Finally, Some Good News for Simon Singh

The famed author and skeptic Simon Singh has been encountering setback after setback in his case against chiropractics.

This all began when he wrote an article saying that the British Chiropractic Association “is the respectable face of the chiropractic profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments.”

That led to a semantics battle over the meaning of the word “bogus.” Is Singh saying BCA members are liars? They say yes, and they’re suing him for libel.

Singh’s defense is that he believes chiropractors are sincere about wanting to help people, however the treatments they offer have no healing power whatsoever. That’s what he was referring to in his article.

Finally, there’s a bit of good news for Singh.

[Singh has] been granted leave to appeal following a hearing before Lord Justice Laws at the Court of Appeal.

The ruling means Singh will now be able to mount a full appeal against the British Chiropractic Association’s libel suit.

In short, Singh is allowed to file an appeal if he wishes.

Excellent. I hope he wins the case and forces the BCA to lose money and lose business. Their loss is the patients’ gain. Singh may be getting sued for it, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to be silent.

Many of the treatments provided by chiropractors are shams, and those who practice it are charlatans whether they know it or not.

You’d be wise to warn your friends and relatives against wasting their money.

Here’s what Singh had to say after the judge granted him the permission to appeal his case:



  • TXatheist

    Hemant, I’m sure you have or will hear about this but I’m going to do a self plug on what I’ll be doing Sunday…http://www.secularserviceday.org/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsjv9Noi1nc

  • TXatheist

  • Lowman Totempole

    I’m a neuroscientist, and I’ve been a chiropractor. Why? Because I was having shoulder pain and my MD recommended it. The chiropractor’s treatment made me feel good. My health care covered it.

    It was like a set of paid-for, “super massages”. That’s all I’ve ever looked at it as, and that’s all my chiropractor billed it as.

  • http://gusonthought.blogspot.com gustavolk-swagen

    I am very glad to hear this. Placebo treatments may have value (for a patient’s feeling of well-being), but that is all they are: placebos.

  • http://primesequence.blogspot.com/ PrimeNumbers

    Simon’s book – Trick or Treatment – is excellent. But unlike some placebos, Chiropractic manipulation can be dangerous, and has in some cases, killed.

    I think a good massage is well worth it. It always makes me feel better. Placebo or not, I don’t care – the results are worth it. But they’re making no claims at all what they can do for me. That’s the difference.

  • http://chaoskeptic.blogspot.com Iason Ouabache

    Have you seen the newest update that Jack of Kent put up? Seems that the BCA defamed Simon Singh in a press release by saying that his article was malicious. Singh now has the right to counter-sue and maybe get BCA is drop its suit.

    http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/2009/10/bca-defame-simon-singh.html

  • muggle

    This has a libel suit against it? Just for calling chiropractice the woo hoo it is? And I thought we Americans were litigious!

    Man, suddenly glad we’re not subjects of the crown across the pond.

    I hope he proceeds.

  • llewelly

    Lowman Totempole Says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I’m a neuroscientist, and I’ve been a chiropractor. Why? Because I was having shoulder pain and my MD recommended it. The chiropractor’s treatment made me feel good. My health care covered it.
    It was like a set of paid-for, “super massages”. That’s all I’ve ever looked at it as, and that’s all my chiropractor billed it as.

    In his book, Singh discusses at length the fact that chiropractors do appear to be effective for some muscle and back pain issues. (Although no more effective than physical therapy). His primary complaints are against chiropractors who believe spinal manipulations can cure anything from cancer to the common cold, and those who are “mixers”, and in addition to the traditional chiropractor stuff, distribute So-Called Alternative Medicine curse of every imaginable sort. Singh also has issues with the risks of spinal manipulations, which do occasionally kill people.

  • Rob

    Oh dear. “Warn your friends”, “It’s all a sham”, “Those who practice it are charlatans”.
    That’s a bit sweeping don’t you think? Perhaps a bit ridiculous?

    Yes chiropractic lacks a complete model of its efficacy, but it doesn’t lack tens of thousands of people per day getting real benefit from treatments where conventional med has failed.

    I have friends who are GPs/family doctors/conventional medics, who, when their own skills and those of their colleagues have failed them, have visited a chiropractor, had a good patient history extracted, been given a robust scientific orthopaedic and neurological screen, been given a working diagnostic, and seen improvements in a handful of sessions for conditions that have ailed them for months or years.

    Chiropractors who claim they can cure cancer and the common cold are clearly imbeciles not worth mentioning here. There are just as many conventional medics who make ridiculous claims, but don’t discount the quiet majority of chiros who are out there every day using science and musculoskeletal medicine, conservative treatments, and providing positive patient outcomes. Nobody discusses them because they’re just getting on with it.

  • Brittany

    I work for a Chiropractor. She never claims to “cure” anything. We see amazing results all the time. So many of our patients have seen major improvements in migraines, allergies, are getting sick much less often; we’ve even seen improvement in behavioral issues as well as with the usual neck and back pain relief.
    When you find the real facts from real Chiropractic studies, you’ll find the risks of spinal manipulations are much lower than you are letting on.


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