The random thoughts of a sceptical activist.


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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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


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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Ok, so how many chiroquacktors claim to treat colic?

Various bloggers have been investigating what their local chiroquacktic shop is claiming they can affect/cure. I’ve got bigger plans.

I’ve now collated the claims made by 296 chiroquacktors. They make some crazy claims. I’m still analysing the data, but here’s a taster:

Colic 29%
Whiplash 25%
Bed wetting 23%
Infection 19%
Asthma 18%
Arthritis 18%
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Who’s been blogging on chiroquacktic?

Loads of bloggers have been, well, blogging on this. I’d like to compile a reasonably comprehensive list of the main (as I see it) blog posts here. They are in no particular order, just as I remember them and find them.

I would like to keep adding to this list, partly as an aid for myself to keep track of the various posts, but also as a resource for anyone else who is interested in the whole sorry saga. I’ll edit this post to make it longer, rather than adding new posts.

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My complaint about a local chiroquacktor

I’ve also complained to Trading Standards about a local chiroquacktor using the title Dr after getting clarification from the GCC:

Thank you for your enquiry. The relevant part of the Code of Practice for chiropractors states that

“Chiropractors must not use any title or qualification in such a way that the public may be misled as to its mean or significance. In particular, chiropractors who use the title of ‘doctor’ and who are not registered medical practitioners must ensure that they make it clear they are registered chiropractors and not registered medical practitioners.”

Do please let me know if from your perspective the information provided on his website is sufficiently clear. If not, I will draw to his attention any issues that you are able to identify, with a view to remedying any problem.

Oh, I will!

New chiroquacktic training manual uncovered!

Top secret, no doubt, but this manual gives a useful insight into the workings of the chiroquacktic mind.

For those ready for more education, I’ve found some more complex material on subluxations:

When spinal vertebrae pinch or choke nerves, affected organs and tissues don’t work the way they should and ill-health results.

When the neurological circuits have integrity, your body works as it was designed.

First posted: 26 May 2009

Je suis Charlie

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