Wednesday 11 December 2019

The power of evidence

Madam -- Re: 'The Power of Thought' by Joy Orpen, (Sunday Independent Life magazine, May 13, 2012).

I am glad to hear that Niamh is symptom free as a result of her ME treatment. On the other hand, we cannot all be scientists but the public can and should demand evidence of reasonable standards of proof.

Whatever the claims, they should be repeatedly and systematically tested, with both positive and negative results published in reliable peer-reviewed journals.

That evidence is then publicly available, and we can judge the results for ourselves, taking into account any flaws and conflicts of interest which may have biased positive-seeming results.

Such methods are surely the moral starting point in improving public choices and safety in health -- assuming of course that science is about truth seeking. Strong and dramatic claims must require the strongest possible reliable and transparent scientific evidence.

Douglas T Fraser,

London W6 8NY

Sunday Independent

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