The following is a reprint of an article by Simon Singh that appeared in the Guardian last year. It is highly critical of significant aspects of chiropractic. As a result the British Chiropractic Association decided to sue Simon Singh.
The article is being posted and reprinted today on many blogs and in magazines as a sign of solidarity with Simon as he fights this misconceived libel case. His lawyers have edited several sections that are at the heart of the BCA claim. As you can see, the substantive article remains – that chiropractors lack evidence for their treatments. I believe it is in the public interest that such criticism is not allowed to be stifled by the legal actions of vested interests.
For further information on these issues see Suppressing science and Singh’s embargoed chiropractic article released.
Simon Singh, author of the book Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine has a brief article in the Times about the problems caused by libel actions on scientific integrity (see Think tank: Costly libel suits are stifling science). He knows what he is talking about as he is currently being sued by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) over a Guardian article of his. (The original has been deleted but a cached version is available online here)
Singh had commented that some aspects of Chiropractic treatment were “bogus.” The BCA objected and were offered a right of reply by the Guardian. While the issue could have been decided, or at least clarified, by discussion and presentation of evidence the BCA chose to sue. They chose to show their legal muscle instead of the evidence – to paraphrase a similar New Zealand situation (see Evidence should trump “legal muscle”). In that case The New Zealand Chiropractic Association responded to a critical article in the New Zealand Medical Journal with a threat of legal action if the article was not withdrawn.