Ezard Ernst is blaming Prince Charles for costing him his job? Seems Ernst can dish it out, but not so good at taking it.

April 5, 2010
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Professor Ezard Ernst states in Saturdays Guardian that the field of complementary medicine would benefit greatly, if “the Foundation for Integrated Health ceased to exist and the funds thus freed were directed towards rigorous research."

Presumably this would enable professor Ernst to keep his title as the only professor of complementary at Exeter University. I am sure there are plenty of newspapers who will pay him well to rehash and republish his research if he is short of a few bob. He can always lecture to sceptics in the pub as I can not see him getting work as a scientist in any serious academic institution. Between the BCAs plethora and Ernst’s downfall you would have to say the debate is well and truly in the gutter.

Prince Charles health charity accused of vendetta against critic

Foundation for Integrated Health could face Charity Commission investigation after complaint by Republic campaign group

Prince Charles‘s health charity, which campaigns for the wider use of homeopathic and herbal remedies, is facing possible investigation by the Charity Commission over claims that it may have breached charity regulations.

The regulator is assessing a complaint, received today from Republic, the campaign for an elected head of state, which alleges that the prince has used it as a personal mouthpiece for his controversial opinions on healthcare.

The complaint states the trustees of the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health (FIH) allowed the foundation’s staff to pursue a public "vendetta" against a prominent critic of the prince’s support for complementary medicines, Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University.

It also suggests the imminent closure of Ernst’s department may be partly down to the charity’s official complaint about him after he publicly attacked its draft guide to complementary medicines as "outrageous and deeply flawed".

Prince Charles has become a prominent advocate of complementary therapies such as homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine and spiritual healing. He believes they should be integrated with conventional medicines across the National Health Service.

His stance has forced him to fend off accusations of being anti-science, but his foundation has attracted donations from the alternative health industry including Solgar Vitamin and Herb and Nelson and Company, a leading UK manufacturer of homeopathic and complementary medicines. The Department of Health and the Prince’s Charities Foundation, which handles Charles’s personal charitable giving, have also given money.

Republic believes the prince has used the independent charity to attack critics of his belief in alternative medicine, in breach of charity law. The prince’s own private secretary, Sir Michael Peat, lodged a formal complaint accusing Ernst of a serious breach of scientific protocol by making public criticisms of the draft guide to complementary medicines that was being circulated for review.

Clarence House has always insisted Peat was writing only in his capacity as charity chairman, but Ernst has now revealed that his letter was written on Clarence House notepaper and opened with the sentence: "I am writing both as the Prince of Wales’s principal private secretary and as acting chairman."

Ernst yesterday said it was clear the charity was being used to popularise the prince’s "strange and anti-scientific views on healthcare", a charge both Clarence House and the charity vehemently deny. His department is facing closure because Exeter University has failed to raise funds to keep it open. "The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health is an independent charity and the prince has no role its day-to-day operation," said a spokeswoman for the prince. "Its decisions are made by the board of trustees and clinical fellows, not the Prince of Wales."

Pat Goodall, a spokeswoman for the foundation, said Charles, the charity’s president, did not have undue influence over its work. "He takes an interest in what we do, but he doesn’t control what we do in any way whatsoever and he does not set our agenda," she said.

Yesterday’s complaint adds to growing scrutiny of the prince’s causes which critics believe he uses as vehicles to promote his personal views. Last year the Charity Commission investigated the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment after it emerged the prince and his charity had influenced the course of a series of big property developments.

"The prince has idiosyncratic and controversial views on medicine and he seems to be using the status that his name gives to his health charity to override other scientific views," said Graham Smith, director of Republic. "Charities are there for the public good and the law prohibits them from pursuing personal agendas."

A spokesman for the Charity Commission said the complaint was being assessed "to see what role, if any, there may be for the commission in this matter".

Republic also argues that the prince’s charity may have breached charity guidelines because its continuing public row with Ernst may have damaged its reputation.

Earlier this month, the foundation’s medical director, Dr Michael Dixon, attacked Ernst for his insistence on the primacy of scientific evidence to assess the value of complementary medicine. In an article in the medical trade magazine Pulse, he said Ernst inhabited "a grey and nihilistic desert that denies the role of the doctor as healer and condemns us to being slaves of population-based statistical totalitarianism". Ernst said last night that the prince had been allowed to use the foundation "as his private tool for popularising his strange and anti-scientific views on healthcare" for too long. "In the process, public funds have been wasted, untruths were told, the British public were systematically misled and progress was hindered," he said. "In my view, the field of complementary medicine would benefit greatly, if the FIH ceased to exist and the funds thus freed were directed towards rigorous research."

#1 Nico M on 3.22.2010 at 11:49 PM

Of course not motivated by self interest at all. I would have said that the chair of a university department should not use it as a medium to promote their personal views to sell books and court publicity. Pay back is a bitch.

