This study examined websites of naturopathic clinics and practitioners in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, looking for the presence of discourse that may contribute to vaccine hesitancy, and for recommendations for ‘alternatives’ to vaccines or flu shots.

Of the 330 naturopath websites analysed, 40 included vaccine hesitancy discourse and 26 offered vaccine or flu shot alternatives. Using these data, the authors explored the potential impact such statements could have on the phenomenon of vaccine hesitancy.

Next the researchers considered these misrepresentations in the context of Canadian law and policy, and outlined various legal methods of addressing them. They concluded that tightening advertising law, reducing CAM practitioners’ ability to self-regulate, and improving enforcement of existing common and criminal law standards would help limit naturopaths’ ability to spread inaccurate and science-free anti-vaccination and vaccine-hesitant perspectives.

The paper listed some poignant examples of vaccine hesitancy discourse:

1) ‘…children are now being given increasing numbers of vaccinations containing potentially harmful derivatives and substances such as mercury, thimerisol [sic], aluminum and formaldehydes. These harmful derivatives can become trapped in our tissues, clogging our filters and diminishing one’s ability of further toxins out.’ —

2) ‘Vaccines given to children and adults contain mercury and aluminum. Babies are especially susceptible to small amounts of mercury injected directly into their tiny bodies. It is now suspected that the increase in autism and Asperger Syndrome is related to the mercury in childhood vaccinations.’ —

3) ‘The conventional Flu Shot is a mixture of 3 strains of flu viruses mixed with a number of chemical preservatives and these strains are based on a prediction of what flu viruses some medical experts think will be the most problematic this season. This is really an impossible prediction to make when we have thousands of different strains of viruses that are continuously mutating.’ —

4) ‘A [sic] epidemiologist researcher from British Columbia, Dr. Danuta Skowronski, published a study earlier this year showing that people who were vaccinated consecutively in 2012, 2013 and 2014 appeared to have a higher risk of being infected with new strains of the flu.’ —

5) ‘Increasing evidence suggests that injecting a child with nearly three dozen doses of 10 different viral and bacterial vaccines before the age of five, while the immune system is still developing, can cause chronic immune dysfunction. The most that vaccines can do is lead to an increase in antibodies to a specific disease.’ —

6) ‘The bugs in question (on the Canadian Vaccine List) can enter our systems and depending on our bodies, our histories, and mostly the bugs’ propensity, they can cause serious harm. There are certainly questionable ingredients in vaccines that have the potential to do the same.’ —

The authors also considered that, in Canada, a naturopath who recommends homeopathic vaccines or who counsels against conventional vaccination could potentially be criminally negligent. Section 219 of the Criminal Code of Canada [Code] states that ‘[e]very one is criminally negligent who, in doing anything, or in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do, shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons’. Subsection (2) goes on to state that, for the purposes of criminal negligence, ‘duty’ means a duty imposed by law; a legal duty in this context is one arising from statute or from the common law. The Code creates a legal duty for anyone ‘who undertakes to administer surgical or medical treatment to another person or to do any other lawful act that may endanger the life of another person’ to ‘have and to use reasonable knowledge, skill and care in so doing’. This duty is a uniform standard, meaning the requirement of reasonable knowledge, care, and skill is based on the treatment or lawful act in question, not on the level of experience of the person administering it. As such, naturopaths offering services similar to medical doctors will be held to the same standards under the Code.

Criminal negligence occurs due to the ‘failure to direct the mind to a risk of harm which [a] reasonable person would have appreciated’. Fault is premised on the wrongful act involved, rather than the guilty mind of the perpetrator. Naturopaths counseling patients against vaccination are arguably undertaking a lawful act that endangers the life of another person (especially in the case of a young child, elderly individual, or immunocompromised person), breaching s.216 of the Code. In addition, since relevant legal duties include those arising through the common law, naturopaths could alternatively be criminally negligent for failing to satisfy the aforementioned duty of reasonable disclosure inherent to standard of care in tort. In the context of a community with diminished vaccination rates, either failure could be considered wanton or reckless, as it may greatly and needlessly endanger the patient. However, under the standard for criminal negligence, the trier of fact must ‘assess whether the accused’s conduct, in view of his or her perception of the facts, constituted a marked and substantial departure from what would be reasonable in the circumstances’. This is similar to the standard of gross negligence, so ultimately a finding of criminal negligence would require meeting a rather onerous threshold.


