In dispute with the BHA

No we’ve not fallen out with ourselves.

The BHA to which I refer is the British Humanist Association, a registered charity that according to the mission statement on its website believes in “equal treatment of everyone regardless of religion or belief”. That is unless you are a patient in Liverpool seeking treatment from the city’s NHS homeopathy service. For the Humanists appear to have abandoned its egalitarian views to support a campaign to force Liverpool CCG to withdraw funding from a homeopathic clinic that has benefitted hundreds of patients over many years.

Although the service is provided by medically trained doctors with years of clinical experience, the Humanists haven’t sought out their views – or that of their patients – before coming to a decision, preferring instead to base their position on highly prejudiced statements from an anti-homeopathy campaign group called the Good Thinking Society, none of whom appear to have any medical training whatsoever. This seems somewhat at odds with one of the Humanists’ guiding principles that affirms their belief in “engaging in debate rationally, intelligently, and with attention to evidence”.

Before publicising its support for the campaign to deprive the people of Liverpool of their NHS homeopathy service did the Humanists engage in rational, intelligent debate with any proponents of homeopathy or genuinely evaluate all of the evidence? Sadly, no! Again this appears contrary to another of their cherished values: “… being cooperative, working with others of different beliefs for the common good”.

The Humanists also say they believe in “recognising the dignity of individuals and treating them with fairness and respect”. The tearful 94-year-old lady from Liverpool, who called our offices, distraught at the prospect of losing access to the NHS homeopathic treatment she receives for her rheumatoid arthritis, would no doubt dispute this.

We have written to the British Humanist Association explaining our point of view and detailing the factual inaccuracies contained in the statements they have issued about homeopathy. They responded saying their stance is the “only reasonable and humane position” that they could take.

The leadership of the British Humanist Association certainly espouses a strange brand of humanity.

Margaret Wyllie
British Homeopathic Association, chairman

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