The random thoughts of a sceptical activist

Monthly Archives: June 2009

Let’s be aware. Very aware.

This is Homeopathy Awareness Week. The triumvirate of Lewith, Dixon and Fisher are on the attack against those silly people who think there is no evidence for homeopathy.

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The GCC respond: email #2 – we need copies of everything

Email #2 from the GCC:

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First Contact!

I got the following from the GCC yesterday:

Thank you for your letter. A member of staff who deals with the administration of complaints will be in touch with you within two working days with full details of our process for dealing with complaints. In the meantime please be assured that the GCC will not disclose your details to anyone other than the respondent chiropractor in each case. This will not happen until the relevant stage in the process, which will be set out in the full details my colleague will be sending to you.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Coats

Chief Executive & Registrar

At least we know they received my complaint (if we didn’t know already).

Don’t panic, Mr Mainwaring!

“They don’t like it up ’em” also springs to mind from the excellent and much-loved seventies TV series Dad’s Army.

Dad’s Army were a comical bunch of misfits — a parody of the real everyday heroes of the Home Guard.

In a completely different world, it looks like my 523 complaints to the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) have had some effect already. I’ve not even received an acknowledgement from the GCC, but we all know they got it! Not only got it, but someone leaked it outside of the GCC. Or maybe they were stalking me in the Internet?

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Omnibus Complaint to the General Chiropractic Council

Various bloggers have been complaining to their local chiropractor, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) or the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). These include jdc325, Tristan at Cargo Cult Science and APGaylard at A canna’ change the laws of physics.

These are all excellent and should make them realise that they are being watched – critically and under a very powerful (scientific) microscope. However, I don’t think this will bring about the seismic shift in the way chiropractors advertise their services that is badly required to properly protect the public. What is needed is the GCC to sit up and take note of what their charges are doing and ensure the rules governing chiropractors are followed – to the letter. After all, that’s what a regulator is supposed to do, isn’t it?

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The unbelievable world of acupuncture

A brief interlude between posts on chiropractic.

I received an invitation to attend a conference on acupuncture: the British Conference of Acupuncture and Oriental medicine to be held at Royal Holloway University of London, in September. All I’m going to do is give you a few quotes from their blurb. Some of the workshop highlights include:

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Is it really to do with the BCA’s reputation?

In his recent Story so far, Simon Singh said:

Initially The Guardian newspaper tried its best to settle the matter out of court by making what seemed to be a very generous offer. There was an opportunity for the BCA to write a 500 word response to my article to be published in The Guardian, allowing the BCA to present its evidence. There was also the offer of a clarification in the “Corrections and Clarifications” column, which would have pointed out: “The British Chiropractic have told us they have substantial evidence supporting the claim they make on their website that their members can help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying. (Beware the spinal trap, page 26, April 19).”

Unfortunately, the BCA rejected these offers and moreover made it absolutely clear that it was not suing The Guardian, but rather it was suing me personally. At this point The Guardian newspaper chose to step back.

I find this all very odd. The BCA said that what Simon had said was:

defamatory and damaging to the BCA’s reputation

The Guardian offered the BCA space for a 500-word reply. The BCA refused.

The Guardian offered them a clarification. The BCA refused.

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Chiroquacktic Research Dishonesty

Interesting…

Extract from the GCC’s Indicative Sanctions Guidance, which defines what sanctions should be applied when a chiroquacktor breaks the rules. In the section on ‘Removal from the Register’, there is a sub-section titled Dishonesty, one paragraph of which states:

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