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Alec Henry Alexander Warner Forbes
Former consultant physician Plymouth, 1952-80 (b Kingston, Jamaica 1918; q Oxford 1942; DM, FRCP), died on 31 October 1999 as the result of an infection. He came to England at the age of 12 and won trophies for rowing at school and blues for rowing and rugby at Oxford. He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and served in west Africa, but was invalided out. When he became a consultant Alec was open to new approaches to health and healing. He studied Jungian and transpersonal psychology and took a special interest in allergic diseases. He travelled widely, observing new and unconventional philosophies and treatments, including spiritual healing, which he practised. He came to think that the treatment of cancer was unnecessarily restricted to physical and biochemical means, maintaining that nutrition and the patient's mind and spirit were important. So he resigned his hospital post and worked full time on a voluntary basis for four years for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre. He introduced a regimen based on a theory of detoxification by means of a vegan-style diet, coupled with relaxation, meditation, counselling, and spiritual healing. Undaunted by the criticism he continued, lecturing widely and stimulating the formation of natural health centres and voluntary cancer support groups. Some of the aspects of the care he introduced are now accepted as conventional treatment. His publications reflected his holistic approach--Try Being Human, Try Being Healthy, and The Bristol Diet. Predeceased by his first wife, Norah, he leaves his second wife, Beverley; a son and three daughters; and nine grandchildren.