The random thoughts of a sceptical activist

Chiropractic Awareness Week 2008-2010

The British Chiropractic Association has finally dropped their misconceived libel action against Dr Simon Singh.

Best of all, the BCA have done this in Chiropractic Awareness Week.

The first announcement of it was from the Chambers of one of Simon’s QCs, William McCormick:

British Chiropractic Association v Singh – BCA admits defeat.

The BCA today served a Notice of Discontinuance bringing to an end its ill-fated libel claim against Dr Simon Singh arising out of criticisms he made of its promotion of treatments for childhood ailments.

Dr Singh’s predicament as the sole defendant in an action brought in respect of a comment piece in the Guardian newspaper (to which the BCA never directed any complaint) was seen as a rallying point for those concerned about the abuse of UK libel laws in connection with scientific debate.

Interest intensified when Eady J ruled that his words were not comment and that in order to defend himself he would have to prove the objective truth of what he wrote.

Earlier this month the Court of Appeal overturned that ruling and this has lead the BCA to abandon its claim.

William McCormick QC acted for Dr Singh instructed by Robert Dougans of Bryan Cave LLP.

This is great news, but the question of costs still has to be resolved. However, even if he recovers his costs, Simon has still spent the last two years fighting this misconceived and unnecessary libel case.

It is not known what will happen to the BCA: their finances are in a bit of a sorry state and their members should be asking a lot of searching questions of those individuals responsible. Indeed, those running the BCA need to do a lot of soul searching. But that’s up to them.

And the nominees are…

The inimitable Jack of Kent has been longlisted for the Orwell Prize 2010 and he will find out later today if he has been shortlisted.

Perhaps the BCA should also receive  a prize: Lifetime Achievement Award for their contribution to Chiropractic Awareness Week?

They get my nomination.

Update

The Guardian has now reinstated the original article Simon wrote for Chiropractic Awareness Week 2008, the one that the BCA had such a hissy fit about: Beware the spinal trap

What better way to celebrate Chiropractic Awareness Week 2010 and make everyone aware of chiropractic.

13 Responses to Chiropractic Awareness Week 2008-2010

  • This is great news for Simon, and for all those interested in free and uninhibited debate of scientific (and general) discourse.

    As you rightly said the costs issue is yet to be resolved – going off past form Simon may well still be left significantly out of pocket, not least because of the disastrous state of the BCA accounts.

    Well done Zeno of some bloody impressive blogging on this btw, I really hope we see more to come as this is far, far from over :-)

  • Wonderful news!

    Science = 1, Pseudo-science = nil

  • Maybe Simon Singh should now try to recover his costs from Richard Brown, rather than from the BCA?

  • LOL! Now there’s an idea, Andrew.

  • I had sincerely thought that this week was “Homeopathy Awareness Week”.

  • How come CAW only runs from April 12 to April 13? Can those guys get anything right?

  • See! That is homeopathic chiropractic!
    Less of a week makes it less weak.

  • “Simon has still spent the last two years fighting this misconceived and unnecessary libel case”

    I disagree. I think it’s been a very very necessary libel case. It has not only led to far more people being educated in how corrupt and fraudulent the practice of Chiro is, but has also sparked a full-scale reform of libel laws in this country which has been a long time coming.

  • Given we are now pretty much in agreement that chiropractic treatment cannot help with infant colic, I was rather dismayed to find the section below on a local chiropractors website (http://www.chiro.co.nz/doctor/chiropractor/274S/chiropractic-Wellington/colic.htm). However, once I read to the end, I was relieved to see that they very clearly say chiropractic is not a treatement for colic. I’m sure this advert for chiropracty won’t mislead anyone.

    Here’s the excerpt:

    Colic
    Your tummy hurts. You have a terrible headache. You can’t sleep and you’re cranky. One more thing: you can’t ask for help because you’re only two weeks old! So you cry. And cry. And cry.

    Infant with colic.

    Lacking the ability to speak, newborns cry, indicating that something isn’t right.

    And your parents feel helpless.

    Indigestion?
    Infantile colic was first thought to be merely indigestion. The most widely accepted definition of colic today is “unexplainable and uncontrollable crying in babies from 0 to 3 months old, more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week for 3 weeks or more, usually in the afternoon and evening hours.”

    Birth Trauma?
    If a baby is inconsolable, it’s hard to know if it’s a digestive disturbance. Consider another explanation. Upon examination, we often find spinal distortions in the baby’s upper cervical spine. These babies are probably suffering from head and neck pain. This is especially common if there was a difficult birth.

    A 67% Reduction in Crying
    The results of a randomized controlled trial published in the October 1999 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics tracked a small group of 50 infants. Half received the drug dimethicone and the other spinal manipulation. At the conclusion of the two-week study, the babies being adjusted saw a 67% reduction in crying and the drug therapy group saw a 38% reduction.

    Little Research
    While large scale research results are lacking, and colic is considered a condition that resolves on its own with the passage of enough time, there are many case studies showing improvement, sometimes dramatic, among colicky babies with subluxations.

    Not a Cure
    Chiropractic isn’t a treatment for colic! If subluxation is present, interfering with the proper function of any part of the body, restoring proper nervous system control often allows the body to heal. This may happen regardless of age and regardless of what the particular symptoms are called.

  • Perhaps the BCA should also receive a prize: Lifetime Achievement Award for their contribution to Chiropractic given they are medipractors masquerading as chiropractors.

    Richard Brown is a confused adult who missed out on the grades for and fuller explanation of chiropractic – he obviously wanted to be a doctor when in fact his vocation was nursing.

    And so not to be one sided. Simon Singh is a self serving tosser who has whipped you arseholes in to his longer term PR ambitions.

    What a load of wankers.

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