I realise that the rolling news agenda can change extremely quickly in today’s media saturated world, but even this is slightly dramatic…
The Irish Times is the so-called “newspaper of record” in Ireland. It has a reputation for being Ireland’s leading print source of intellectual commentary and political analysis. It is widely regarded as maintaining impeccable journalistic standards and of being one of Europe’s leading newspapers. However, when it comes to alternative medicine, and homeopathy in particular, it has something of a weakness. Like many newspapers, the Irish Times appears to judge homeopathy as being immune from the normal standards of journalistic criticism (or, perhaps more likely, of being insufficiently important to warrant such rigour). This can almost be excused on the basis that any reader who is so ill-informed as to take the claims of homeopathy seriously should be willing to take responsibility for the outcome of such bogus treatments. However, when these readers are parents of vulnerable children, and when the Irish Times recommends that (inert) homeopathic treatments should be offered to children ahead of (effective) pharmacological ones, then we have a serious problem. Continue reading “The Irish Times: Promoting homeopathy, endangering children?”
One of the most troubling aspect of this newspaper story — “I’d lost my baby then somehow fell pregnant thanks to acupuncture”– is knowing quite where to begin discussing it (although I know I should start by thanking @johnbirrane for tweeting it to me). The story appeared in the “Mothers & Babies” section of today’s Irish Independent. In short, it describes the experience of a 44-year-old woman who recently gave birth to her second child. The focus of the story is that she believes her pregnancy to have been assisted by acupuncture, as prior to receiving the treatment she had serious difficulty in conceiving successfully. While acknowledging that this news story concerns an event of great joy for the mother concerned, it has to be said that, as a whole, it consists almost entirely of specious concepts held together by spurious reasoning.
Continue reading ““Pregnant thanks to acupuncture””