Interview by Federal Association of Homeopathy Patients (BHP) www.bph-online.de/interview-prof-frass-wird-weiter-zur-homoeopathie-an-der-uni-wien-forschen/
A newspaper article in the Austrian daily paper Der Standard, explains that the Principal of the Medical University of Vienna has discontinued popular and well-attended optional courses in homeopathy. Rektor Professor Markus Müller says he has taken this step because "the Med-Uni clearly distances itself from unscientific procedures and charlatanry".
At the same time, Professor Mu?ller mentions that the head of this optional subject, Professor Michael Frass, is a recognised colleague. Prof. Michael Frass is a specialist in internal medicine and intensive care and, since 1994, has been a university professor of medicine. Dr Frass specialises in homeopathy and in Vienna, is head of the special outpatient department for homeopathy in malignant diseases. This outpatient service will continue to exist. Dr Frass will continue to research homeopathy at the clinic.
The BHP had some questions for Dr Frass, who is also Chair for the Scientific Society for Homeopathy.
Homeopathy and intensive care medicine is a symbiosis that many do not believe. How does this work? The intensive care unit includes patients who have a failure of one or more organ functions. These patients need support for example, for the heart, lungs or kidney. In this phase, the patients can also be constitutionally supported by homeopathy. Some patients, on the other hand, have a serious infection and are difficult to keep alive despite the use of targeted antibiotics. And it is exactly these patients that we can provide with excellent support through homeopathy.
You also do research, could you tell us about the study that you did with respiratory patients in the intensive care unit? Yes, there are two studies. One study was conducted with patients with sepsis, a very severe febrile illness. Selection criteria were so rigorous that only patients with severe sepsis were included. These patients were then divided into one group that received conventional medicine plus placebo, and a second group that received conventional medicine plus homeopathy.
It has to be said that all patients were in an artificially–induced deep sleep and could not know that they were receiving additional homeopathy. This ensured that the doctor– suggestion factor or the placebo effect were completely eliminated here. Interestingly, it showed that those patients who received additional homeopathy had a better chance of survival than those patients who did not receive homeopathy.
In a second study, we investigated whether homeopathy can have a positive effect in patients who have an increased production of mucous in the trachea due to nicotine abuse and chronic lung disease. Although these patients can be weaned off the ventilator, the ventilator tube cannot be removed because patients would otherwise suffocate because of this excessive mucous. Here too, there were two groups with the same split. It has been shown that the group that received homeopathy in addition to conventional therapy performed significantly better than the comparison group. The homeopathy patients could be freed from the breathing tube much earlier, and ultimately leave the intensive care unit earlier.
Actually, all intensive care patients could benefit from it. Are there any other intensive care units where homeopathy is used? Homeopathy is not used officially, and routinely, in any intensive care unit. In India, I know a few colleagues who also treat intensive care patients. So far, in Europe, we are currently not doing this, but this is also related to the fact that homeopathy still has far too little presence in hospitals.
In addition to the possibilities already mentioned, I imagine that homeopathy can also assist the intensive–care treatment of poisoning.
How do your colleagues react to homeopathy in the hospital? The response of colleagues is very subdued, which may be related to the fact that hospital homeopathy does not have a good reputation everywhere. It is frequently equated with esotericism, but often the results are so amazing that it does not fit into their particular worldview.
How do your colleagues respond to positive outcomes? I would like to use one case to answer that: a man of around 40 had a cardiac arrest and was resuscitated by his brother–in–law. He came to the hospital and was given further treatment. His neurological progress was excellent. On the other hand, because he was a smoker and suffered from a chronic lung disease, he could not be released from the breathing tube, as he had too much mucous in his trachea.
According to a colleague, it would be weeks before this patient could leave intensive care. I asked the nurses what colour and consistency the mucous had. They described it as yellow and very tough. I suggested a remedy and a day and a half later this patient could be released from the breathing tube. To date, no colleague has asked me what I gave him.
What are the main areas of application of homeopathy overall, in practice and in the hospital? I think particularly in the area of paediatrics, but also in general medicine, you can achieve very, very good results with homeopathy. And, of course, in the case of cancer patients too, who on the one hand need constitutional support to improve their quality of life, but who also benefit from the fact that the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation can be minimised. We have proved this in a study too.
Would you describe homeopathy as an evidence-based method? Yes, using the definition given by Sackett — the father of evidence–based medicine — homeopathy is definitely an evidence–based method. On the one hand it is about the wishes of the patient, on the other hand it is about the experience of the doctor and furthermore about the best possible clinical evidence and here homeopathy stands the test. The difficulty of homeopathy is that you do not treat individual illnesses, but ill people and no two patients are the same. Despite everything, the study situation clearly speaks in favour of homeopathy.
What role will homeopathy play in medicine in the future? When it comes to holistic health, homeopathy is one of the few methods that can be used in every areas. Its special feature is that homeopathy is a qualitative method so that each patient has to be treated individually.
The patient's own healing powers are used — the patient gets an impulse through the homeopathic remedy and has to help himself and heal himself. That reinforces his self– sufficiency, which I think is just fantastic. Also, there is no negative impact on the metabolism and in my experience, there is no interaction with other drugs, and it's fantastic that homeopathy can be combined with conventional drugs. Doctors should master both methods so they can do the best for the patients.
Doctors should not be ardent advocates of one method, but should simply be a doctor.
translated by Catherine Walker, December 1, 2018