Harefuah. 1992 Feb; 122(3): 137-42.
[Inadvertent child health neglect by preference of homeopathy to conventional medicine]
Pediatrics Dept., Hadassah-University Hospital, Ein Karem, Jerusalem.
The effectiveness of alternative medicine, especially homeopathy, has not been proven by prospective, double-blind, controlled studies. However, homeopathy has been gaining in popularity in Israel. 4 children of religious parents are presented, who were treated by homeopathic medical practitioners for cervical streptococcal lymphadenitis, acute lymphatic leukemia, bacterial pneumonia and atopic dermatitis, respectively. The parents of the latter 3 children rejected the correct medical diagnoses, as well as any medical treatment offered by other medical practitioners. All of the children had severe, unusual, but preventable complications. "Alternative" medicine, especially homeopathic practice, is dealt with from medical, social and comparative law aspects. The 4 cases are considered examples of a special kind of child neglect, inadvertent child health neglect because of false beliefs or lack of knowledge. The government is called upon to prevent this kind of child neglect by education of the public and the enactment of appropriate laws and their enforcement. This should be done even if the right to choose one's health treatment system and practitioner is preferred to the right not to be offered ineffective treatment.