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AGAINST HOMEOPATHY – A UTILITARIAN PERSPECTIVE

Authors

  • KEVIN SMITH

    Corresponding author
    1. Abertay University, Dundee
      Dr. Kevin Smith, Abertay University – Contemporary Sciences, Baxter Building, Dundee, Tayside DD1 1HG, United Kingdom. Tel: 01382308664, Email: k.smith@abertay.ac.uk
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  • Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared

Dr. Kevin Smith, Abertay University – Contemporary Sciences, Baxter Building, Dundee, Tayside DD1 1HG, United Kingdom. Tel: 01382308664, Email: k.smith@abertay.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

I examine the positive and negative features of homeopathy from an ethical perspective. I consider: (a) several potentially beneficial features of homeopathy, including non-invasiveness, cost-effectiveness, holism, placebo benefits and agent autonomy; and (b) several potentially negative features of homeopathy, including failure to seek effective healthcare, wastage of resources, promulgation of false beliefs and a weakening of commitment to scientific medicine. A utilitarian analysis of the utilities and disutilities leads to the conclusion that homeopathy is ethically unacceptable and ought to be actively rejected by healthcare professionals.

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