MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

“In at least one article on chiropractic, Ernst has been shown to be fabricating data. I would not be surprised if he did the same thing with homeopathy. Ernst is a serial scientific liar.”

I saw this remarkable and charming Tweet yesterday. Its author is ‘Dr’ Avery Jenkins. Initially I was unaware of having had contact with him before; but when I checked my emails, I found this correspondence from August 2010:

Dr. Ernst:

Would you be so kind as to provide the full text of your article? Also, when would you be available for an interview for an upcoming feature article?

Thank you.

Avery L. Jenkins, D.C.

I put his title in inverted commas, because it turns out he is a chiropractor and not a medical doctor (but let’s not be petty!).

‘Dr’ Avery Jenkins runs a ‘Center for Alternative Medicine’ in the US: The Center has several features which set it apart from most other alternative medicine facilities, including the Center’s unique Dispensary.  Stocked with over 300 herbs and supplements, the Dispensary’s wide range of natural remedies enables Dr. Jenkins to be the only doctor in Connecticut who provides custom herbal formulations for his patients. In our drug testing facility, we can provide on-site testing for drugs of abuse with immediate result reporting. Same-day appointments are available. Dr. Jenkins is also one of the few doctors in the state who has already undergone the federally-mandated training which will be necessary for all Department of Transportation Medical Examiners by 2014. Medical examinations for your Commercial Drivers License will take only 25 minutes, and Dr. Jenkins will provide you with all necessary paperwork.

The good ‘doctor’ also publishes a blog, and there I found a post from 2016 entirely dedicated to me. Here is an excerpt:

.. bias and hidden agendas come up in the research on alternative medicine and chiropractic in particular. Mostly this occurs in the form of journal articles using research that has been hand-crafted to make chiropractic spinal manipulation appear dangerous — when, in fact, you have a higher risk of serious injury while driving to your chiropractor’s office than you do of any treatment you receive while you’re there.

A case in point is the article, “Adverse effects of spinal manipulation: a systematic review,” authored by Edzard Ernst, and published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2007. Ernst concludes that, based on his review, “in the interest of patient safety we should reconsider our policy towards the routine use of spinal manipulation.”

This conclusion throws up several red flags, beginning with the fact that it flies in the face of most of the already-published, extensive research which shows that chiropractic care is one of the safest interventions, and in fact, is  safer than medical alternatives.

For example, an examination of injuries resulting from neck adjustments over a 10-year period found that they rarely, if ever, cause strokes, and lumbar adjustments by chiropractors have been deemed by one of the largest studies ever performed to be safer and more effective than medical treatment.

So the sudden appearance of this study claiming that chiropractic care should be stopped altogether seems a bit odd.

As it turns out, the data is odd as well.

In 2012, a researcher at Macquarie University in Australia, set out to replicate Ernst’s study. What he found was shocking.

This subsequent study stated that “a review of the original case reports and case series papers described by Ernst found numerous errors or inconsistencies,” including changing the sex and age of patients, misrepresenting patients’ response to adverse events, and claiming that interventions were performed by chiropractors, when no chiropractor was even involved in the case.

“In 11 cases of the 21…that Ernst reported as [spinal manipulative therapy] administered by chiropractors, it is unlikely that the person was a qualified chiropractor,” the review found.

What is interesting here is that Edzard Ernst is no rookie in academic publishing. In fact, he is a retired professor and founder of two medical journals. What are the odds that a man with this level of experience could overlook so many errors in his own data?

The likelihood of Ernst accidentally allowing so many errors into his article is extremely small. It is far more likely that Ernst selected, prepared, and presented the data to make it fit a predetermined conclusion.

So, Ernst’s article is either extremely poor science, or witheringly inept fraud. I’ll let the reader draw their own conclusion.

Interestingly enough, being called out on his antics has not stopped Ernst from disseminating equally ridiculous research in an unprofessional manner. Just a few days ago, Ernst frantically called attention to another alleged chiropractic mishap, this one resulting in a massive brain injury.

