Anaximperator blog

Blogging against alternative cancer treatments

Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst causing Trouble in Paradise for the British Chiropractic Association?

In Belgium you can call a quack for what he is: a quack.

In the United Kingdom however, you cannot.

British physicist and science writer Simon Singh wrote in The Guardian that there is not a jot of evidence for the claim of the chiropractics that their treatments are effective for  certain children’s ailments, but that this doesn’t stop them from ‘happily’ selling their ‘bogus’ treatments. Well, perhaps Singh had better not done this.

The chiropractics dragged Singh to court for libel and the judge found for them. The fact that there is no evidence for the efficacy of chiropractic turned out to be not very relevant to the judge. With the use of the words ‘happily’ and ‘bogus,’ which the judge held implied intent, the chiropractics’ honour and good name were supposed to have been harmed. The judge clearly thought this was far more serious than being dishonest to one’s clients.

Now, all of a sudden, scientific criticism equals libel.

Singh has been granted the right to appeal the verdict, although it is by no means sure that he will win, for British libel laws are notoriously ‘victim’ friendly.

However, apparently the chiropractics are not completely easy about the matter. In their reply to Singh’s appeal, they give an overview of evidence for the efficacy of chiropractics. Well, perhaps they had better not done this.

Edzard Ernst, the world’s first professor of complementary medicine and undisputed authority on the subject, has assessed the evidence and found it seriously wanting. So wanting in fact that it might as well go straight into the bin.

On 10 July 2009 the discussion between Edzard Ernst and the British chiropractics was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The BMJ fully supports the conclusions of professor Ernst.

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One response to “Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst causing Trouble in Paradise for the British Chiropractic Association?

  1. Pingback: Een kwakzalver is (g)een kwakzalver is (g)een kwakzalver is (g)een kwa… « Cryptocheilus Weblog

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