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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Prince Charles fury: Scientist’s shock claim royal ‘treated him like dirt’ exposed

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Prince Charles for decades has welcomed alternative medicines and therapies to apparently “cure” his ailments. One of the pseudo-sciences most popular with the prince appears to be homeopathy. Homeopathy is the largely discredited practice of treating illness with diluted substances to trigger the body’s own healing mechanisms.

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Health bosses have sought to dispel myths surrounding the alternative medicines for years.

NHS England recommended that GPs stop providing it in 2017.

It says there is no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition.

Homeopathy has made extreme claims in the past.

Prince Charles: The royal was accused of 'silencing' Prof Ernst over his anti-homeopathy claims

Prince Charles: The royal was accused of ‘silencing’ Prof Ernst over his anti-homeopathy claims (Image: GETTY)

Homeopathy: Charles pictured visiting an alternative medicine Centre in India

Homeopathy: Charles pictured visiting an alternative medicine Centre in India (Image: GETTY)

For example, many practitioners claim their concoctions can cure autism – a point which the NHS and scientists have said is in itself factually incorrect.

In 2019, Prince Charles became patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy.

The move stirred much controversy.

It wasn’t the first time the Prince got caught up in a dispute over alternative medicines.

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Alternative medicine: Charles reopened the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital in 2005

Alternative medicine: Charles reopened the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital in 2005 (Image: GETTY)

In 2015, Professor Edzard Ernst, claimed he had been “treated like dirt” as a result of Charles trying to “silence” him.

Prof Ernst is a staunch critic of using alternative medicines such as homeopathy as a direct means of treatment.

He instead champions complementary medicine – the process of using alternative medicines to help alleviate the negative aspects of standard medicines – having held the first complementary medicine post in the world at the University of Exeter.

His unscrupulous and rigorous application of evidence-based science and outspoken views found him at loggerheads with Charles.

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Acupuncture: Charles sits in on an acupuncture session at the NHS Gateway Clinic in 2003

Acupuncture: Charles sits in on an acupuncture session at the NHS Gateway Clinic in 2003 (Image: GETTY)

Royal tour: Charles visiting The Institute of Traditional Medicine in Bhutan

Royal tour: Charles visiting The Institute of Traditional Medicine in Bhutan (Image: GETTY)

After being investigated over a complaint made by Charles’s former private secretary, Sir Michael Peat, he retired early in 2011 and his department was closed.

The dispute appears to have originated in 2005 when Prof Ernst publicly attacked a draft report by economist Christopher Smallwood that had been personally commissioned by the Prince of Wales.

The report claimed complementary and alternative medicine (Cam) was cost effective and should be available on the NHS.

Prof Ernst described it as “complete misleading rubbish”.

Edzard Ernst: The scientist criticises alternative medicine as a treatment in itself

Edzard Ernst: The scientist criticises alternative medicine as a treatment in itself (Image: GETTY)

The scientist was criticised for disclosing the report’s contents before it had been fully reviewed and published.

Shortly after, Sir Michael wrote an official letter of complaint on Clarence House notepaper to the University of Exeter’s Vice Chancellor, citing a “breach of confidence” after the professor had been sent an early and incomplete draft of the report for comment.

In the following 13 months, Prof Ernst claims he was subjected to interrogations, “dozens of cross-examining emails and letters” and “treated as guilty until proven innocent”.

Eventually he was told by the Vice Chancellor that a formal disciplinary warning ”would not be appropriate”. At the same time, he received a stern warning not to misbehave again.

In his 2015 book, ‘A Scientist in Wonderland’, he wrote: “I had been interrogated, investigated, treated like dirt for 13 months, and exonerated in the end.

Royal family: The dispute has gone on for years and is unlikely to subside

Royal family: The dispute has gone on for years and is unlikely to subside (Image: GETTY)

“But even while acknowledging that I had not been guilty of any misdemeanour, my Vice Chancellor had issued an unambiguous warning to me: if I even thought of applying my personal ethical standards in any similar situation in the future, I would not be so lucky as to get away with it again.

“Prince Charles’s attempt to silence me, it seemed, had been successful.”

Prof Ernst’s department went on to dry up to a point where it could no longer function.

The scientist continues to criticise Prince Charles, claiming he “hides” behind the facade of the College of Medicine.

Daily Express

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