Not only has he not learned his lesson yet, Ernst tried the same old sleight of hand again. The brain injury, as it turns out, didn’t happen until a week after the “chiropractic” adjustment, making it highly unlikely, if not impossible, for the adjustment to have caused the injury in the first place. Secondly, the adjustment wasn’t even performed by a chiropractor. As the original paper points out, “cervical manipulation is still widely practiced in massage parlors and barbers in the Middle East.”  The original article makes no claim that the neck adjustment (which couldn’t have caused the problem in the first place) was actually performed by a chiropractor.

It is truly a shame that fiction published by people like Ernst has had the effect of preventing many people from getting the care they need. I can only hope that someday the biomedical research community can shed its childish biases so that we all might be better served by their findings.

END OF QUOTE

Here I will not deal with the criticism a Australian chiropractor published in a chiro-journal 5 years after my 2007 article (which incidentally was not primarily about chiropractic but about spinal manipulation). Suffice to say that my article did NOT contain ‘fabricated’ data. A full re-analysis would be far too tedious, for my taste (especially as criticism of it has been discussed in all of 7 ‘letters to the editor’ soon after its publication)

I will, however, address ‘Dr’ Avery Jenkins’ second allegation related to my recent (‘frantic’) blog-post. I will do this by simply copying the abstract of the paper in question:

Background: Multivessel cervical dissection with cortical sparing is exceptional in clinical practice. Case presentation: A 55-year-old man presented with acute-onset neck pain with associated sudden onset right-sided hemiparesis and dysphasia after chiropractic* manipulation for chronic neck pain. Results and Discussion: Magnetic resonance imaging revealed bilateral internal carotid artery dissection and left extracranial vertebral artery dissection with bilateral anterior cerebral artery territory infarctions and large cortical-sparing left middle cerebral artery infarction. This suggests the presence of functionally patent and interconnecting leptomeningeal anastomoses between cerebral arteries, which may provide sufficient blood flow to salvage penumbral regions when a supplying artery is occluded. Conclusion: Chiropractic* cervical manipulation can result in catastrophic vascular lesions preventable if these practices are limited to highly specialized personnel under very specific situations.

*my emphasis


With this, I rest my case.

The only question to be answered now is this: TO SUE OR NOT TO SUE?

What do you think?

66 Responses to “Ernst is a serial scientific liar” … To sue or not to sue, that is the question

  • Never sue a man of straw who is prepared to fool patients, take advantage of the gullible, and who has not, for whatever reason, qualified in medicine. A qualification designed to protect patients from charlatans, quacks, scam artists and fraudsters.
    In m opinion you owe Mr Avery thanks for having endorsed your stance by virtue of his demonstrated fear of your professionalism.

    Press on!

  • The only question to be answered now is this: TO SUE OR NOT TO SUE?
    What do you think?

    My reply to that would be: what good would it do?
    In my view, it would make lawyers richer, you poorer, and it would have no effect on the popularity of chiropractic charlatanry because hardly anyone is interested in court cases.
    I think it is far better to simply point out why chiropractic is ridiculous, and dangerous on top of that.

  • Avery has clearly violated Twitter’s terms of use so you should ask Twitter to delete his account, at the very least. A court case would be mired in nit-picking analysis of scientific evidence, so is not the road to follow. You could hit back and let him try to sue you.

  • I can understand why demeaning comments from quacks like Mr. Jenkins would make any serious doctor or scientist that does his job with integrity and on the basis of the best available evidence very angry and want to sue.
    Well, maybe it´worth doing it, to my knowledge, you can make quite some money with lawsuits, especially in the US
    🙂

  • The pseudo-medicine man has gone from suggestion of fraud two years ago on his blog to accusation now on Twitter.

    His blog has petered out.

    His business is pseudo-medicine. His life is pseudo-medicine. He wants to be a good man. He is an angry man.

