Yes, I think he does deserve to join this fast-expanding club which, so far, consists of the following people:
They have been admitted mostly because they have demonstrated that they exclusively or mostly publish positive results about alternative medicine. Therefore, their ‘TRUSTWORTHYNESS INDEX’ is remarkable.
With Peter Fisher, things are a little different, and in a way much more convincing. He also has a remarkable publication record, of course. As the Queen’s homeopath, he is a stark defender of homeopathy. He has just under 100 Medline-listed articles in this area, and, if I am not mistaken, only one of them cast any doubt on the effectiveness of homeopathy.
Peter is also the long-term editor of the journal HOMEOPATHY, and he used this position to fire me from its editorial board. Furthermore, he has been shown to have an unusual attitude towards telling the truth. But the decider for his admission to THE ALT MED HALL OF FAME was the following recent interview for NATURALLYSAVVY where he shows himself as a fierce defender of science, evidence-based medicine and critical thinking:
Andrea Donsky: I understand you arrived yesterday from England. I’m curious what you take for jetlag?
Peter Fisher: We have a traditional combination that we use for jetlag, which is arnica montana, and cocculus indicus. So arnica is something that is traditionally used for bruises, and cocculus is used for sleep problems. So arnica and cocculus combined, 6CH every hour or two, helps with jetlag.
Andrea Donsky: I read about the incredible work you do as an Integrative Medicine Doctor so I thought we would start today’s interview with having you explain what that means.
Peter Fisher: Simply put, it means the best of both worlds: the best of conventional, and the best of complementary medicine. There is also a much longer and more complicated definition, but essentially it’s integrating complementary medicine in care packages to avoid some of the worst excesses of conventional medicines, like over-drugging, and excess use of medication.
Andrea Donsky: I know you don’t see patients with the common cold or flu, but if you did, what would be your protocol?
Peter Fisher: I’ve done quite a lot of research on the flu. It’s quite clear that conventional treatments don’t work all that well, and may even prolong the flu. Most of the conventional treatments push the symptoms down [suppress them] and actually prolong the illness.
Andrea Donsky: So something like Oscillococcinum would be a perfect thing to recommend to people.
Peter Fisher: Yes, and other homeopathic combinations that can speed up the resolution, relieve the symptoms, and make the flu go away quicker.
Andrea Donsky: Tell me a little bit about the European way of practicing medicine. I remember hearing that in Europe doctors prescribe homeopathy alongside medication. Is this true?
Peter Fisher: It varies widely between countries. In France, Germany, and increasingly in Spain, it is the case, but not so much in the UK. A lot of doctors do incorporate it in their practice and they integrate homeopathy when it seems appropriate, but they also use antibiotics and other drugs when they feel it is appropriate.
Andrea Donsky: Do you often approach these skeptics and say: “Listen, you are wrong because there is research behind it!”
Peter Fisher: I will debate with anybody, anytime. The trouble is, skeptics don’t like that because they always lose. I’ve been involved in a series of debates with “so called” skeptics. But many well-known skeptics avoid me because they lose the debate. What they prefer to do is to blog, or tweet, so they can make nasty sneering public remarks and you can’t come back at them. If it’s a proper debate, I say my piece, you say your piece, there’s somebody there to make sure that it’s fair play, and that could be in a journal, it could be in a lower court, I don’t care. There was a big court case in the U.S. that was resolved in September where that happened. An allegation was made that false claims were being made for homeopathic medicines and they lost the case…homeopathy won!
Andrea Donsky: Tell us how you came to be a physician to Her Majesty the Queen.
Peter Fisher: There’s a long tradition of the Royal Family having a homeopathic physician. It actually goes back 150 years to Queen Victoria and her beloved Prince Albert. The founder of our hospital was Prince Albert’s father’s doctor. There has been an official homeopathic physician treating the Royal Family since the 1930s. It’s been me since 2001.
Andrea Donsky: It is nice to hear that the Royal Family is open to integrative medicine. Do you just treat the Queen, or the whole family? I read that Prince Charles eats organic and has an organic garden so I am assuming he is quite open to it as well.
Peter Fisher: I treat the entire family. I think Kate and Will are too young and healthy so they don’t need medicine. But the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, is very friendly, and he is more than willing to stick his neck out to actually say things. He has spoken at the World Health Assembly, which is the AGN of the World Health Organization. So he’s really quite fond of integrative medicine.
Andrea Donsky: I think that’s incredible. As a conventionally trained physician, how did you become interested in homeopathy?
Peter Fisher: At the end of the Cultural Revolution I went to visit China. I was a medical student at the time, and I remember the moment when it became clear to me. I was in the operating room of a small Chinese provincial town and there was a woman lying on the operating table with her entire abdomen open, fully conscious talking to the anesthetist with three needles in her left ear.
Andrea Donsky: Acupuncture needles?
Peter Fisher: Yes.
Andrea Donsky: That’s amazing.
Peter Fisher: The needles were connected to a little electrical box. I thought, “That doesn’t happen. They didn’t tell us about this at Cambridge.” I went to the best medical school, Cambridge, a very elite medical school, and I just thought, “This can’t happen. This doesn’t happen.” That experience is what made me think that there was more to medicine than what we were taught in medical school. Then a few years later, I became ill myself. I was still a medical student so I went to see a very distinguished professor at my medical school who made a precise diagnosis and said, “Tough, nothing can be done.” So my friends suggested I try homeopathy, and I did, and it helped. So it snowballed from there.
