Richard G. Petty, MD

The Prince of Wales and Integrated Medicine

It is not widely known in the United States that His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, has been instrumental in the development and adoption of integrated medicine in the United Kingdom and in some parts of Europe and the Middle East. I had the privilege of working extremely closely with his Foundation for many years, and have acknowledged his personal influence in my most recent book, Healing Meaning and Purpose.

The British media is today reporting that his position on trying to integrated the best of conventional medicine with the best of traditional approaches if once again under attack, from a well-known group of critics. This time they are saying that the adoption of inadequately tested therapies is a needless drain on resources, and that regardless of what patients want, the money should be spent on treatments that are “evidence based.” This has become the new clarion cry of medicine: that everything that we do should have a defined research base. A terrific idea in theory, but sometimes disastrous in practice. As an example, there is not much in the way of an evidence base for appendectomy.

This morning, one day after the critics published their letter in the Times of London, the Prince of Wales spoke about his position and his work at a meeting of the World Health Assembly in Geneva and he had this to say:

"I believe that the proper mix of proven complementary, traditional and modern remedies, which emphasize the active participation of the patient, can help to create a powerful healing force for our world.
This is where orthodox practice can learn from complementary medicine, the West can learn from the East and new from old traditions."

It will not surprise you to hear that I strongly agree with the Prince’s views. If you glance through a few of my blog entries, you will see that I am a huge advocate of good research: I analyze dozens of studies every week and present you with the best. I have also had to spend a great deal of time making decisions based upon cost. But it would be a big mistake for us to declare that any therapy that does not have a biological basis, or conform to the medical model should be excluded from health care. After all, patients also have a say, and they are clearly deriving benefit from complementary medical therapies. And as I have reported before, we are slowly collecting more and more data indicating that at least some of the 500 different schools of complementary and alternative medicine do have research to support their use.

“In scientific work, those who refuse to go beyond fact rarely get as far as fact.”
–Thomas Henry Huxley (English Biologist and Educator, 1825-1895)

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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