Monday, September 28, 2009

Faith Based Medicine: A Tragic Story

My previous blog poked fun at faith-based medicine. Little did I know when I posted that light-hearted satire that today's blog would be a true-life tragedy.

An Australian couple let their baby die because of their "faith" in homeopathy. And worse, this wasn't some quick death due to fever, it was a terrible, lingering, painful death. Judge Johnson, who presided over the case, called it what it was: cruelty.

I believe it was the philosopher William James (no relation) who said that the strength of a person's beliefs is proportional to their investment in those beliefs. In this case, the father was Thomas Sam, a lecturer in homeopathy at a homeopathic college. "Professor" Sam's entire career and academic reputation rested on the foundation of his beliefs in the efficacy of homeopathic remedies. If he'd sent his baby to physicians who use proper, science-based medicine, he would have been admitting that his entire career was a sham.

Well, his career was a sham. The "professor" just didn't know it, and now his baby is dead, and he and his wife are in prison.

Homeopathy is a religion, nothing more, nothing less. It's based on a theory that is plainly wrong. Anyone with even a modest grasp of the basics of how the universe works can instantly see that homeopathy can't possibly work. There are only two ways one can accept homeopathy: Either through sheer ignorance, or through a deliberate rejection of logical thinking.

In Thomas Sam's case, we can't even give him credit for ignorance. He was a well-educated man who deliberately, callously, and selfishly put his career and reputation ahead of the life of his child. Six years in prison will never erase that baby's suffering nor bring it back to life.

1 comment:

  1. Another sad story proving the tragic fact on how someone else's belief system can kill you.


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