Andrea Donsky: Oftentimes we need to see things for ourselves and/or experience it to believe it.
Peter Fisher: Yes. I got almost obsessed by it, you know. In many ways as a scientific thing it shouldn’t work. I mean I do understand to that extent where the skeptics are coming from. There does appear to be a good reason why it can’t possibly work, and yet it does.
Andrea Donsky: Can you define what homeopathy is and how it works?
Peter Fisher: Homeopathy is based on the idea of like curing like. So you give a very small dose of something that could cause a similar illness if given an enlarged dose. Some people say it’s like holding a mirror up to nature. You’re saying to the body, “OK, this is what your problem is, this is what the disease is.” The idea is that the body has very strong self-healing capabilities; it is strong, but sometimes it can be stupid like when it comes to autoimmune diseases. In that case it is actually the body’s defensive mechanism being misdirected.
Andrea Donsky: Can you explain the difference between a single remedy and a combination?
Peter Fisher: A single remedy is one remedy and a combination is multiple. Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of homeopathy. One is the so-called “keynote prescribing way,” where you prescribe for one or two keynote symptoms like a cold, sore throat, or runny nose.Then there is “constitutional medicine” where you are not so much treating the disease, but rather the person. So for example, if someone has insomnia, muscular aches and pains or even a cold and/or flu, they can take a combination of two, three, four, or even five different homeopathic medicines, which will likely cover the symptoms. This is more for self-treatment, rather than doctor prescribed.
Andrea Donsky: That makes sense. I like that there is a role in homeopathy for both self (like for the common cold) and expert prescribing.
Peter Fisher: Yes. It is one thing if someone has a short-term health issue, but it is another thing if they have a chronic complicated, multi-faceted issue. I mean one of the interesting things about homeopathy is the idea of treating the person, and not the disease
I AM CONFIDENT THAT THE MAJORITY OF MY READERS AGREE TO ADMIT DR FISHER TO THE ALT MED HALL OF FAME.
One of the most annoying things about homeopathy is this bullshit claim to “treat the person”, as if reality-based medicine doesn’t. Obviously if your model of human physiology includes the idea of miasmic personality types then medicine won’t treat that, since it’s abject nonsense, but any good GP is treating the whole person all the time.
More details please about the American Court case!
The Alternative Medicine Hall of Fame has competition from the Royal Society of Medicine’s ‘Wall of Honour’ which records (for a donation) the names of those who have made particular contributions to medicine and allied disclipines.
And which includes one John McTimoney (of McTimoney Chiropractic fame).
nice idea: I could ask for donations from members of my HALL OF FAME for removing tham from the members’ list, and get really, really rich!!!
That story is the kind of thing that makes me think homeopathists are just as gullible as their patients. “This can’t happen. “This doesn’t happen.” Correct, Peter. Now try to think of rational explanations for the scenario!
‘I will debate with anybody, anytime. The trouble is, skeptics don’t like that because they always lose.’
That of course is Peter using the homeopathic meaning of debate and lose.
I read that Oscillococcinum doesn’t exist, which is to say that no one has isolated and identified it. Is that true?
here is my take on this baffling story: http://edzardernst.com/2014/06/how-the-amazing-duck-turned-into-a-holy-cow/
Three needles in the ear. And connected to an electrical box! 😀 Wasn’t ear acupuncture invented by a Frenchman?
It is a big mystery why no one has been able to replicate these fantastic feats that western doctors were shown on their guided tours through the wonders of the cultural revolution.
I guess the art of surgical acupuncture analgesia got lost with the cultural revolution because not even the Chinese use it anymore.
I’ve asked scores of anesthesiologists why they do not use acupuncture for surgical anesthesia but still not found one who does or knows how it’s done. Most of the ones of my age actually tried acupuncture early in their career’s, when all the excitement was about this oriental magic but very few are still trying. .
I very much doubt he is telling the truth, mythomania is a term that comes to mind when reading the fantasies of altmed aficionado’s.
And even if he was one of those who got to see a demonstration, contemporary sources have revealed that the maoist regime set up elaborate shows to delude westerners who came to see the purported magic with their own eyes. The woman may simply have had a high spinal analgesia, a very simple and effective way of blocking sensory signals from the lower part of the body. It requires only one needle in the back injecting a local anesthetic medium in the right place. If the whole abdomen was open as he says (which I very much doubt 🙂 ), they might have added local anesthesia in the wound and a good helping of opiates.
Certainly a portrait worth hanging in the Altmed Hall of
Just found this hilarious article where a Mail reader asks “I’m scheduled to have a cataract operation shortly and understand there will be some discoloration around the eye area (not certain if this will be a full-blown black eye). Is there anything that will reduce the bruising as quickly as possible, also something to conceal it?”
And Dr Fisher answers: ‘I advise homeopathic Arnica montana 30c, £4.95 for 100 pills and Ledum palustre 30c, £4.95 for 100 ml, 1 pill of each four times daily for 1 day before and 5 days after the surgery. Both Ainsworths (ainsworths.com) and Helios (helios.co.uk) homeopathic pharmacies have an efficient online ordering system.
Edzard, do you realise that Peter Fisher died in a cycle accident in 2018?