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#2 Chris Holmes on 3.23.2010 at 10:37 PM

pay back is right! Check out "edzard ernst is a fake" posts 1, 2 and 3 on the Truth Will Out blog. Ernst is the real quack, no qualifications in CAM therapies at all, and he was mysteriously made a PROFESSOR? Read on, enjoy, spread the word my friends!

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#3 Paul on 3.23.2010 at 11:22 PM

Chris do you know who funded the position?

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#4 Richard Lanigan on 3.23.2010 at 11:44 PM

Hi Chris, Great posting I could only find 3 and this is the link www.truthwillout.co.uk/…/comment-page-1

How do you know so much about him. I believe he did some spinal manipulation while practising as a doctor in Germany. Perhaps he was not very skilled and killed somone and concluded spinal manipulation was dangerous.

I heard Boots contributed £50,000 and when they stopped, the sceptics went after them for selling homeopathetic remedies in their shops.

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#5 dazed on 3.24.2010 at 8:15 AM

the ‘Chair’ that Ernst holds is funded by the Laing Foundation – the chaitable arm of the building magnate. His wife benefited from homeopathy when ill. It was a group of acupunturists and homeopaths who actually set it all up with the University of Exeter.

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#6 Paul on 3.24.2010 at 9:41 AM

And these acupuncturists and homeopaths actually chose this tosser?

What is it about the British and poor decision making?

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#7 dazed on 3.24.2010 at 6:03 PM

I have heard there was an acupuncturist on the selection committee.

here isthe link for part two www.truthwillout.co.uk/…/edzard-ernst-is

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#8 dazed on 3.24.2010 at 6:04 PM

and part one:

www.truthwillout.co.uk/…/edzard-ernst-is

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  • Stefaan

    Whilst tolerating your insults (load of quacks-good CAM oxymoron anyone?) because you at least try to make a point, I would point out the blind FAITH you operate in relation to prof Ernst’s capacities and the fact that I have personally challenged him and in fact David Colquhoun to explain to me why, if spinal manipulation represents a minor benefit over placebo as the research indicates in a monotherapeutic assessment of back pain-treatment modalities, it wouldn’t be absolutely expected to show substantial benefits after correct triage of what is in fact a polycausal condition? Or why in fact it is not actually surprising to find manipulation alone to be statistically speaking effective at all in said poly-causal condition?
    I think your blind faith is both misplaced and could possibly not be considered of great standing to someone claiming to be sceptical but more importantly reiterates the need for the sceptic to do their home work prior to judging. Some of that homework can be done here and on similar sites, so please feel welcome to do what a sceptic should really do a lot of: ask questions and wait for the answer prior to making up your mind.
    Regards,
    Stefaan

  • Andrew_Gibberish

    A Professor at a publically funded educational facility should not be “bashing” anything. He should present the facts and allow the reader to determine where the balance of evidence lies. His personal views should be presented through another medium, for example a book where he can sex up his findings, overly generalize and maybe he could rope in a well meaning but uninformed scientist from another discipline to give his book some credibility and interest from publishing houses. Then perhaps he could fund his own research from the proceeds to further support his own opinions and research future books. He could write about being a CAM professor that’s anti-CAM., how’s that for irony?

  • Andrew_Gilbey

    I love the irony here – a professor at a top university being criticised by a load of quacks. Can you not understand he bashes CAM that is crap. In the case of good CAM (oxymoron anyone? ;-)) I have absolutely no doubt his research will generally support it.

  • Hahnemann

    Ernst is the real quack.

    I hope that someday he will be sent back to Deutschland where he can be put to work scrubbing the floors in the homoeopathic hospital he worked in.

    Traitors beware.

  • http://www.chiropracticlifehove.com Karen McMinn

    Watch this space!

  • fed up
  • fed up
  • http://www.truthwillout Chris Holmes

    Gotta be honest, I’m losing interest in the old duffer. I’ve come to realise that these cynics are really in a very small minority, and although they think they can convince the world that all alternative (i.e. non-drug) therapies are ‘fake’, they must be daft if they think they could hoodwink the general public to that degree.

    Ernst ran away from the debate as soon as I challenged him to prove he had specialist knowledge about CAM therapies, saying in effect that his university was satisfied with his ‘qualifications’ so he didn’t have to tell us about them! What a cop out!

    That’s the same university that can’t be bothered to raise any more funding for his CAM-bashing activities… what a joke. The man is a spent force, and the only people who pay any attention to him at all are his little clique of not-very-bright admirers and fellow cynical hacks. The rest of the world ain’t that gullible, and have minds of their own.

    I’ll still do the post at some stage, but it will be a bit of a chore, he’s such a boring subject. My anger fizzled out when I realised he’s just another dull, blinkered academic, and when he’s gone, nobody will miss him.

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