The rejection of evidence-based medicine has penetrated into the midst of German society. This is evidenced by the low vaccination rate compared to other European nations. The belief in alternative healing methods seems to be one of the main problems.
Many are looking in faith at the numbers that the Robert Koch Institute is presenting these days. A nationwide incidence of over 400, and some counties had temporarily exceeded the 2000 mark.
The low vaccination rate is just as stunned: About 70 percent of all Germans are fully vaccinated; too little to avert overloading of the clinics in the long term. The biggest vaccination problem children are the new federal states: Saxony comes out on top with just 58 percent of those who are completely vaccinated. But things don’t look much better in Baden-Württemberg or Bavaria either.
- Why then? Especially if the vaccine was developed in Germany
- Study shows homeopathy has something to do with it
- Germans love homeopathy!
- German politics is to blame
- Homeopathy is a problem in Germany that no one want to tackle
- A misguided health policy?
- Does the homeopathy law in Germany need to be changed?
Why then? Especially if the vaccine was developed in Germany
Numerous explanations have been tried to justify the serious vaccination fatigue in the home country of the first mRNA vaccine – from the state skepticism in post-socialist parts of the country to the historically fragmented federalism in the Alpine region.
▶ At its core the problem is completely different: It is the latent disdain for or rejection of science and academically sound medicine. The lack of trust in modern medicine is evidently associated to a considerable extent with the belief in alternative medical procedures.
Study shows homeopathy has something to do with it
▶ This finding is currently confirmed by a study by the Technical University of Regensburg: The willingness to vaccinate those respondents who think highly of homeopathy (almost every fifth respondent) was just 46 percent.
This is by no means a new finding. The science journalist Christian Weymayr warned of this phenomenon ten years ago in his book “The Homeopathy Lie”. Homeopathy often acts as an entry point into irrational thinking and the rejection of scientific knowledge. He sees his theory confirmed in the current figures. “Those who believe the impossible immunize themselves against rational arguments and run the risk of believing other nonsense as well.”
Germans love homeopathy!
Homeopathy is by far the most popular alternative healing method in Germany.
Did you know?
More than 200 years ago, the Saxon doctor Samuel Hahnemann developed the procedure according to the principle: “Similar things may be cured by similar things.” If caffeine causes restlessness and nervousness in a healthy person, the diluted substance is supposed to alleviate these symptoms.
The homeopathy dilutions are usually so extreme that not a single molecule of the active ingredient can be found in the finished globules. A specific effect of the sugar globules contradicts fundamental scientific principles – it is impossible.
▶ It is absurd that many followers of homeopathy reject vaccination, of all things, because it is the only procedure that is based with a great deal of benevolence on a kind of similarity principle. You show the body just a tiny part of the virus and it learns to arm itself against a deadly disease.
German politics is to blame
Despite the clear facts, Germany has been working for decades to give alternative methods such as homeopathy a scientifically official coating.
▶ A pseudo-medical parallel world was created: Statutory health insurance companies pay visits to homeopaths at the expense of the community of solidarity.
▶ Homeopathics have a special position in the Medicines Act and are only available in pharmacies. Although no one would be able to tell them apart from mundane sugar by removing the label.
It would certainly be unfair and ineffective to portray homeopathy as the sole scapegoat for the low willingness to vaccinate. Homeopaths are by no means blanket opponents of vaccinations; the picture is heterogeneous, especially with doctors working in homeopathy. The largest globule manufacturer is currently advertising the corona vaccination in advertisements.
▶ Homeopathy, however, exemplifies an overarching problem: the state-supported seepage of esoteric ideas into the collective consciousness of an entire country.
Homeopathy is a problem in Germany that no one want to tackle
“In Germany, charlatans have practically no fool’s freedom.”
▶ Because not only doctors are allowed to use homeopathy, but also healing practitioners who are traditionally critical of vaccinations. Thanks to internationally unique legislation, a relic from the Nazi era, they are allowed to give infusions, draw blood and even treat cancer patients without state-regulated training.
A misguided health policy?
The fact that alternative practitioners and doctors working in alternative medicine are so popular in Germany is also the logical consequence of a misguided health policy.
▶ Users of alternative procedures usually spend more time with their patients because they are paid accordingly. In established medicine, on the other hand, “clinical medicine” is remunerated miserably – patients often feel that they have been dealt with and not taken seriously.
Political decision-makers have still not understood that empathic patient contact is at least as important as medical apparatus and drug therapies. The affection creates trust and confidence, takes away fears and for that reason alone is healing.
▶ The main problem in Germany: The neglectful treatment of clinical medicine in the health system drives many people into areas where they are often confronted with narratives that are critical of the vaccination and in extreme cases even with ideological conspiracy narratives and from which they rarely find their way out. In the pseudo-medical parallel world of the Federal Republic of Germany, these tendencies are state promoted or at least tolerated.
▶ In addition to compulsory vaccination, the only chance is to patiently and appreciatively demonstrate to the insecure and disappointed that the development of vaccines is not a sinister undertaking of the “pharmaceutical mafia” that all other doctors and politicians have bought. But that thousands of scientists around the world are working hand in hand to eradicate infectious diseases as the scourge of civilization – and that the vaccines are still highly safe and protect against death and serious illness.
Does the homeopathy law in Germany need to be changed?
The cuddling course with pseudomedicine and its representatives must be ended. The freedom of therapy is a valuable asset – nobody is seriously calling for a ban on procedures like homeopathy. But exemptions and laws that even encourage unscientific sham therapies are unacceptable.
▶ The controversial Heilpraktikergesetz needs to be reformed immediately.
▶ In addition, the state should simply forbid statutory health insurance companies from reimbursing costs for therapies for which there is no evidence of effectiveness.
▶ The completely arbitrary special position of homeopathic preparations in the Medicines Act must also be abolished.
- Are corona vaccine deniers in Germany being radicalized? Or are they waking up and choosing violence?