Letters Homeopathy on NHS website

Has the prince learnt from the professors?

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1701 (Published 19 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1701
  1. Noel Thomas, general practitioner1
  1. 1Maesteg, Mid Glamorgan, CF34 9AL, UK
  1. nthomas{at}doctors.org.uk

Torjesen reports changes on the NHS Choices website after a Freedom of Information request revealed that allies of Prince Charles had discussions with the Ministry of Health.1 Are we supposed to be surprised?

The subsequent rewrite on the NHS Choices website was so hasty that it contains new errors and omissions. Four organisations for non-medical homeopaths are named, but there is no mention of the Faculty of Homeopathy, incorporated by act of parliament in 1950, with 1100 medical members worldwide.

Although many colleagues will be bored by these circular arguments, Torjesen’s report may give cause for wry smiles in some quarters.

The prominent critics of homeopathy in the UK are few, and they enjoy deserved academic respect and distinction in their disciplines, but that is not allied to much knowledge of the subject they disparage.

In recent years they have contacted the governments of at least two foreign countries, and the World Health Organization, in efforts to disrupt homeopathic practice internationally.

You have printed numerous contributions from them, which may reflect their excellence, rather than their enhanced access to the editorial ear.

It may be that the ability of highly placed critics to maximise the effect of their rank has encouraged royal supporters to attempt the same.

If a cat may talk to a king, a prince may learn from a professor.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1701


  • Competing interests: None declared.