Ass (as in donkey)

June 9, 2009 at 12:42 pm 1 comment

Sometimes, the law is an ass. When Simon Singh wrote about the unfounded nature of chiropractic treatments, the British Chiropractic Association should have either demonstrated that their techniques work (thus making Singh look silly, and probably apologising for his article) or else defended the unproven nature of their methods by claiming that they work, even if they can’t prove it for some reason. The Guardian (which published Singh’s article) even offered to publish a retraction, which the BCA rejected, choosing instead to sue. And not to sue the Guardian, which can afford lawyers, but to sue Simon Singh personally. I don’t know if the BCA are ‘bogus’ or not (the contensious word), but they’re certainly litigious beyond reason. Science progresses through the free exchange of ideas, which are then subject to test. But the test should be in the laboratory or clinic or library, not thsas-libel-2e court of law. I think a new word must be coined to prevent this happening. I suggest “untortablebogue”, which refers to “something that is bogus (misleading, counterfeit) but not for legal purposes”. More usefully, the whole of UK libel law needs a serious overhall. In the meantime, please let’s keep libel laws out of science.

Read more here and especially here.

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Political shenanigans “Are you happy?”

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Em  |  June 15, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    The BCA isn’t bogus (it really exists) but the treatments they promote are. Even the McTimoney CA now realises this:

    http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2009/06/chiropractors-told-to-take-down-their.html.

    The MCA is contacting their members with the following advice:

    “The target of the campaigners [against the harm done by chiropractic] is now any claims for treatment that cannot be substantiated with chiropractic research. The safest thing for everyone to do is as follows.

    “* If you have a website, take it down NOW… REMOVE all the blue MCA patient information leaflets, or any patient information leaflets of your own that state you treat whiplash, colic or other childhood problems in your clinic or at any other site where they might be displayed with your contact details on them. DO NOT USE them until further notice. The MCA are working on an interim replacement leaflet which will be sent to you shortly.”

    So the MCA at least knows *damn well* that these claims are even by their own “chiropractic research” – unsubstantiated. Or, to use a synonym, utterly bogus.

    Reply

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