    He is a nonentity.

    Let him be.

  • My thought is don’t sue.

    Les Rose’s suggestion about twitter makes sense but legal action simply would gain him attention that he does not deserve.

  • A reanalysis is too tedious for your taste! Quelle Surprise! How convenient!

    Particularly considering Mathie in 2014 was big enough to renanalyze his own data, including your trial, which he excluded for not meeting quality controls.

    And cooincidentally, still finding the same greater than placebo effect for Individualized Homeopathy in Randomized, Double blinded, placebo controlled trials.

    • ‘Doctor’ Paul Theriault: please provide a link to the re-analysis of Mathie that you so proudly mentioned.

    • And cooincidentally, still finding the same greater than placebo effect for Individualized Homeopathy in Randomized, Double blinded, placebo controlled trials.

      Sure. How much greater, I wonder. 0.01%?

    • about my reluctance to re-analyse my systematic review:
      1) if I followed every whim of every nut case who does not like my publications, I would need to do little else in my life.
      2) the paper is 11 years old; Mathies must have been brand-new when he did a re-analysis [if you are correct in stating he did one – please show it to me]

    • Being that you’ve already shown in one of your recent blog posts how little you understand about placebo controls and trial design, Paul, I’d suggest you keep your head below the parapet. There are a lot of people who post here who properly know their stuff and are likely to make you look very foolish indeed.

    • I looked up Not a Doctor Paul Theriault, just for laughs. He seems to be something of a miracle maker in his own opinion.
      Here is an example of him curing sciatica in only three weeks instead of the usual 21 days it takes if you do not stick needles in the earlobes: http://www.drpaultheriault.com/2015/09/24/the-wonders-of-ear-acupuncture/
      $45 for a session. The needles do not cost much so that’s a pretty good income for fifteen minutes I guess.

      • Offers CEASE therapy and I quote from the “inventor” of that form of medical neglect…

        “… All kinds of detoxification reactions may occur. The most common are eliminative reactions with an increase of reactivity (fever). Fever should not be treated with medication, as it is a healthy reaction of the organism and not a disease! It helps greatly to overcome an acute disturbance, shortens the healing process, stimulates reactivity and avoids complications. Eliminations like diarrhea, flu, expectoration, and bad-smelling and cloudy urine should also be left alone, because they are a part of the healing process.

        A case of diarrhea as a cleansing reaction

        I remember an autistic child who got diarrhea during the detoxification of his vaccines. The diarrhea relieved his system so much, that his autism almost disappeared instantly. After ten days the mother started to worry and went to the family doctor because I was absent at that moment. He prescribed Immodium (Loperamide) to stop the diarrhea by paralyzing the peristaltic motions of the bowels. Almost immediately the child had a setback and became autistic as before. The diarrhea was a perfect detoxification for his bowels and brain. Neither the doctor not the mother understood this, and the medication interfered with the progress of the cure.”

      • The only point where his megalomania makes contact with reality is the presentation of his oh so real bill for his imaginary miracles.

  • Just passing.

    I’m curious.

    What do you think are the chances that this “associated with”, “after”, “can result in” represent a ‘cum hoc’ error?

    In this single case written up by an external observer (the abstract you mention http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26835412) did the patient – age 55, smoker, with history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension and dyslipidemia, no relevant family Hx – consult the chiropractic clinic just for fun, on a whim, or did he have some previous trauma to the neck, or perhaps headache, for which he was seeking treatment? Perhaps some underlying cause?

    The authors did not say (I wonder if they asked). Nor do they mention his nutritional status, which I imagine to be a risk factor largely unexamined. Cervical Artery Dissection seems to be a condition that is prevalent yet often missed until it results in an adverse event, a self-selecting sample then presenting itself at clinics for diagnosis by new tech..

    The authors are based at a Department of neurology. I really have no idea if they are biased coffin-chasers in respect of rival modalities (and I wonder what their own therapeutic record is) – one certainly sees that sort of thing – and I see no statement of interests. The usual suspects would be there.

