- British Medical Council embraces holism

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British Medical Council embraces holism

Three editorial articles in the British Medical Journal in January signalled a very fundamental shift in the thinking of the leadership of the medical establishment in Britain.

The first one was entitled "Integrated Medicine - Imbues orthodox medicine with the values of complementary medicine" and it stated that "Integrated Medicine has a larger meaning and mission, its focus being on health and healing rather than disease and treatment. It views patients as whole people with minds and spirits as well as bodies and includes these dimensions into diagnosis and treatment." The editorial also pointed out that research had shown that consultations with complementary medicine therapists who adopted a holistic approach made patients feel more in control.

In a second editorial entitled "Enhancing human healing" there were a couple of interesting quotes from doctors after training in complementary medicine - "This has rekindled my interest in medicine" and "I now see the whole person and not a biochemical puzzle to be solved". This same article recognises the wealth of recent research in psychoneuro-immunolgy along with patient choice as the driving forces pushing the medical profession towards holism. This editorial is actually by David Reilly who, in addition to being a consultant physician, is a practising homeopath and he talks about how "therapeutic engagement (and qualities like compassion, empathy, trust and positive motivation) can improve outcomes directly".

The third editorial in the same edition is entitled "Complementary medicine and medical education" and has the sub-heading as "Teaching Complementary Medicine offers a way of making teaching more holistic".

Need I say more?

Colin Sutherland March 2001

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