Consumer Health Digest #15-08

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
February 22, 2015


Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.


Consumers Union launches campaign to end illegal robocalls. Consumers Union has launched a campaign to end illegal robocalls. Its new Web site www.EndRobocalls.org, suggests these actions:

People interested on participating in the campaign can sign a petition and join the campaign's mailing list.


Oz ridiculed on YouTube. Comedian John Oliver's hilarious 16-minute video about Dr. Oz's promotion of "miracle" supplements is now available on YouTube.


Appeals court upholds suspension of Jonathan Wright, M.D. The Washington Court of Appeals has upheld the Washington Medical Quality Assurance Commission's disciplinary action against Jonathan Wright, M.D. In May 2013, the Commission concluded that Wright, M.D. had engaged in unprofessional conduct by employing an unlicensed physician in his clinic and had failed to cooperate with the Commission's investigation of his wrongdoing. The Commission suspended Wright's license for 90 days, to be followed by 30 months of probation, and ordered him to pay a $7,500 fine. Wright is medical director of the Tahoma Clinic, in King County, Washington. The unlicensed physician was Roby Mitchell, M.D., who was not licensed in Washington, and whose Texas license was permanently revoked in 2005. Wright's appeal claimed that he was charged unfairly, that the hearing panel misinterpreted the law, and that he had been subjected to unconstitutional searches and sanctions. But the Court of Appeals concluded that the Commission had not "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" when it imposed sanctions.


Anti-quackery program scheduled. Registration for Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism is now open. Included will be a full-day program by leaders of the Society for Science-Base Medicine: Harriet Hall, M.D.; Jann Bellamy, Esq.; David Gorski, M.D.; Steven Novella, M.D.; and Mark Crislip, M.D. The conference will be held April 9th-12th, 2015, at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The anti-quackery program is on Friday, April 10. The cost is $95 for one day or $195 for the entire conference.


Correction. Last week's issue of Consumer Health Digest said that students of Life University had not participated in the recently published study which found that that a majority of of students still clung to chiropractic subluxation concepts. Dr. Barrett wrote that because Life is the largest chiropractic school, the percentage with strong beliefs might be higher. However, one of the study's authors has notified him that Life was inadvertently omitted from the list of participating schools and that the participants do appear to be a representative selection of the student population nationwide. Chirobase has the full text of the study.


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This page was posted on February 22, 2015.