    I suspect the authors are honest, concerned yet misguided reporters of an unusual anecdote. Which appears to be something of a pattern in such reports, perhaps arising out of suspicion of what is different (and defence of the conventional).

    What do the clinicians believe, I wonder, about all those other individuals who undergo similar (or stranger) procedures, but whom they never see since they have no reason to present themselves? I’ll hazard a guess it’s a population in excess of one.

    I wonder how many times the chiropractor in question has used (or chiropractors/osteopaths in general have used) this procedure, with the same adverse consequence? I imagine the number to be low. Are Departments of Neurology being overwhelmed by victims of this common procedure?
    I wonder how many of the stroke patients presenting at the author’s hospital do so as a true consequence of chiropractic manipulation, and how many cases could be better ascribed.

    (Incidentally, my understanding is that certain types of neck manipulation – mostly the torsional ones – are now regarded as potentially hazardous by chiropractors, that they take the risks very seriously, and are no longer used by professionals who keep up to date. I’ve heard them referred to by a DC chiropractor as graveyard adjustments.)

    Several papers do make the potential connection to cervical manipulation, with varying degrees of diligence. Chiropractic is somewhat in the frame.

    Even your cite, S Micheli et al. 2010 concedes “caution is urged when attributing CAD to trivial trauma, as like as manipulative therapy, until further research is conducted”, in deference to Rubinstein SM et al. 2005 who found the risk of recent manipulation comparable to that of migraine.

    Then, Ahl et al. 2004 mentions that the mean age of patients with CAD is about 40 years, with a peak between 40 and 45, leading even Micheli to say “spontaneous CAD (sCAD) are often under-diagnosed in this (=’elderly’) population”

    Ahl +al were at least a little more thorough than others. Were those others economical with the truth out of carelessness or some hidden motive?:

    “In two patients dissection was diagnosed shortly after a chiropractic manoeuvre of the cervical spine. It was unclear, however, if the dissections had been caused by the chiropractics since in both cases neck pain was the reason for the patient to undergo the procedure.”

    Melikyan et al. 2016 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26835412
    S Micheli et al. 2010 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3026338/pdf/TONEUJ-4-50.pdf/
    Rubinstein et al. 2005 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15933263/
    download http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/36/7/1575
    Ahl et al 2004 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1739158/pdf/v075p01194.pdf
    and
    Ann Moore, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1997266/
    (Dissent regarding so-called “Adverse effects of spinal manipulation”)

    ~~

    With the best will in the world, Edzard, I wouldn’t suggest you sue. You would have to show the defendent had lied.

    Defamation cases only profit lawyers who seldom deserve it, and bankrupt the complainant. I might even feel sorry for you, and I wouldn’t want that.

    You would also need to put a competent case together enough to fool a judge, lest you appear to be promulgating disinformation out of irrational bias or some special interest. A judge might well find your testimony “should be accorded little, if any, credibility” (http://www.quackpotwatch.org/quackpots/california_superior_court_judge_.htm – IV “C. Credibility”…).

    And everyone knows what you do, there is no great benefit to you in having it proved.

    But then, neither this topic, nor the law fall within my expertise. I have in passing noticed a lot of muck-slinging, mind, and repetition of counterfactual points. (Your view of what is counterfactual would probably not coincide with mine.)

    I very much enjoyed the “letters to the editor” from critics of your paper. However, I wonder what credibility these writers can muster, given that they are clearly beyond the pale in being already critics of your paper. Apart from their actual evidence, that is.

    As a connoisseur of propaganda, I thought it is superb the way you managed to present seven bold headlines drumming home the point, “Adverse effects of spinal manipulation”, when the import of each link was just the opposite. That’s chutzpah!
    I do appreciate that this was the journal’s choice of title – nevertheless you deserve some sort of accolade for your skills in misdirection, before leaving the stage.

