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:devil: A CANCER survivor says that a local doctor told her she had been cured by the devil.
Irene Scott, who had cancer of the hip, spine, blood, lymph and marrow, believes a combination of conventional, holistic and alternative medicine helped her combat the symptoms and side effects of the condition.
She claims St Sampson’s Medical Centre practitioner Dr Paul Williams, delivering a talk on The Myth of Homeopathy at La Villiaze Evangelical Church, said any alternative treatment was linked with the occult, spiritualism and satanism.
Mrs Scott challenged Dr Williams during the talk.
‘I said: “Have I misunderstood what you mean about the occult because I was a fortunate recipient of conventional and various other means?”. He promptly said: “Then you have been cured by the devil”.
‘It made me feel sickened, stunned and hurt for the doctors and many others who helped me,’ said Mrs Scott.
Dr Williams said that this was a complete twisting of his words.
He added: ‘What I would have said is that any treatment that has a spiritual background that was not manifestly Christian would be playing with fire, as in our physical world we do not know what the spiritual connotations of “dabbling in the dark arts” have. There seems to be a quantum leap from this generic warning to claiming an individual has been “cured by the devil’’.’
Between 16 and 20 people attended the talk, including letting agent Denis White, 60. Mr White said the doctor had warned the audience in a hellfire and brimstone fashion to beware of homeopathy because it was undoubtedly steeped in the occult and as such was an abomination in the eyes of God.
Mr White said that during the talk he told Dr Williams that some doctors – including some at the doctor’s own practice – administered holistic medicines.
He said that Dr Williams had told the congregations that doctors who did so were charlatans and that this included those at his own practice who administered them.
Dr Williams said describing the application of holistic medicine as ‘charlatan practices’ differed from labelling his colleagues as ‘charlatans’.
He added: ‘The only two possible “hellfire and brimstone” quotations were that one may be “exposed to serious spiritual danger due to the occult roots of homeopathy” and that “physical cure may come at the expense of demonic influence”, the latter comment being appended by the statement that “that may sound dramatic”. Surely every Christian accepts that there is a spiritual side to life?’
St Sampson’s and L’Aumone Practice chairman Dr Peter Richards said: ‘We have no practice policy relating to homeopathy – it is a matter for the individual doctors to make their own decision relating to it.
‘In a big general practice, having GPs who treat problems in different ways must be a good thing and we encourage that,’ added Dr Richards.
He declined to comment on Mr White’s allegations.
British Medical Association island spokesman Dr Brian Parkin said: ‘Quite clearly, if the views of the doctor are as presented, they would be away from the mainstream of medical thought.
‘What is true is that although a lot of celebrities and royalty have endorsed it, I would agree with the doctor when he says that when homeopathy is examined, the science behind it is not always founded.’
Dr Peter Fisher, clinical director of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, said: ‘In my view it is absurd to describe homeopathy as an abomination.
‘I think it has no basis in theology or science or anything else. This is one man’s absurd opinion.’
A General Medical Council spokesman said it issued guidance to doctors that they must not allow their views about a patient’s lifestyle, culture, beliefs, race, colour, gender, sexuality, disability, age or social or economic status to prejudice the treatment they provide or arrange.
n Irene Scott, a retired businesswoman, moved to the island in 1979. Mrs Scott was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2003 but went on to recover.
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