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Science writer Simon Singh wins ruling in chiropractic libel battle

By |October 15, 2009|Ethics|

In two previous articles, here and here, I talked about author Simon Singh’s battle with the British Chiropractic Association. The Guardian reported yesterday that the initial ruling has been overturned.
From The Guardian:

A science writer who is being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association is to fight on after a preliminary judgment against him was overturned on appeal today.

Simon Singh was sued by the BCA after he wrote an article in the Guardian criticising the association for supporting members who claim that chiropractic treatments – which involve manipulation of the spine – can treat children’s colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying.

Singh described the treatments, for which he said there is not a lot of evidence, as “bogus” and criticised the BCA for “happily promoting” them.

In May, Mr Justice Eady in the high court ruled on the meaning of the words, saying they implied the association was being deliberately dishonest. Singh said that interpretation would make it difficult for him to defend himself at a full trial.

Singh was initially refused leave to appeal, but Eady’s interpretation was rejected by Lord Justice Laws, who said Eady had risked swinging the balance of rights too far in favour of the right to reputation and against the right to free expression. Laws described Eady’s judgment as “legally erroneous”.

Many scientists and science writers have rallied to Singh’s support, claiming that the freedom of scientific opinion is at stake.

Speaking after the judgment, Singh said this was the “best possible result”.

“Simon Singh’s battle in this libel case is not only a glaring example of how the law and its interpretation are stifling free expression, it shows how urgent the case for reform has become,” said Jo Glanville, editor of Index on Censorship.

Antibiotic Abuse

By |August 14, 2009|Education, Ethics, Health, Immune System|

Editorial Commentary:

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has been begging conventional medicine to stop overprescribing antibiotics for decades. Even so, a recent study in the Journal of Hospital Infections found that 37% of 600 antibiotic prescriptions were considered unnecessary and another 45% were considered to be inadequate.

Considering that antibiotic use in infants has been associated with doubling the incidence of asthma, and other studies have revealed that 76% of adults who visit a primary care physician because of a sore throat are given an antibiotic, even though viruses (that are not affected by antibiotics) are the primary cause for upper-respiratory-tract infections. (more…)

Orthopedic Residents Are Incompetent To Diagnose or Manage Musculoskeletal Complaints

By |July 19, 2009|Education, Ethics|

Orthopedic Residents Are Incompetent To Diagnose or Manage Musculoskeletal Complaints

The Chiro.Org Blog

Chiro.Org Editorial Commentary:

Chiropractors pride themselves in their ability to diagnose and manage neuro-musculo-skeletal (NMS) complains. According to all the surveys, this is our bread and butter, and no one on the planet is better trained to diagnose (locate) and treat (correct) neck, low back, or peripheral joint (knee, elbow etc) complaints. But, don’t take my word for it.

Orthopedic surgeons are supposed to be the *gods* of medicine, the pinnacle of medical knowledge. First they become MDs, then rotate through a variety of specialties, and finally take residence in a highly competitive orthopedic residency program. You may want to review this interesting description of the requirements for the UCLA Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program. (more…)

How Much of Orthodox Medicine Is Evidence Based?

By |July 15, 2009|Education, Ethics|

How Much of Orthodox Medicine Is Evidence Based?

The Chiro.Org Blog

This is an interesting letter from the British Medical Journal

Scientific heavyweights deplore the NHS money wasted on unproved and disproved treatments used by practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), [1, 2] but Lewith, a CAM proponent (see previous letter), is cited elsewhere as saying that the BMJ reckons that 50% of the treatments used in general practice aren’t proved, and 5% are pretty harmful but still being used. [3] (more…)

Evidence-based Practice

By |July 1, 2009|Education, Ethics, Journals, News, Research|

Evidence-based Practice

The Chiro.Org Blog

As long as we’re on the topic of Evidence-based Practice, you’ll enjoy Anthony Rosner PhD’s article “The Shifting Sands of Evidence-based Medicine”.

Robert D. Mootz, DC, who is the Medical Director for the State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries also penned an interesting review in JMPT titled “When Evidence and Practice Collide” (FULL TEXT) that sheds a lot of light on EBM issues.