished your speech, feel free to e-mail me a copy - my students, I'll take them in the usual manner via the VLE.

Revise: use the information in this dummies guide to revise your knowledge of this type of medicine. Healing at home - herbal remedies and popular 'common' cures.





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