Thansk Jonnie for the pointer to Derren Brown's piece Simon Singh stands up to libel claims. Derren says:
I have put my name to a petition that feels that libel laws should not be used to silence discussion of medical practice and scientific evidence. This is following the British Chiropractic Association bringing a libel case against Simon Singh for questioning the evidence relating to their claims. It seems to many people, including your blogger, that the response to this should be open debate and defending of claims, not suing the respected author of an article for highlighting such doubts.I have a horse in this race. I've had asthma all my life, Chiroppractic treatement has done wonders for my back when it was in acute pain, but using libel laws to silence debate on evidence is utterly unconscionable.
Simon has taken the brave move of appealing the pre-trial ruling, and Sense About Science have joined with him to gather support for the freedom of speech issue that underpins this. It can all be read about here. Simon is quoted as saying:
“It has been a stressful and frustrating twelve months since I published my article on chiropractors and their attempts to treat children with conditions such as asthma. The British Chiropractic Association’s decision to sue me for libel has been an enormous drain on my time and energy.
And absurd. We have so-called debates all the time about the effectiveness of medical treatments from triple vaccines and whether they cause autism (my 2c, even if they do in a very few cases, the risk is justified) to the plethora of drugs that have nasty side effects or don't work as well as the advertising suggests. This demand to be beyond criticism is all part of the corporatisation of society and its in the process of stopping. Chiros need to get with the programme, get down off their pedestals and defend their practiose or get into another line of business.