Professor Bewley is correct to ask for clearer terminology in the BMJ, an improvement that will cause other readers to rejoice . Perhaps Professor Bewley is ideally suited to judge what is “contradictory, obsolete, ambiguous and misleading” in your journal ?
After she and a few professorial colleagues labelled me and my homeopath colleagues as “bogus “ and practising “ naked quackery” (1) in your pages, I pointed out to her that such terminology made us unsuitable to be registered with the GMC, and that she had a clear professional duty to report us to the GMC, or to our employers. (2) None of us have been struck off the Register, so we must assume that, for charitable reasons, or a lack of evidence, she chose not to fulfil her professional duty to report us.
Readers may wonder if this historical allusion is relevant today, when we are surrounded by examples of double standards and hypocrisy in public and professional life.
We should acknowledge that the BMJ has lately reminded us, how destructive and dangerous, to ourselves and to patient care, is the tendency of medical professionals to be rude and dismissive to colleagues. (3, 4)
Public discussion about homeopathy in the UK is notable for the misinformed views,or ignorance of most people. They are influenced by a tiny minority of equally ignorant but denigratory people, with disproportionate media influence, who cannot abide anything that conflicts with their world view.
Homeopaths every day see people who can be always comforted, often relieved, and sometimes cured, when conventional medications have failed, or cause problems. Homeopathy is relatively inexpensive, and very safe. There are multitudes of adults and children out there who could benefit, and who deserve to be educated, and able to make an informed choice. They fail to do so partly because the nature of public and media debate has been distorted and debased by the misleading terminology so disliked by Professor Bewley. Perhaps she has moved on since she and her colleagues used similar terminology ?
Competing interests: NHS and peripatetic homeopath, no private practice.