The General Medical Council: nice bedside manner with quacks

I have for some time been critical of the GMC’s acquiescence over doctors who practise quackery, but I’m concerned now at how it seems to be getting into bed with them. I just came across an `oncologist and professor of Chinese medicine‘ and phoned the GMC for advice as to whether they would regulate such a person – who is not apparently registered to practise in the UK. It was an odd conversation, which I have followed up with this email to the GMC: Continue reading

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Nonsense Education

For many years I have strongly supported the Advertising Standards Authority. It is staffed by excellent people who know the difference between real medicine and quackery, and between evidence and opinion. When necessary they are not slow to call in expert help, and their decisions are usually robust and evidence-based. Continue reading

A Funny Idea of Ethics – from the clergy

The oldest church here in Salisbury is St Thomas’. The C of E is of course a major landowner, a tradition followed  here, with the church owning the adjacent St Thomas’ House just across the square. I knew that the prestigious (!) Salisbury Homeopathy College ran its events there, and recently learned about a course entitled “Autism Spectrum Disorder and Homeopathy”, conducted by one Mike Andrews who has written a book of the same title. Continue reading

As usual, quacks are wrong about being told they are wrong

I suppose it would be too much to expect the quacks to interpret correctly the legal framework for advertising. Heaven knows they have scant regard for the truth when plugging their snake oils. So I am going to explain what I have learned about the regulation of advertising, especially why what the quacks say about the Advertising Standards Authority is wrong. Continue reading

“Not my problem mate”

The old Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain laboured for years under a serious conflict of interest. It supported pharmacists in their role as high street shopkeepers (inter alia), and at the same time purported to regulate them as health care professionals.  So it split into two bodies, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the General Pharmaceutical Council (RPhC). A nice clean break surely? Well no, and here is why. Continue reading

The General Pharmaceutical Council – as useless as ever

Do we have any health care regulators who do their job properly? Months ago I came across a pharmacist called Christine  Glover, who runs Glovers Integrated Healthcare. Any use of the word `integrated’ usually means quackery of some kind, and this is one of those. But I really wonder how Mrs Glover copes with cognitive dissonance. She says she was “a former President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society”. How did a respected professional body elect a quack as president? She regards ” illness as a set of physical symptoms”. Wrong, wrong, wrong, illness has causes of which homeopaths have not the slightest understanding. She sits on the advisory board of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Science. Science? How on earth does that align with homeopathy? NHS Choices says “There is no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition”. Continue reading

Making up Law on the Fly

I was going to apologise for yet another post about the Charity Commission, but on reflection why should I? This is a serious matter and whatever I do the Commission seems more determined to look silly. You’ll recall that they have accepted that their internal guidance on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) contains major errors of fact and logic, but that they refuse to update it. They did say however that my own review of the guidance would be circulated internally, as case officers also have to take into account updated information as well as approved guidance when making decisions. So I decided to see whether that had had any effect. Continue reading

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