    • What a veritable waterfall of familiar fallacies. Should we take this wannabe doctor more seriously than any other “just passing by” – disgruntled, lurking chiropractor rehearsing the standard cut and paste dialog of dissection-denialism? Is Will La Chenal somone to pay attention to and why?

  • I say Ernst should sue. Maybe the UK gossip paper headline will be: “Ernst calls one too many alternative health care providers a “liar”. This same alternative health care provider returns insult. Ernst ego severely bruised. Ernst cries foul! Blog post asks followers if he should sue.

    • Sandra said:

      I say Ernst should sue. Maybe the UK gossip paper headline will be: “Ernst calls one too many alternative health care providers a “liar”. This same alternative health care provider returns insult. Ernst ego severely bruised. Ernst cries foul! Blog post asks followers if he should sue.

      I’ll add defamation law to the long list of things you have failed to understand.

  • It’s a marketing campaign. I suspect he’s striving to paint himself as the victim, portray his customers’ choice as attacked by the nasty person across the seas who uses data and honest research to understand the gibberish from which his business thrives.

    Keep up the good work, Prof Ernst. I’ve always admired the medical professionals who’ve invested your lives in the disciplined scrutiny of all options available for the welfare of those, like me, who spent our early lives on hobbies and quests for “success” instead of the ongoing joy and satisfaction that derives from learning and understanding.

    When the medical professional can offer no positive prognosis, the medical professional says so: thereby patients, their friends and families have the opportunity to build realistic and informed pathways to a best possible death and grieving process.
    When the charlatan can offer no positive prognosis, the charlatan does not say so: thereby customers, their friends and families have no prospect of building reality and closure to the final times and regretful grief that follows.
    For me, this is the greatest benefit of being as woo-free as I possibly can.

    Oh, I’d love to see such misrepresentative buffoons as these exposed with every column inch, every on-screen moment, be sued for every syllable that detracts a customer from becoming a patient, but the financial and time cost of suing may be greater than the benefit. Unless the proceedings simultaneously bought greater publicity than your existing efforts and depleted the customer base of such tosspots, of course…

  • His website refers to ‘Chiropractic-Medicine’, a moniker most of his money-hungry brethren whack jobs abhor. So it’s hard to imagine the depths of either his lunatic thinking or vociferous unfair fighting skills.
    He must have done some local market research and decided those in Connecticut dumb enough to see a DC must be tempted with a more reputable sounding name.
    And the kicker of course: “Chiropractic Medicine is for more than just bad backs”.
    Suing a jackwad like this would be like trying to poop in a urinal, sure it would be fun to talk about at parties but the endeavor is wrought with logistic problems.

  • It is so amusing to read the pathetic attempts by the scientifically illiterate to challenge real scientific conclusions.

    If you are serious in your question about litigation, I would simply consult with a legal expert and go from there. I was thinking though, that the question was more of a literary flourish to express the sheer exasperation at this particular bit of rubbish.

  • Burn il dottore at the stake.

    It worked for hundreds of years. And, burning at the stake is consistent with il dottore’s approach to healthcare.

  • Alan to me: “I’ll add defamation law to the long list of things you have failed to understand.”

    You never disappoint Alan. To paraphrase, as Ernst has said……As in football, when someone has no argument they play the player not the ball.

    With all due respect, I fear it is you Alan who fails to understand Ernst’s obvious dilemma should he decide to “sue”. The defendant would demand the right of “discovery”. That would reveal Ernst’s pattern of similar conduct. Ask your family barrister how the “clean hands doctrine” would apply in this instance.

    • I didn’t know that football was a debating society…

      • I didn’t know that football was a debating society…

        With fists instead of brains and mouths.

