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November 16, 2009
Writing about web page http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article6917365.ece
I nearly choked on my cornflakes this morning (please don't sue, they were generic cornflakes and the cornflakes were not at fault). This seems to be the order of the day for British libel laws which seem to be putting the UK at the centre of at least one aspect of healthcare.
The Times writes on 16.11.09:
Scientists and specialists who question medical treatments and alternative therapies are being gagged by firms using Britain’s draconian libel laws.
Researchers who have raised concerns about osteopathy, heart implants and homeopathy have been forced to withdraw or water down scientific papers and websites for fear of being sued.
It seems to me that there is an increasingly fine line between honest criticism of a product, sharing your opinions and an action that can be considered libel in a country where the writer or blogger is not even at fault.
While htis initially has started with celebreties (the Independent reporting here) it now seems that healthcare is fair game too.
In an article that I personally consider deeply worrying, theheart.org report in more detail about a cardiologist and his dispute following comments made regarding an implantable cardiac device. Whilst people may not agree with any number of medical opinions or research data, does this action then become libellous if a person is giving an honest critique? It gives me concerns for my other blog, given the volume of material that wil end up on there!
Something here has clearly gone very, very wrong.
No cornflakes were harmed during the wiritng of this blog. I do not even like cornflakes. Any suggestion these cornflakes are not british cornflakes will be stringently denied, unless it is proven they are not cornflakes. Cornflakes may be good for your health, they may also be found to be bad for your health. I reccomend only consuming cornflakes after discussion with an appropriate healthcare provider. People who are allergic to corn, flakes, or cornflakes should not eat cornflakes.
February 19, 2009
The Telegraph are today reporting on the story that Virginia Jibowu, a medical student from Kings College London was subject to racist bullying. They have reported the following on their website.
Virginia Jibowu claims she was ostracised by students in an "institutionally racist" environment at London's King's College medical school.
The 25-year-old alleges that fellow students refused to shop, eat or share a shower-room with her in their accommodation.
The issue looks set to run into the courts. I hope to poll medical students on their thoughts on the issue at my sister site Medical Educator.