An Update on the AVMA and Homeopathy
Last month I wrote about the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) plan to consider a resolution, submitted by the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, to discourage veterinarians from treating their patients with homeopathic remedies. On January 5, the AVMA House of Delegates voted to refer the resolution to the Executive Board and recommended that they refer it to the Council on Veterinary Service.
My initial reaction to this news was, "huh?" I’m a member of the AVMA, yet I honestly have no idea what any of this meant for the potential acceptance or rejection of the proposed resolution. Rather than parse out the details, let me share Dr. Kimberly May’s explanation that was posted on the AVMA @Work blog. In it, she says:
The resolution will be forwarded to the Executive Board for consideration. It is no longer considered a proposed policy, nor is it a resolution anymore. Simply put, it’s now an item for discussion and consideration. The House of Delegates’ recommendation that the item be referred to the Council on Veterinary Service [CoVS] will be taken into consideration by the Executive Board. The practice of homeopathy is currently addressed in the AVMA Guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine, and these Guidelines are up for review by the CoVS at their spring meeting. If you would like to provide your input on this issue, here’s how you can do so:
AVMA members can comment on all AVMA policies, including the AVMA Guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine…. Visit the policy page and click on the "Comment on this policy" link. Just a reminder, you must be an AVMA member and signed in to the website to comment or to see other members’ comments.
Non-member veterinarians and members of the general public can post input as comments on this blog. Please note that AVMA staff will not respond to any questions or comments made on this blog post, and all comments are subject to our moderation policy….
So, if you have thoughts about homeopathy (and it appears that many of you do based on the response to last month’s The Case Against Homeopathy article) air them here and on the AVMA site.
I made my opinion about homeopathy pretty clear in my previous post, but remember, no matter what the AVMA’s Council on Veterinary Service decides, individual veterinarians are still free to make recommendations regarding patient care as they see fit. If you believe in the benefits of homeopathy, you will still be able to find a veterinarian who practices homeopathic medicine. Nothing in the resolution (or whatever it’s called now) bans its use. If you think homeopathic remedies are "a bunch of malarkey," to quote Vice President Biden, you should have no trouble finding a veterinarian who agrees with you. Just make sure that you and your pet’s doctor are on the same page, and if your veterinarian recommends one form treatment and it doesn’t work, it’s time to move on to Plan B.
Dr. Jennifer Coates