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Chirocopalypse: British chiropractors running scared

Posted in Confessions of a Quackbuster by Skepdude on June 18, 2009

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The bad publicity for chiropractic, caused by the libel suit filed by the British Chiropractic Association against Simon Singh, is causing the profession to panic. The case is beginning to become a Pyrrhic victory and an example of the Streisand effect for the profession, with the charity Sense About Science nipping at their heels with a very successful campaign in defense of Singh, with over 10,000 signers and loads of publicity. Several scientific skeptics have already targetted over 500 chiropractors and filed formal complaints against them.

The situation is like a group of rabbits being spotted by a hunting dog. They have hoped to remain unseen by the hunter (the public), but they have made the mistake of making fun of the dog, and now the hunt is on. They and their dubious practices are now very, very visible and publicized by the entire British press and numerous websites!

The British Chiropractic Association, McTimoney Chiropractic Association, and the United Chiropractic Association have all sent letters to their members. They are running scared and are doing what they can to keep their members from getting prosecuted. The McTimoney Chiropractic Association has even blanked its own website and asked its members to delete their websites, thus hiding possibly incriminating evidence. Fortunately some resourceful bloggers had already made copies of ALL their websites, so the evidence is now available when necessary.

The British Chiropractic Association letter

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Homeopathy is worse than witchcraft – and the NHS must stop paying for it

Posted in Confessions of a Quackbuster by Skepdude on February 17, 2009

Many people swear by homeopathy. It is a popular dinner party topic of the Hampstead set, of which I am a member. My friends – otherwise educated, cultured people – say it can help them recover from a cold in just seven days. Yes, I reply, and left alone it would take a whole week.

The problem is that few people know what homeopathy really is. I’ll tell you: it is a 200-year-old practice that hasn’t changed since its inception.

Homeopathy is based on three principles: treat the symptoms of a disease rather than the disease itself; cure like with like (an onion makes your eyes stream and so does a cold, so treat a cold with an onion); and the greater the dilution of the ‘medicine’, the more potent the potion.

Some homeopathic tinctures contain so little of the magic ingredient there could just as easily be a molecule of my urine in them.

Homeopathic companies are making a fortune marketing placebos. Yet, despite this, last September, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority approved the marketing of homeopathic remedies for ‘self-limiting conditions’ (these are conditions which should improve by themselves) – even if there is no evidence of their efficacy.

This scares me. Homeopathy is to medicine what astrology is to astronomy: it’s witchcraft – totally barmy, totally refuted, and yet it’s available on the NHS. For while homeopathic medicine is not toxic, its use as an alternative to conventional medicine can, in fact, cause serious harm.

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