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Bioethics. 2012 Oct;26(8):398-409. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2010.01876.x. Epub 2011 Feb 14.

Against homeopathy--a utilitarian perspective.

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  • 1Abertay University - Contemporary Sciences, Baxter Building, Dundee, Tayside DD1 1HG, UK.


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.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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