      • To refresh Ernst’s memory: “Personal or ad hominem attacks are fallacious arguments directly directed at a named individual which serve as substitutes for that individual’s arguments. In football terminology, they play the player instead of the ball.”

        http://edzardernst.com/2012/12/ad-hominem-attacks-are-signs-of-victories-of-reason-over-unreason

        • BRAVO!
          2nd time lucky.
          you managed to quote me correctly
          [but your initial phrase is still nonsense]

          • @Ernst

            You’re nit-picking. Alan is familiar with the reference I made to your use of that phrase. My 2nd phrase, quoted below, addressed to Alan, is the most salient one….

            “With all due respect, I fear it is you Alan who fails to understand Ernst’s obvious dilemma should he decide to “sue”. The defendant would demand the right of “discovery”. That would reveal Ernst’s pattern of similar conduct. Ask your family barrister how the “clean hands doctrine” would apply in this instance.”

            I doubt Alan will resist the temptation to address me with some snarky comment, or are you pinch hitting (baseball terminology) for him today Ernst?

          • “…are you pinch hitting (baseball terminology) for him today Ernst?”
            no I quit that job; he didn’t pay enough.

        • Sandra, I would say that (what you said there) was an Appeal to Improper Authority (Argumentum Ad Verecundium).

          You should know better than to take Ernst’s word for anything.

          Now, thAt’s an ad hominen. Another example is Björn Geir’s atttempt at a reply to me above (not worth a further response).
          Another is in the article itself, where it says “Its author is ‘Dr’ Avery Jenkins.” etc., when the Edzard knows quite well what the “D” in DC stands for, even though he may not like it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_chiropractic_credentials

          The Ad Hom is usually a piece of misdirection used when the arguer has no direct counter to the issue, so they attack the messenger’s character rather than the message. (Sorry, I don’t do footall.) So-called skeptics (pseudo-skeptics) use it a lot. You can see it here.
          However, if the personal attack is of direct relevance to the issue, it needn’t necessarily be a “fallacious argument”. It may just be “poisoning the well” with irrelevance. Also, the misrepresentation (“substitutes for”) is more of a Straw Man (skeptics use that a lot, too, as well as the false authority thing). Not so much fallacies (logical) as rhetorical devices or “informal fallacies”, employed to win an argument at the cost of probity.

          I’m surprised EE got it wrong; he’s something of an expert in fallacies.

    • I’ll add the ad hominem fallacy to the list of things Sandra does not understand.

    • LOL!

      That you do not understand defamation has already been amply demonstrated: it is not an ad hom.

  • If you can’t cite the law and explain it in detail for me, Alan, just say so.

    “Personal or ad hominem attacks are fallacious arguments directly directed at a named individual which serve as substitutes for that individual’s arguments. In football terminology, they play the player instead of the ball.”

    http://edzardernst.com/2012/12/ad-hominem-attacks-are-signs-of-victories-of-reason-over-unreason

    • I have no idea why you persist in your demonstration of your failure to understand both what I originally said and in your failure to understand the ad hom fallacy. Perhaps you could explain? I’m all ears…

      • Alan,

        Point of order, the purpose behind this blog post by Ernst was to ask everyone’s opinion with regard to the comment by Avery Jenkins; which he (Ernst) felt was defamatory. Thus his title: “To sue or not to sue….that is the question” .

        I have already posted my opinion. I did not see yours. So, based on the “clean hands doctrine”, how do you think Ernst should proffer his own defense during the aforementioned “discovery” process? Rather than posting another childish ad hom, if you don’t know, just say so.

        “Personal or ad hominem attacks are fallacious arguments directly directed at a named individual which serve as substitutes for that individual’s arguments. In football terminology, they play the player instead of the ball.”

        http://edzardernst.com/2012/12/ad-hominem-attacks-are-signs-of-victories-of-reason-over-unreason

        • Sandra, Sandra, Sandra…

          Several points for you:

          1. This is not a debating society.

          2. We already know the value of your opinion.

          3. There is no compulsion for anyone to provide their answer.

          4. There are far more important questions that have to be asked before any consideration to what specific law might be applicable. I’ll give you a clue: one is that of jurisdiction. Can you now see why your question was so silly?