This, of course, is according to Canadian law; but I imagine that the law in other countries must be similar.

Therefore, this is a legal opinion which might be worth considering also outside Canada.

If there is a legal expert amongst my readers, please do post a comment.

23 Responses to Naturopaths’ counselling against vaccinations could be criminally negligent

  • Discouraging vaccination is only half the evil perpetrated by these quacks – and in my opinion, the lesser evil. Parents who heed this nonsense at least know that their children are not protected against disease.

    Far worse are those quacks who not only scare parents into not vaccinating their children, but also sell them ‘alternatives’ to real vaccination, usually ‘homeoprophylaxis’, often even claiming that their useless sugar crumbs have a ‘scientifically proven effect’ against potentially fatal diseases.
    Thus, parents are falsely made to believe that their children are protected against disease. In effect, quacks are playing Russian roulette with the lives of children.

    I am still mystified why this horrible scam, severely jeopardizing children’s health and lives, is apparently legal. These people should be in jail, not walking free and selling lies.

    • RichardR where is the evidence that ‘these people should be in jail’ ? What is the crime? This website shows a small percentage suggest alternatives to vaccine and flu shots; if Canada has similar organisations as the Uk has,whereby some people surf the internet for claims not fitting their sceptics’ views,they are reported with expectation that those claims are removed. Think there has been success in that area here.

      Where are the complementary therapists who bully families into non-vaccination? Have you sceptics experienced this? Just asking as I have been a CAM user for 50 years: I have seen Honeopaths, acupuncturists,nutritionalists,chiropractors and not one has raised the subject of vaccination. Which makes me question your statements. Jail – seriously.

      But I have made my own decisions for family based on research and suggesting research to children regarding their children. One of the sceptics in response to a post asked ‘ what is the truth about vaccines?’ Mm remove the blinkers- there is extensive information out there,including Pharma paying out in low key courts!! Misinformation about outbreaks and sadly effects on our teenage girls – and an organisation to help them – which I actually read about in a broadsheet – which is progress; clarity will prevail. It must come as a surprise to sceptics with their strident views negating everything that doesn’t sit with them,that parents research, weigh the pro’s and con’s and make the best choice fior the ones they love. And maybe it would help if doctors provided all the information to parents – it’s often those that are gullible and need to be treated with consideration re possible adverse effects. Not difficult. We don’t all follow the herd, we think for ourselves. And it’s that statement that will create ire, I have seen it before so probably won’t post again…. oh I have said that before .

      • “Have you sceptics experienced this?”

      • What is the crime?

        So you don’t see the crime in selling insecure parents useless sugar crumbs, yet convincing those parents that those sugar crumbs protect their children against disease?
        If a pharmaceutical company would sell bogus vaccines like this, they would be prosecuted, receive astronomical fines, and if it would turn out that children died because of this, they might even be forced to shut down completely.
        Quacks, on the other hand, can usually go on as if nothing happened, and they keep on spreading lies and misinformation about vaccines, putting children’s lives at risk, with impunity. These people should be punished instead of defended, and their businesses forcibly shut down.

        Misinformation about outbreaks and sadly effects on our teenage girls

        You refer to the HPV vaccine? The one that has been found completely safe in numerous trials and studies? Such as this one, where the health of almost 300,000 HPV-vaccinated and HPV-unvaccinated girls was compared? Without any difference whatsoever?
        Sorry, but the people who suggest that vaccines cause significant health issues are the ones spreading misinformation, not the ones (usually doctors and scientists) telling us that those vaccines are safe.

        But I have made my own decisions for family based on research

        Let me guess: at no point did that ‘research’ involve science in any significant way, whereas Google, YouTube and Facebook probably featured prominently here…

        And maybe it would help if doctors provided all the information to parents – it’s often those that are gullible and need to be treated with consideration re possible adverse effects.

        Doctors DO provide ALL the information there is, including ALL information about side effects. It is really simple: yes, vaccines do have side effects, and those side effects are almost invariably mild. Yes, really serious side effects can and do happen, but these are exceedingly rare – somewhere in the order of one in every million vaccinations. And even those very rare side effects are mentioned in the package insert (and on the Internet), only without information about their incidence, simply because they are so rare that no reliable information about incidence rates could be calculated. Anyone who suggests that serious side effects are far more common, is lying.

