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Legal challenge launched over organisation promoting dangerous homeopathic anti-vax therapy

Homeopathic lactose sugar globules in glass bottles

The Good Thinking Society, a charity that promotes science and campaigns against pseudoscience, has today launched a legal challenge against the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) over its decision to continue to accredit the Society of Homeopaths despite concerns it has raised that the Society continues to promote a dangerous ‘treatment’ based on discredited ideas about vaccines causing autism. 

The PSA raised concerns about the Society’s promotion of CEASE therapy, which stands for Complete Elimination of Austisitic Spectrum Expression, and which not only promotes the false claim that vaccines are linked to the development of autism in children, but that this can be counteracted through high doses of vitamin C, homeopathic pills, and dietary restrictions. 

The PSA noted that its accreditation panel ‘had been concerned by the potentially severe health risks posed by CEASE therapy’ as well as concerns about misleading advertising – yet did not revoke its accreditation. 

If the legal challenge is successful the PSA will have to reconsider its decision to accredit the Society of Homeopaths, which confers considerable legitimacy and credibility to the organisation and its ‘treatments’. 

Michael Marshall, Project Director at the Good Thinking Society, stated, ‘the PSA encourage members of the public to choose healthcare practitioners which belong to one of its accredited registers, and even have a tool on their site to find accredited practitioners. That advice is fundamentally undermined by the fact that a patient could, via the PSA’s list of accredited practitioners, find themselves consulting with a homeopath who discourages vaccination and believes they can cure children of autism.’

Humanists UK’s Director of Public Affairs and Policy commented, ‘We have long campaigned against state-funding of homeopathy and other pseudoscientific treatments, which can either directly harm patients or encourage them to cease taking evidence-based medications on which their health could depend. 

‘We are supportive of the actions of the Good Thinking Society in taking a legal challenge against the PSA’s reckless decision to confer its support and give legitimacy to the Society of Homeopaths – an organisation that is carrying out potentially dangerous so-called treatments and propagates false claims about vaccines that are putting the lives of children at risk across the globe.’ 

Notes

For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at casey@humanism.org.uk or phone 020 7324 3078.

Read the accreditation decision of the Professional Standards Authority.

Read more about Humanists UK’s campaign work on ‘complementary and alternative medicine’.

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

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