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Volume 5, Pages 93-102
Review Article

Rationality and Irrationality in Ryke Geerd Hamer's System for Holistic Treatment of Metastatic Cancer

1The Quality of Life Research Center, Teglgårdstræde 4, DK-1452 Copenhagen K, Denmark
2The Research Clinic for Holistic Medicine, Teglgårdstræde 8, DK-1452 Copenhagen K, Denmark
3Norwegian School of Management, Sandvika, Norway
4The Scandinavian Foundation for Holistic Medicine, Sandvika, Norway
5National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem and Zusman Child Development Center, Division of Pediatrics and Community Health, Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Received 16 November 2004; Revised 14 January 2005; Accepted 15 January 2005

Copyright © 2005 Soren Ventegodt et al.


The aim of this paper is to examine if the “medical laws” found by the German physician Ryke Geerd Hamer are substantiated by contemporary holistic medical theory. He developed a psychosomatic theory after a personal emotional trauma that he believed resulted in his subsequent development of a testicular cancer. From our analysis, it is clear that the two most fundamental principles of Hamer's work, the psychosomatic “iron law of cancer” (Hamer's first “law”) and the principle of pathogenesis being reversed into salutogenesis (Hamer's second “law”), are well-established principles of holistic medicine today. Hamer's understanding of symbols in medicine, virus and bacteria, and the evolutionary process itself (Hamer's third, fourth, and fifth “law”) differs a great deal from both traditional and contemporary holistic medical theory and we did not find them substantiated. Hamer's understanding of cancer metastasis was built on these failing principles and therefore not substantiated either. Altogether, it seems that Hamer's thinking was basically sound as the most fundamental principles of his work were built on an understanding very similar to holistic medical thinkers of today. We found his postulate that metastatic cancer patients can be healed or their health improved by using his system of holistic medicine likely to be true, at least for some motivated patients. This must be tested scientifically, however, before being accepted. His presentation of his system and work has been idiosyncratic and highly provocative, which has alienated him from the whole medical community.