Regu late than never

In April 2014 a complaint was upheld by the ASA against Dr. Philips Idahosa and his “www.mobilepsychiatricclinic.co.uk” website (now shut down). The complaint was by Stephen Barrett, MD., of Quackwatch.

Back in December 2012 I compiled a complaint to the GMC on the grounds that Idahosa was advertising chelation and orthomoleculaer treatment (code for megadoses of vitamins) for conditions including:

  • Personality disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Bipolar affective disorder
  • Autistic spectrum disorders
  • Substance misuse
  • Cancer
  • Preventive heart treatment
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Dementia

There is no evidence that either therapy is effective for any of these complaints.

Evidence submitted by Idahosa in defence included the NIH press release from the execrable TACT trial, a page from cardiorenew-europe, a blog post from an American “integrative” medicine provider, an advertorial from an American contender for the hotly contested “most misleading health website” crown, and the TACT trial itself.

Although he was promoting chelation for autism, none of the sources he provided showed any benefit for autism.

The TACT trial was deeply flawed (I can’t think of many other trials whose experimenters included people with convictions for dishonesty), and it provided weak evidence for heart disease only through p-hacking. Chelation is not part of the standard of care for heart disease in the UK and is unlikely ever to be so.

After more than two years – the complaint was accepted in January 2013 – the GMC has consented to voluntary erasure from the medical register. As of 16 June 2015, Idahosa’s record on the GMC register of practitioners, reference no. 4685553, shows status of: “Not Registered – Having relinquished registration”.

It’s a sad story on several levels.

How many vulnerable people were scammed in the two and a half years it took to stop Idahosa?

What a shame that Idahosa chose to throw his toys out of the pram rather than comply with standard of care. A waste of his time, effort, education and experience.

What a pity the GMC don’t proactively monitor these things.

But, most of all, the terrifying truth: if the zombie corpse of the Saatchi Bill is reanimated by the Doctor Frankenstein of British political intrigue, the public would have no such protection. Idahosa would need only to have found one or two other doctors (among something like 240,000) who would support him, and he’d be protected.

Think about that.

A man who proposes a risky procedure approved only for acute heavy metal poisoning, to treat autism, on the entirely bogus grounds that the tiny trace of mercury that is no longer included in vaccines and hasn’t been for some years, is the root cause of the condition, even though a massive body of evidence shows this to be complete bollocks. And the Saatchi bill would allow him to carry on peddling his delusions to the vulnerable.

Chilling.

McTaggart

McTaggart is a Scottish police drama renowned for its gritty realism grating lack of reality.

The eponymous protagonist, McTaggart, is a hard-drinking, hard-of-thinking all-nonsense cop with whine-one-one on speed dial; no case is left open when it can be pinned on a member of one of the local gangs, the Docs, the Immunisers and the Skeptics.

His catchphrase – “scotch, organic, diluted, shaken, not stirred, then thumped on the bar, diluted, shaken some more and keep doing it until I tell you to stop” – achieved fame of its own.

Love interest is provided by Charlotte-Anne, on whom McTaggart dotes to the point of fawning obeisance.

In a shock plot twist at the end of the ninth episode of Series 23, McTaggart reverses his previous stance and starts taking bribes. Inspector Nightingale is soon on the case and several of McTaggart’s informants are put in front of His Honour, Lord Asa QC, and sent down.

It’s clear that McTaggart has been rumbled, so he goes on the attack and begins hiring hit men, but unfortunately for him they turn out to be incompetent, inflicting numerous flesh wounds on McTaggart himself. With a dwindling pool of informants and having lost the support of his patron Mr. Smith, McTaggart’s future looks bleak.

Can McTaggart return to credibility? Can he salve his black conscience?  Will his credibility become more potent as a result of all the dilution? Who knows.

And frankly, who cares.

Rating: onestar Tripe

Another day, another quack

StephenBlendell@StephenBlendell is a newcomer to the Twitter arguments over homeopathy. His Twitter bio is hilariously oxymoronic, and his arguments are oxymoronic without the oxy.

A rational scientific medicine blogger and homeopath? Maybe not.

So, he has claimed that all medicine is homeopathy – and that if homeopathy doesn’t work then all of medicine is in trouble. Continue reading Another day, another quack

Sandra Courtney: Farting for Homeopathy

I took another quick dip in the pile of burning stupid that is Sandra (Hermann) Courtney’s “Farting for Homeopathy” blog (see @BrownBagPantry for the deranged source). I found some questions that homeoquackery shills are supposed to ask skeptics.

It would be rude not to answer them. Continue reading Sandra Courtney: Farting for Homeopathy

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