The above BBC headline is completely correct: it is a myth that antibiotics can cure most coughs and colds, and that myth is rife.
But can you imagine the BBC publishing the following headline?
Myth of homeopathic efficacy still rife
No, me neither. The second headline is equally correct, but the BBC seems scared to say so. Instead, they remain neutral, saying stuff like:
- Supporters believe homeopathy helps relieve a range of minor ailments from bruising to insomnia
- But critics say it is no better than sugar pills and people only get better because they believe the treatment will work – the so-called placebo effect
There are scientifically valid ways of testing medical efficacy. Antibiotics fail these tests for most coughs and colds. Homeopathy fails these tests for all medical conditions. But the BBC, bizarrely and irresponsibly, seems only prepared to report quite categorically the former.
Oh, and in case you were wondering which other ‘minor ailments’ homeopathy’s supporters claim that it can treat (not just ‘relieve’), well, for a start, there is malaria and aids.
Have you ever read such nonsense in your life? (Other than on this website, obviously):
I’m pretty sure we would all remember being bitten in the head by a sodding gorilla!
…but they’re having more difficulty recalling a memory loss pill.
BBC: ‘Fir tree’ removed from man’s lung
A five centimetre section of fir tree has been removed from a man’s lung, Russian surgeons claim.
Apparently, he always had really fresh breath.
Jen and I played doctors and nurses last Friday night. No, not that sort of doctors and nurses, you wicked reader; just like real doctors and nurses, we were practising medicine.
You see, a real (male) nurse was due to come and take my blood pressure on Saturday morning for insurance reasons. Every time I have my blood pressure taken, I faint (yeah, laugh away). So Jen borrowed a blood-pressure-measuring-thingy and stethoscope from her friend, Joy, and we got practising.
I didn’t like it at all, but discovered that it wasn’t nearly so bad if I knew what pressure Jen was going to pump it up to before she began, and I could watch the pressure gauge.
The practice was well worth the effort: the (extremely greasy) male nurse came on Saturday morning, and I managed to stay conscious for the whole ten minutes he was there.
My blood pressure was 120/70, which, according to Joy, is pretty damn good.