The criteria for the Laing chair in complementary medicine at the University of Exeter currently held by Edzard Ernst include the following:
- "to provide leadership within the national scene in the teaching of complementary medicine to graduate clinicians and medical undergraduates"
- "the ability to speak for (my emphasis) complementary medicine to government, to the public, and within the university".
As a qualified and registered alternative medicine practitioner of 15 years, I was dismayed to discover that Ernst is not only falling short of his job remit but the shortcomings of the measures he advocates for evaluating homoeopathy have been well documented, not only for investigating complementary and alternative medicine but for conventional medicine as well. It is rather akin to looking for electricity through a microscope and when not finding it saying it does not exist.
Sir Maurice Laing originally funded the chair that bears his name at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter because he was passionate about CAM. His wife, Hilda, had suffered for years from tuberculosis and was cured of this serious disease through the use of a CAM discipline, very possibly homoeopathy.
There is a significant body of high-quality scientific research supporting homoeopathy, which can now be added to more than 200 years of case histories - all of which verifies homoeopathy as a valid system of medicine.
Consequently, Ernst's "interventions" on behalf of homoeopathy/CAMs must be causing Sir Maurice to turn in his grave.
Michelle Shine, London NW7.