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Editor—Schmidt and Ernst concluded that some homoeopaths and chiropractors advise against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination. Their survey seems to have used dubious and possibly unethical methods to extract potentially sensational information.1 Public confidence in our profession may have been dealt a blow by this piece of reporting.
The Society of Homeopaths does not encourage its members to advise patients against vaccination. The society acknowledges that there is much anecdotal and scientific evidence to support the arguments presented both for and against vaccination. It believes that parents should be supported in making rational informed decisions about the short and long term implications of vaccination for their children.
Homoeopaths on the society's register have been trained to a very high standard and undergone a rigorous registration process. This registration process uses as one of its main reference points the national occupational standards for homoeopathy published in 2000.2 The Society of Homeopaths, the Faculty of Homeopathy, and other homoeopathic organisations all contributed to the development of these standards. Our members are fully insured, abide by a strict code of ethics and practice, and are expected to participate in regular activities for continuing professional development.
The society's development as a professional organisation was commended by the House of Lords Select Committee's report on complementary and alternative medicine.3 This report also recommended that the different organisations representing homoeopaths should come together to set up a single register.
Acknowledging that it can be difficult for members of the public to make sense of the plethora of qualifications and professional organisations, the Society of Homeopaths is therefore working with other bodies in the Council of Organisations Registering Homeopaths to establish a single register.