Fuglesang survives homeopathic pill overdose
Published: 07 Jul 2011 13:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Jul 2011 13:05 GMT+02:00
A group from a Swedish science organisation, with astronaut Christer Fuglesang in the lead, took an overdose of sleeping pills in Almedalen, at 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
"We're risking our lives for science," wrote Fuglesang in an opinion piece for newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, signed by the organisation Vetenskap och Folkbildning (VoF), a non-profit organisation working towards promoting popular science education, and discrediting false science.
This act is an effort to get the inefficiency of homeopathic medicine, commonly used in Sweden today, on the agenda.
Fuglesang and nine others took ten times the recommended dose of homeopathic sleeping pill Coffea Alfaplex.
"Either we die, and for the first time the effect of homeopathy will be proven. Or we survive, in which case we expect Swedish politicians to rethink their stand on alternative medicine's use in healthcare," they wrote in Svenska Dagbladet.
Homeopathy is an alternative form of medicine based on the idea that the effect of a remedy grows stronger the more water the cure is diluted with.
According to the organisation, in Sweden homeopathic medicines must be diluted at least 10,000 times.
It's illegal to use these treatments against cancer and certain other physical diseases in Sweden today, but VoF feel that this ban ought to be extended.
"This is an important matter to debate, since the use of alternative medicine is so common in Sweden," Dan Larhammar, Professor of Neuroscience at Uppsala Universitet and active member of VoF, told The Local on Thursday.
The opinion piece lists the clinic Järnakliniken, outside of Stockholm and part of the patient choice programme Vårdval Stockholm, as one of the places where patients may be treated with anthroposophical medicines that do more harm than good.
"We hope the use of homeopathy will cease, seeing as how it's pure humbug. And above all, the state and country councils should not stand behind such humbug," said Larhammar to The Local.
A crowd of around one hundred curious visitors came to see Christer Fuglesang's overdose this afternoon.
"I feel just fine. I guess I feel neither better nor worse than just before taking this overdose," he told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet afterwards.