Intended for healthcare professionals

Obituaries

Peter Fisher: homeopathic physician to the Queen

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3611 (Published 23 August 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3611
  1. John Illman
  1. London
  1. john{at}jicmedia.org

Peter Fisher was probably the nearest anyone will ever get to being homeopathic royalty: homeopathic physician to the Queen, president of the Faculty of Homeopathy, and chair of the World Health Organization’s working group on homeopathy. But what made him remarkable was his single minded determination to promote homeopathy despite the unrelenting flood of criticism and scientific evidence against it. His career was a masterclass for politicians on how to stay on message. Vowing that he would “debate anyone, anytime,” he was an accomplished writer and speaker.

Perfect timing

Fisher could not have chosen a better time to start specialising in homeopathy. He graduated from Cambridge in 1976 during the evolution of the new “pick n’ mix” medical culture and amid a growing realisation that care professionals could never provide the personal engagement many patients wanted. The thalidomide scandal had shaken public faith in modern medicines, and homeopathy and other forms of complementary medicine were coming in from the cold—with a helping hand from Prince Charles and an unquestioning media that gave more prominence to royal patronage than to …

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