Why do some GPs persist in prescribing watered-down, inactive substances?

Anyone who doubts the power of homeopathy may want, its practitioners point out, to account for an extraordinary longitudinal study involving multiple generations of one exceptionally long-lived British family of homeopathy enthusiasts.

Even allowing for other life-extending factors, such as footmen, normalised indolence and a morning pint or so of gin and Dubonnet, the propensity of so many Windsor-Mountbattens to survive into their 90s and, in the late Queen Mother’s case, much longer, is so striking that homeopaths are understandably eager to accept responsibility. They “live long and healthy lives,” says a member of the School of Homeopathy, presumably attributing to chance the marginally less inspirational example of noted homeopathy enthusiast, George VI (1895–1952). With every comment on their prodigious health, the Queen, aged 91, and her husband, 96, become a yet more valuable promotional asset to advocates of Hahnemann’s potentisation. The same, admittedly, applies to passionate advocates of never running your own bath. Either way, the royal family’s importance in promulgating homeopathy, by way of physical evidence, as well as through their official patronage, perhaps justifies what might otherwise appear intrusive inspection of their respective physical states.

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