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The Swiss report on homeopathy: a case study of research misconduct
JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift)
ID 1541290
Author(s) Shaw, David
Author(s) at UniBasel Shaw, David
Year 2012
Title The Swiss report on homeopathy: a case study of research misconduct
Journal Swiss medical weekly
Number 142
Pages / Article-Number w13594
Keywords alternative medicine, ethics, homeopathy, insurance, research integrity, research midconduct

In 2011 the Swiss government published a report on homeopathy [1]. The report was commissioned following a 2009 referendum in which the Swiss electorate decided that homeopathy and other alternative therapies should be covered by private medical insurance. Before implementing this decision, the government wished to establish whether homeopathy actually works. In February 2012 the report was published in English and was immediately proclaimed by proponents of homeopathy to offer conclusive proof that homeopathy is effective. This paper analyses the report and concludes that it is scientifically, logically and ethically flawed. Specifically, it contains no new evidence and misinterprets studies previously exposed as weak; creates a new standard of evidence designed to make homeopathy appear effective; and attempts to discredit randomised controlled trials as the gold standard of evidence. Most importantly, almost all the authors have conflicts of interest, despite their claim that none exist. If anything, the report proves that homeopaths are willing to distort evidence in order to support their beliefs, and its authors appear to have breached Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences principles governing scientific integrity.

Publisher Schwabe Verlag
Full Text on edoc No
Digital Object Identifier DOI 10.4414/smw.2012.13594
PubMed ID
ISI-Number WOS:000304810800010
Document type (ISI) Editorial Material

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