Consumer Health Digest #13-30

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
August 8, 2013

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.

Australian chiropractors warned against opposing vaccination. In an attempt to make chiropractors comply with scientific views about vaccination, the Chiropractic Board of Australia has (a) ordered practitioners to remove all anti-vaccination material from their Web sites and clinics, (b) removed several courses from the list of approved continuing education programs, and (c) introduced random audits of practitioner compliance with the Board's registration standards. In a press release, board president Dr. Phililp Donato said, "'We will not tolerate registered chiropractors giving misleading or unbalanced advice to patients, or providing advice or care that is not in the patient's best interests." [The Chiropractic Board of Australia cracks down to protect the public. Media release, Aug 8, 2013]

Australian chiropractor loses license. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has upheld a 2012 ruling by the Chiropractic Board of Australia that chiropractor Malcolm Hooper was guilty of professional misconduct, unprofessional conduct, and bringing the profession into "undeserved ill-repute." The VCAT decision reprimanded Hooper, canceled his registration, disqualified him from reapplying for registration for two years, and ordered him to pay the costs of the proceedings. The board's action was based on Hooper's treatment of a man with cerebral palsy with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) and a Lokomat device. (The Lokomat is a robot-assisted walking device that can help some disabled people walk.) The man had sought treatment in 2007 with the hope that it it would make him suitable for stem cell treatment by David Steenblock, D.O., an American physician who has been disciplined several times. The Amended Final Notice of Allegations (shown below) states that within nine months, Hooper administered about 230 hours of HBO treatment and about 70 hours of Lokomat treatment for which the patient was billed more than AU$50,000. The board concluded that Hooper had made many unsubstantiated claims on his clinic Web site and had misrepresented the likelihood of helping the patient.

ACSH seeking new leader. The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), a 501(c)(3) public health organization based in New York City, is seeking a "visionary" president to replace Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. The successful candidate must hold a doctorate level degree, preferably in science or medicine, and have a strong interest in public health, management experience, and, ideally, some experience in fundraising. ACSH offers a highly competitive salary and benefits. Interested individuals should send a cover letter and CV by e-mail. ACSH's mission, since its formation in 1978, has been to ensure that peer-reviewed mainstream science reaches the public, the media, and the decision-makers who determine public policy, and that coverage of health issues is based solely on science—not hyperbole, emotion, or ideology. The organization's nucleus is a board of 350 physicians, scientists, and policy advisors who review its reports and participate in seminars, media communications, and other educational activities.

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This page was posted on August 12, 2013.