Although it only attracted minimal response here (one troll who never came back), the news about Cranky McKeith being told to stop calling herself a Doctor resulted in mountains of posts (281 last time I looked) on Ben Goldacres’ BadScience blog.
Now this is understandable as it was one of Ben’s regular readers who shopped McKeith to the ASA and resulted in bringing her Woo to the news. (Not to mention it is supported by a column in a national newspaper…)
That said, there are some striking similarities between the woo posted by the pro-McKeith (and her ilk) lobby on Badscience, the troll who stopped by here for a few seconds and the rest of the nonsense which pollutes the internet.
Take this, from badscience.net, as an example:
Ben, I think you will turn out to be just as arrogant as all the doctors that go before you. Gillian Mckeith, if nothing else, has encouraged people to realise that nutrition has a direct link to their quality of life and health. I would rather trust in good nutrition to prevent me from getting ill than an ever increasing supply of pharmeceutical drugs that cover up symptoms until they get worse. How many people do die each year from side effects of drug intervention? and what exactly was your Hippocratic oath? With all the incentives doctors get from pharmeceutical companies and the huge power those companies wield one could imagine that it was not really in a doctors best interests for a patient to get better. Humans are not machines, we are self-healing organisms and should be encouraged to remember this. Doctors are trained in body mechanics but not in healing or health and most of them are too arrogant to accept that there are other journeys to health.
I mean, that is good…. I am fairly sure it hits pretty much every logical fallacy I can think of.
The big claim goes along the lines of “if nothing else…” and this is used by apologetics of all flavour – ranging from the religious who say “if nothing else religion has made people happier” (or whatever) to the cranks who think the cruel and inhuman treatment of fat people doled out by McKeith is a GOODTHINGÂâ„¢Â®. While it is (remotely) possible that McKeith has made people aware that nutrition is related to health (and if they needed McKeith to become aware of this, then I suspect letting them die would have been the kinder thing to do), this does not for one second excuse the nonsense, crackpottery and sheer, unadulterated bad science she wrapped her nonsense up in.
Creating weird rituals, falsifing science and tricking the public is not an “acceptable” means to an end.
The “how many people die each year” is fantastic. The appeal to fear there is brilliant because at its core, the sentence carries some truth. People do die of drug side effects. Side effects are called side effects for a reason. No one in their right mind thinks anything which works to treat an illness is 100% safe. The only possible reason McKeith’s recommendations were safe is because they do not do anything. This argument always pops up from the homeopathic woo-ers and it is tired and repetative at best.
This poor poster puts the nail in the coffin with “Doctors are trained in body mechanics but not in healing or health and most of them are too arrogant to accept that there are other journeys to health.” Well done.
Sometimes I despair that we allow people like this to have recourse to the NHS when they get sick and suddenly realise that crystals (or whatever nonsense they are in to) will not mend them.