Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chiropractic is fake bullshit and should be made illegal

Simon Singh, an author of books on science, is being sued for libel for using the word "bogus" to describe the practices of the British Chiropractic Association.

If you haven't heard the story yet, please check out:,3925,Support-Simon-Singh,Richard-Dawkins

To the British Chiropractic Association: The pseudoscientific crap you do should be utterly illegal, and you should all be arrested for medical negligence. Chiropractic treatment is, for the most part, pseudoscientific garbage; it is not a legitimate field of medicine since it has not been subjected to the same rigorous criteria real, science-based medicine must abide by. The UK is absolutely rife with bullshit medicine. Even if it were a person's right to make ignorant and disastrous decisions about their own health, the legitimacy of such choices rests on the individual being adequately informed. It is not in the interest of the alternative medicine community to place their products in the open playing field of reality - they must not only actively misinform their victims, but stifle criticism of their practices, whether legitimate or not.

This is not something that can be tolerated. When scientists are sued for expressing a scientifically-backed conclusion about a branch of therapy that is not only legitimately the subject of scientific inquiry, but a matter of public concern on which the health and lives of individuals rests, what we create is an atmosphere that stifles the genuine pursuit of truth and puts all of us at risk. We will do nothing but put obstacles in the way of progress if scientists are cowed into not expressing their view because some hypersensitive, ignorant, or money-hungry person sees that person's view as a threat to their business.

I call on everyone, everywhere, who recognizes just how much of a threat and an outrage this is to publicly - in blogs, outside, in publications, in letters to newspapers or to chiropractic associations - tell them exactly what you think of them. It is the right of every person everywhere to express their honest view on the legitimacy of chiropractic, and if we do not stand up in a show of support for Simon Singh, and push back against litigation against the conclusions of science, then we are setting a terrible precedent that will encourage promoters of quackery - quackery which fleeces the money and harms the health of uninformed adults and their undeserving children - to use lawsuits as a way to stifle legitimate criticism.

People's lives are being lost, and progress which could help save and improve lives in the future is being held back, because of the unchallenged proliferation of bogus medicine. Stop sitting on your hands. This isn't a matter we can afford to be silent about.


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