Last week I was delighted to attend a very special birthday party. Jane Gilchrist, a lifelong homeopathy supporter and active member of the Friends of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, was celebrating her 100th birthday.
After Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her family, Jane is probably Britain’s most famous user of homeopathic medicine and what an advertisement for homeopathy she is! Watch a few minutes of her birthday speech and you will quickly see that this is a very special 100 year old lady. I was particularly pleased to learn from her that Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray were patients of the founder of the hospital, Dr Quin in the 19th century. Oh to have those two literary geniuses write a bit of copy for us now!
Jane volunteered to work at the tearoom of the hospital for decades and is still available there for chats about homeopathy. She claims that her life achievement was to start the Bromley Homeopathic Clinic (NHS) which was immensely popular, lasted for 14 years but was unfortunately lost when the homeopathic hospital at Tunbridge Wells to which it was affiliated, was forced to close in 2009.
The party was well attended and Jane was her usual effervescent self, looking anything but her 100 years. As far as homeopathy is concerned, this is indeed anecdotal evidence – but then some!
Time Magazine has on the cover of it’s current edition, an article highly critical of the money-led business of medicine in America. We in the UK should be hugely relieved we have universal health care.
The Queen’s Xmas Day message is likely to be uncontroversial. However Prince Charles, the monarch in waiting is courageously outspoken, uses CAM and homeopathy and has called for more care and compassion in medicine.
It is a pity that few have neither the patience nor the time for medical philosophy these days while many retain the mouth for voicing highly opinionated political ideology on healthcare in medicine. More can be read about the remarkable Dr Ledermann on his website, in a transcription of an interview I conducted with him here and in his obituary in The Times in 2005.
The Prime Minister has given the job of Secretary of State for Health to Jeremy Hunt. Health ministers (one rung lower than health secretary) Mike O’Brien (Labour) and Ann Milton (Coalition) have endorsed the British public’s right to NHS homeopathy. Mr Hunt goes further. Not only does he uphold the right of the taxpayer to [...]