I haven’t seen many articles or blog postings on this but it’s too important to go unnoticed.
Writer Simon Singh wrote an article one year ago trashing the false science of chiropractics.
The British Chiropractic Association claims that their members can help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying, even though there is not a jot of evidence. This organisation is the respectable face of the chiropractic profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments.
I can confidently label these treatments as bogus because I have co-authored a book about alternative medicine with the world’s first professor of complementary medicine, Edzard Ernst. He learned chiropractic techniques himself and used them as a doctor. This is when he began to see the need for some critical evaluation. Among other projects, he examined the evidence from 70 trials exploring the benefits of chiropractic therapy in conditions unrelated to the back. He found no evidence to suggest that chiropractors could treat any such conditions.
… if spinal manipulation were a drug with such serious adverse effects and so little demonstrable benefit, then it would almost certainly have been taken off the market.
A powerful article from a masterful science writer.
One important point to make is that Singh is not saying the quacks who practice chiropractics are deceivers on purpose. They actually believe this stuff works — except it doesn’t.
The BCA didn’t care — they sued Singh for libel.
Yesterday, a judge heard the case and made a surprising ruling: he ruled against Singh.
Apparently, his use of the word “bogus” in the article supposedly implies that the BCA is being dishonest on purpose.
But Singh doesn’t believe that and he cannot prove that. That’s not what the article was about, anyway.
In light of this ruling the matter may not go to trial. From Singh’s standing he does not believe the BCA had intent to deceive and therefore cannot prove this.
Mr Justice Eady refused an appeal on the judgement… Singh still will not stand down, and intends to pursue his defence by going to the court of appeals. If this is rejected he may then go to Strasbourg and appeal to the European Human Rights Commission.
Costs of £23,000, relating to the preliminary hearing, have been awarded to the BCA.
That’s a sad victory for the pseudoscientists. I hope Singh wins an appeal. Someone needs to expose chiropractics and its bogus claims.
Plenty more information on why chiropractics is absurd can be found at Chirobase.