Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Test medicine in the lab, not in the court

Go here.

Raymond Tallis writes in the Times:

A while back, I wrote a piece arguing that the retired, such as myself, had a responsibility to speak fearlessly about what we saw to be the truth and to take unpopular stands on difficult issues. After all, we no longer had any hope of advancement and the execration of ill-informed, unthinking or self-interested opponents could not touch us. Recent events have awoken my dormant cowardice to question this bravado. Speaking out on some things might mean that Mrs Tallis and I could end our days on the parish, cleaned out by a ruinous court battle with individuals or institutions with deeper pockets than us. The libel case brought against Simon Singh is one such event... continues.

And Simon Singh writes:

On Tuesday morning I will appear at the Court of Appeal in the latest round of a libel battle that has already lasted almost two years, and which could easily continue for another two years. It has cost me more than £100,000 in legal fees and this could double before we reach a final judgment.

What did I write that was so terrible? I published a newspaper article raising concerns about chiropractors who use spinal manipulation to treat children for conditions such as colic, ear infections and asthma. I thought that it was important that parents were aware of the shortage of evidence surrounding such treatments, but the British Chiropractic Association disagreed and sued me personally for libel
... Continues here.

Jack of Kent's blog
is an excellent source of information on this case.

Good article on libel tourism here.

The United Nations Committee on Human Rights has denounced English defamation law for "discouraging critical media reports on matters of serious public interest, adversely affecting the ability of scholars and journalists to publish their work, and encouraging libel tourism."

"It is a lamentable observation that because of the way our laws are skewed in favour of the plaintiff, London has become the libel capital of the world." Richard Dawkins.

There will big news on Singh later today.

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