Given the lack of evidence for up to 80 per cent of current medical practice, David Crosby's assertion that non-evidence-based medicine should 'very seldom be the recipient of discretionary funding' is rather unfair on his physician colleagues. Presumably he does not extend the same caveat to his own specialism (surgery), or he would find himself equally lacking in gainful employment.

By the way, the Cochrane database has references to the effectiveness of prayer and 'wellness' programmes, including spiritual healing.

Dr Ann-Marie Coyne Health promotion manager North West Lancashire health promotion unit