A Utilitarian Argument Against Homeopathy

By Kevin Smith: AGAINST HOMEOPATHY – A UTILITARIAN PERSPECTIVE

I examine the positive and negative features of homeopathy from an ethical perspective. I consider: (a) several potentially beneficial features of homeopathy, including non-invasiveness, cost-effectiveness, holism, placebo benefits and agent autonomy; and (b) several potentially negative features of homeopathy, including failure to seek effective healthcare, wastage of resources, promulgation of false beliefs and a weakening of commitment to scientific medicine. A utilitarian analysis of the utilities and disutilities leads to the conclusion that homeopathy is ethically unacceptable and ought to be actively rejected by healthcare professionals.

About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.

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