The British monarch, like the President of the United States, has an in-house doctor, especially when they travel. When QEII was alive, she appointed genuine doctors with extensive medical backgrounds as her head of the royal medical household. King Charles went in a different direction when appointing his head of royal medical household – a man named Dr. Michael Dixon. Dixon is 71 years old and he was once a traditional GP, but he has a long history in “homeopathic medicine,” faith healing and the kind of stuff Gwyneth Paltrow recommends on Goop.
For the past year Dixon, 71, has served as the head of the royal medical household, a role founded by the Elizabeth II in 1973 and which until his appointment was fused with the role of monarch’s physician, which has existed since the 1540s. The holder has overall responsibility for the health of the sovereign and the royal family, attends births and deaths, and manages a team of doctors at Buckingham Palace. They can also be called upon to represent the Crown in talks with the government, as was the case during the coronavirus pandemic. In return for their part-time service they are paid a modest fee, covering expenses and travel.
As Dixon described it: “I have a team of doctors who cover the different royal households and also a team of specialists and am responsible really for looking after the royal family.” He said wryly: “I mean, clearly, there are some elderly patients on our books, so it does probably take a day or two a week.”
Dixon is a less orthodox choice than his predecessors. While he practised medicine in the NHS for almost half a century, he is also one of the nation’s most outspoken advocates of alternative medicine, including homeopathy. His CV declares that he is chairman of the College of Medicine, a visiting professor at UCL and the holder of honorary roles at the medical schools of Exeter and Birmingham universities. A semi-retired GP who works two days a week at a surgery in Cullompton, Devon, he has written papers which say that Christian healers, however “unfashionable”, may be able to help the chronically ill.
He once wrote “data exists that indicates the effects of homeopathy may be real”, citing a test tube experiment suggesting Indian herbal cures “ultra-diluted” with alcohol could kill breast cancer cells in laboratory tests. He has stated: “It is not true that science has proved homeopathy is nothing more than placebo.”
Since 2017 homeopathic remedies have not been available on prescription on the NHS after Lord Stevens of Birmingham, its then chief executive, described them as “at best a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funds”.
Through the College of Medicine — an advocacy group, not a professional body — he has championed non-traditional treatments being made available on the NHS and funded by the taxpayer. These include “thought field therapy”, aromatherapy and reflexology. He once said: “Evidence-based medicine is not the cure-all it is made out to be.”
[From The Times]
Buckingham Palace has already tried to do some clean-up on this, pointing out that Charles isn’t going homeopathy-only, that he has a real doctor on staff too, but Dixon is the head of royal medical household. The palace spokesperson said Dixon’s “position is that complementary therapies can sit alongside conventional treatments, provided they are safe, appropriate and evidence based.” The Guardian contacted everyone from scientific groups to anti-monarchists, all of whom are like “WTF” on this appointment and Dixon’s sketchy history of praciticing faith healing rather than medical healing. Republic pointed out that Charles is using his position as king to further legitimize homeopathic treatments, even those with little to no benefits. I mean… maybe this is why Prince William thinks he’s going to be king very soon. His father has surrounded himself with quacks.
Photos courtesy of Cover Images.
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