          5. You still don’t understand the ad hom fallacy.

        • Sandra.

          Look back at your original reply and have a little think to yourself. Take as much time as you want. Maybe, just maybe, a little light will start to dawn. I very much doubt it but.. you know.. the chance of redemption is always there..

  • Alan,

    You have not answered the question Ernst posed in the title. I would like to know too. Should Ernst sue Mr. Jenkins for defamation? If so, why? If not, why not?

    • LOL! Are you policing Prof Ernst’s comments now?

      But you’re still missing the point: the first question to ask is not whether to sue, but in what jurisdiction and you’ve not considered that yet. I’ve helped you thus far but I may not be inclined to metaphorically hold your hand any further.

      I suppose I should take some comfort that you’ve dropped your repetitive quote about ad hom, but I’m afraid I have no confidence you actually understand it yet.

      • Alan wrote:
        LOL! Are you policing Prof Ernst’s comments now?

        And you are not, Alan?

        Alan wrote:
        But you’re still missing the point: the first question to ask is not whether to sue, but in what jurisdiction and you’ve not considered that yet.

        Straw man argument. Unless otherwise stated, the readers of this blog post were left to assume that Ernst’s request for readers’ opinions (“to sue or not to sue”) was based on the merit of initiating a defamation claim; without consideration of the jurisdiction; i.e. the legal domicile of either claimant.

        Regardless, according to the UK 2013 Defamation Act, which introduced the “serious harm threshold”, Ernst would need to prove that Jenkins’ statement has caused, or is likely to cause serious financial loss.

        In my comment, I mentioned the “clean hands doctrine” which most likely would come into play should Ernst decide “to sue”. Alan, even though not mandatory, other readers voiced their opinions. Rather than a lecture, I would have liked to read your opinion as well.

        With regard to my understanding of ad hom statements, I cannot be more clear in saying, AGAIN, that I concur with Professor Ernst’s analogy:

        “Personal or ad hominem attacks are fallacious arguments directly directed at a named individual which serve as substitutes for that individual’s arguments. In football terminology, they play the player instead of the ball.”

        http://edzardernst.com/2012/12/ad-hominem-attacks-are-signs-of-victories-of-reason-over-unreason

        • LOL!

          You are too amusing, Sandra.

          But jurisdiction is everything, Sandra! There’s no point in considering the law if you don’t know what law applies.

          And the Defamation Act 2013 is applicable only in England and Wales, of course, with all the implications of that in terms of standing and appropriateness of bringing the action here. You do know about Rachel Ehrenfeld, don’t you?

          Oh, and you are still showing no insight into why I’ve been calling you out on the ad hom fallacy. Maybe you’ll get there one day/

          • Alan,

            Ernst’s blog “to sue or not to sue” was a “hypothetical” asking for readers’ opinions. As stated, it had nothing to do with jurisdiction. Other than acting like a knat and a total childish bore, I have no idea why you did, and still, insist on making this an issue that questions such things as my “insight” and your compulsion to keep “calling you out on the ad hom fallacy”.

            Alan, let me remind you AGAIN that I wholeheartedly agree with Ernst’s definition of an ad hom comment:

            “Personal or ad hominem attacks are fallacious arguments directly directed at a named individual which serve as substitutes for that individual’s arguments. In football terminology, they play the player instead of the ball.”

            http://edzardernst.com/2012/12/ad-hominem-attacks-are-signs-of-victories-of-reason-over-unreason

          • Sandra said:

            Ernst’s blog “to sue or not to sue” was a “hypothetical” asking for readers’ opinions. As stated, it had nothing to do with jurisdiction.

            ROFL!

            I have no idea why you did, and still, insist on making this an issue that questions such things as my “insight” and your compulsion to keep “calling you out on the ad hom fallacy”.

            Whoosh!

