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.
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.
- #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!
- #3 Paul on 3.23.2010 at 11:22 PM
Chris do you know who funded the position?
- #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.
- #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.
- #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?
- #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
- #8 dazed on 3.24.2010 at 6:04 PM
and part one: