Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Author Appeals Libel Judgment; Defends Article Criticizing Chiropractic Medicine

Simon Singh is appealling a defamation ruling against him. The co-author of Trick or Treatment, a study of pseudoscience and alternative medicine, lost a case against the British Chiropractic Association brought based on an article he had written for The Guardian that discussed the practice of chiropractic medicine. The BCA objected to his characterization of chiropractic. Says the Guardian,

In the article, Singh criticised the BCA for claiming that its members could use spinal manipulation to treat children with colic, ear infections, asthma, sleeping and feeding conditions, and prolonged crying. Singh described the treatments as "bogus" and based on insuffcient evidence, and criticised the BCA for "happily promoting" them.


At a preliminary hearing last month to decide the meaning of the article, Mr Justice Eady ruled that the wording used by Singh implied that the BCA was being consciously dishonest. Singh has denied that he intended any such meaning.

Mr. Singh and his lawyers say they will fight the case through the English courts, and if necessary, take the case to the European courts. The Guardian is supporting him, although it notes on its website, "We supported Simon and funded his legal advice when the case was brought against him. The recommended legal advice was to settle out of court and we offered to pay for the British Chiropractic Association's costs should he choose to follow this course of action."

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