            Alan, let me remind you AGAIN that I wholeheartedly agree with Ernst’s definition of an ad hom comment:

            Oh, there’s nothing wrong with Prof Ernst’s definition: it was your application of it that showed your failure to understand it. I don’t know why this is proving so difficult for you, but it continues to be amusing.

  • Let me thank all commentators who contributed helpful advice about the question TO SUE OR NOT TO SUE? Most were against taking legal action. Those who know me might have guessed that I entirely agree with this view. I feel that life is too short for that sort of thing.
    Having said that, I also feel that, from time to time, I need to point out that some of the allegations made against me are actionable. Naming and shaming, I find, is better than involving lawyers.
    I also want to stress that libel suits have repeatedly been used by proponents of alternative medicine to silence their critics. I know how devastating an experience this can be. It recently happened to a friend and co-author (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=ernst+e%2C+cohen+p) of mine; the full story is here: http://uk.businessinsider.com/supplement-maker-tried-to-sue-pieter-cohen-of-harvard-for-his-research-2017-1?r=US&IR=T

  • Alan to me: “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with Prof Ernst’s definition: it was your application of it that showed your failure to understand it. I don’t know why this is proving so difficult for you, but it continues to be amusing.”

    I hereby nominate Alan Henness to be the poster boy for his consistent inability to refrain from “personal or ad hom attacks”

    “Personal or ad hominem attacks are fallacious arguments directly directed at a named individual which serve as substitutes for that individual’s arguments. In football terminology, they play the player instead of the ball.”

    http://edzardernst.com/2012/12/ad-hominem-attacks-are-signs-of-victories-of-reason-over-unreason

  • Alan Henness on Monday 30 April 2018 at 19:48

    I can have a lot of patience explaining things to those who don’t or can’t comprehend, but it’s not inexhaustible.

    Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. You want Ernst’s blog readers to believe that statement is a true representation of your conduct?

    “Personal or ad hominem attacks are fallacious arguments directly directed at a named individual which serve as substitutes for that individual’s arguments. In football terminology, they play the player instead of the ball.”

    http://edzardernst.com/2012/12/ad-hominem-attacks-are-signs-of-victories-of-reason-over-unreason

    • Sandra said:

      Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. You want Ernst’s blog readers to believe that statement is a true representation of your conduct?

      ROFL!

      I think we can leave it to readers to look through my comments here and decide for themselves whether I have been patient enough with you. Or, indeed, too patient.

      • Leaving it to readers to look through Alan’s comments, they will read that

        Alan said: “But you’re still missing the point. The first question to ask is not whether to sue, but in what jurisdiction and you’ve not considered that yet.”

        In what jurisdiction should Ernst sue, Alan? Did he ask an opinion regarding jurisdiction too?

        Alan also said: “I suppose I should take some comfort that you’ve dropped your repetitive quote about ad hom, but I’m afraid I have no confidence you actually understand it yet. I can have a lot of patience explaining things to those who don’t or can’t comprehend, but it’s not inexhaustible”

        Why do you care?

        According to WDDTY, a new study found that stressing about minor problems for more than 24 hours affects your immune system and makes you more susceptible to chronic diseases. goo.gl/Nf8n5s

  • Alan, you can explain to Sandra as many times as you like the theory of how to consume soup by using an appropriate culinary implement to convey comestible to mouth, but she’ll still be standing there with a fork in her hand and insisting she’s right.

    • “Now, I’m not opposed to honest research showing the limits and shining the light on misconceptions about the therapies I use. Every branch of health care, including chiropractic, oncology, nutrition, orthopedics and acupuncture, needs that kind of attention.”

      Wow: your mind has to be pretty far out to lunch to lump chiropractic and acupuncture as branches of healthcare on a par with oncology and orthopedics. Like you say, the post is AMAZING!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

If you want to be able to edit your comment for five minutes after you first submit it, you will need to tick the box: “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”
Recent Comments

Note that comments can be edited for up to five minutes after they are first submitted but you must tick the box: “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”

The most recent comments from all posts can be seen here.

Archives
Categories