By Gwyneth Evans
Dr Isaac Golden was originally trained in economics and company finance. He started homeopathic practice in 1984, began teaching homeopathy in 1988 and in 1990 formed his own college of homeopathy. Dr Golden’s recent work has focused on homoeoprophylaxis – which is the use of homoeopathic medicines to prevent disease.
He began his homeoprophylaxis programme (HP) in 1985 and began his HP research and data collection the following year.
In 2004 Dr Golden completed a doctorate through Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia which utilised HP data from 1986 – 2004, plus a general health study survey collected during the period of doctoral research, which was from 2000 – 2004. Overall the period of doctorate research was 1986-2004
Homeoprophylaxis (HP) may also be termed homeopathic immunisation.
When asked what prompted the study and use of HP, Isaac replied:
“My interest in disease prevention methods began when my daughter was vaccine damaged in 1980, before I knew about homeopathy. When I found that Samuel Hahnemann (the founder of the principles and method of homeopathy) had used homeopathy for immunisation in 1798, I wanted to develop a programme of HP to give parents choices for their children; choices that I hadn’t had. I realised there was very little organised research, though there were 200 years of clinical experience. I started data collection using questionnaires sent to people who were using the HP programme.
Benefits and efficacy
Dr Golden’s research and data from many other researchers internationally now give a strong base indicating the level of effectiveness of HP at around 90% (comparable with effectiveness of vaccinations) but without the risk of toxic side-effects—either short- or long-term.
In last few years HP has been used to protect millions of people in Cuba; first against leptospirosis and later against swine flu.
2.4 million in 2007 (against leptospirosis)
2.2 million in 2008 (against leptospirosis)
9.8 million in 2009/10 (against A/H1N1 influenza or “swine flu”)
So we now have HP interventions proving highly effective in large regions and nationally. We have reached the point where we can answer critics who say that there is no evidence of the effectiveness of HP.
Dr Golden states: “After over 26 years of clinical practice I have found homeopathy to offer both high level effectiveness and safety in treatment of ill health as well as prevention of disease.”
While no one modality can do ALL that is needed in a health care system, homeopathy has a major role to play in the public health system in both New Zealand and Australia, just as it does in many countries in Europe, South America and the India sub-continent.
The question was put to Isaac as to where he sees future directions for research?
“Although I am a homeopath, I look at development of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) as a whole where all proven modalities are incorporated into the national health system in appropriate ways. I believe that the impetus for this to occur will come from research into economic impacts on the nation. The cost savings and health benefits that will come from an integrated and balanced health system will make its introduction inevitable, especially given the budget projections in developed countries showing that the existing health model will become unaffordable within the next two decades and possibly sooner.”
“In 2002, Access Economics, Australia’s leading economic research organisation, recently undertook a limited study of the budgetary implications of using CAM therapies in a small number of conditions. Their research showed that significant savings were possible. If this was extended over all proven CAM, NZ would potentially save hundreds of millions of dollars annually in their budget.”
“It must be remembered that CAM, in general, can assist not only with treatment of existing conditions but also with prevention of chronic conditions in future. Both these savings need to be quantified to gain an accurate picture for budgetary implications.” For example, in conventional medical treatment of diabetes there is not only the cost of drugs for the present condition but also the future costs of treatment for problems which arise out of that present condition.
The only way we can ensure eventual inclusion of proven CAM into the health system is to ensure our standards are kept at an appropriately high level. Governments will not deal with national organisations which do not strictly scrutinise the competencies and ethics of their members.