Doctor to the Queen and expert on homeopathy

Born: September 2, 1950;

Died: August 15, 2018

DR PETER Fisher, who has died in a cycling accident aged 67, was a doctor, researcher and academic who served as homeopathic physician to the Queen for 16 years. He was also director of research at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, formerly known as the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, and was a leading figure in homeopathic research.

A graduate of Cambridge University and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Dr Fisher was also president of the Faculty of Homeopathy, the organisation which promotes the controversial complementary medicine which is famously supported by Prince Charles.

Dr Fisher, a former honorary consultant rheumatologist at King's College Hospital, had published many articles on rheumatology and on complementary and alternative medicine. He chaired the World Health Organisation's working group on homeopathy and served on its expert advisory panel on traditional and complementary medicine.

He had served as physician to the Queen with responsibility for all homoeopathic treatment given to the Royal family, since 2001, and said the appointment had come about in an "opaque" way. "Somebody comes up to you and says, 'If you were to be asked, you wouldn’t say ‘no’, would you?'," he said. "They can’t risk you possibly saying no. So they check you out, and then you don’t hear a thing. Then a year later you get a letter. So, I suppose it is a matter of being in the right place at the right time."

Dr Fisher trained at Westminster Hospital Medical School and first experienced alternative medicine on a field trip to China while a student in the 1970s. He said of that incident: "I was astonished to see a woman having surgery on her abdomen without an anaesthetic. To manage the pain, all she had was three little acupuncture needles in her left ear. This was something I hadn't been taught in any Cambridge lecture." Fisher later used homoeopathic treatment on himself when he fell ill and became convinced of its effectiveness.

After university, he became a research fellow in rheumatology at Barts, but he later published one of the first serious studies of homeopathy in the British Medical Journal. He worked at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine for more than 30 years and was its director of research from 1996 and its clinical director from 1998 to 2014.

He was also always ready to defend homoeopathy against its critics who sometimes dismissed him as a quack. "There is huge prejudice," he said. "There is prejudice and persecution which actually seems to have originated in the UK for various psycho-social-geopolitical reasons. And one interpretation of the current situation is that it is the early stages of a scientific revolution, when you get a reaction. Homeopathy is persecuted because it is a new paradigm that is threatening the established order, a scientific revolution."

Peter Fisher was a Fellow of the Faculty of Homeopathy and had recently become its president. He was also elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1997.

He died near the RLHIM while cycling when he was hit by a lorry.