The Prince of Wales calls for a broader definition of health

Integrated health and post modern medicine

From Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

HRH The Prince of Wales has called for society to embrace a broader and more complex concept of health. In this article The Prince describes a vision of health that includes the physical and social environment, education, agriculture and architecture. Emphasising that his point is not to confront accepted medical wisdom, HRH suggests reasons for encouraging a wider perspective on health. Rather than simply treating the symptoms of disease, The Prince advocates a health service that puts patients at the heart of the process by incorporating the core human elements of mind, body and spirit. Explaining that symptoms may often be a metaphor for underlying disease and unhappiness, he calls for a scientific and therapeutic approach that understands, values and uses patient perspective and belief rather than seeking to exclude them.

Reflecting on the need to restore urgently a climate of care and compassion at the heart of our health services, The Prince describes how health professionals need to be equipped with the skills and desire to listen and honour what is being said – and not said – by patients. In developing a healing empathy HRH believes that patients will be helped to find their own particular path towards better health. The journal editor concludes “The Prince of Wales is a prominent and influential voice. When he sets out his vision for health, something he clearly thinks deeply about, speaking directly to medical professionals is the best way of allowing a constructive debate to flourish. This is an important article and The Prince’s vision for health is engaging.”

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Article details
HRH, . (2012). Integrated health and post modern medicine JRSM, 105 (12), 496-498 DOI: 10.1258/jrsm.2012.12k095

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