        And the funny thing here is that I’m not a doctor, nor did I go to medical school (although I did get a lot of med education in the course of my activities as a biomedical engineer). Just like you, I gleaned most of the information from the Internet. But I think that the big difference here is that I consider sources such as PubMed and the more renowned scientific journals as my prime sources of information. I’m afraid that those sources would be among your last choice …

        • I’m afraid that those sources would be among your last choice …

          Obviously, alternology is all about taking the route of least evidence, or as a Dutch-origin Toronto-based homeoquack says: “you have to go beyond the evidence”.

        • richardR I understand your response: you are not interested in opposite points. It is insidious commenting. The sceptics are so convinced they are correct at every angle I am beginning to think my post was just scanned. If this wasn’t such a serious subject, I would give up.

          It is tragically very serious. There are so many assumptions, I can’t take your post seriously. I once worked for an End of Life charity and top of the list of long training was do not make assumptions when meeting clients in their own home. You go one better and assume without meeting people. You did not read my post. I can post that doctors don’t read side effects to patients – that’s my experience. I accept yours could be different but don’t assume on every one’s behalf you are right, because you will fail. You assume my research depends on the internet – wrong – I don’t rate Wikipedia and you will find university students are advised against it.

          Thankfully there are good sources of information and if you tried hard enough you might access it. There are doctors, science professionals and whistle blowers trying to get the truth out – and if that saves children from vaccine injury, I am pleased I take the trouble to look and speak to support organisations; Gardacil as some mothers and daughters know has changed their lives for the worst. That is too many. And we must all take responsibility for safeguarding – yes I get it your interpretation is different.

          And pharmaceutical companies are being prosecuted and fined with regard to many vaccines. but are unlikely to be closed down.

          You are convinced you are correct but there are many that will disagree,but don’t waste their time on this blog: just as I am doing now,; but don’t dismiss 50 years’experience because iit doesn’t fit with your’s. It’s tedious isn’t it, back and forth, but vaccine injury needs to be reported in the mainstream press more rigorously ? And I am
          Not going to lie because it suits your sceptic account.

          • Thankfully there are good sources of information…

            …but, strangely, you appear to be unable to say what they are.

          • Thankfully there are good sources of information

            Yes yes, I know what you mean, Web sites run by antivaccine idiots, pseudoscience peddlers and alternative practitioners, not scientists or doctors. And you too have fallen for their scaremongering.

            There are doctors, science professionals and whistle blowers trying to get the truth out

            The truth IS out — people such as you just refuse to accept it, and even spread insidious lies on your own behalf, such as this one:

            pharmaceutical companies are being prosecuted and fined with regard to many vaccines

            Nope, you are being delusional. To this day, pharmaceutical companies have not been found to sell bad vaccines, nor have they ever been fined for this. Medicines, yes. Vaccines, no. There wouldn’t be much point in trying such a scheme anyway, as vaccine quality is far more tightly regulated and monitored than medicine quality – they’re being given to *healthy* *children*, after all. And I don’t just mean in the US or Canada, but all over the world. Here in the Netherlands, we have a vaccine monitoring system that works exceedingly well: when three small babies who received a vaccine from the same batch died within a two week time span, this was signalled within just three days(!) after the last death, all vaccinations from that same batch were immediately halted, and an investigation was launched. It soon turned out to be false alarm – two of the three babies had life-threatening pre-existing conditions, and the third death could not be linked to the vaccination (three weeks prior) either. But it goes to show that quality monitoring of vaccines is very tight indeed.

            Yes, there are all sorts of cranks out there claiming that vaccines are Evil and that pharmaceutical companies foist these inferior products on the unsuspecting population in general and innocent children in particular — you should know, apparently you’re one of them. But in reality, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with vaccines. They do the job that they’re supposed to do, with only a very low chance of serious side effects.
            Or to put it more bluntly: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ‘VACCINE INJURY’ – at least not beyond the known side effects.

            Anyway, thank you for demonstrating once again that things such as antivaccine sentiments and belief in quackery more often than not go hand in hand. It once again stresses the importance of prohibiting alternative practitioners from poisoning and demolishing our basic healthcare with their propaganda and their efforts to return to the Dark Ages, when belief and fantasy prevailed over facts and knowledge – because that’s in effect what they’re doing.

  • Part of the problem why there are movements of people opposing compulsory vaccination is that many people think that pharmaceutical companies can’t be trusted. Who can argue with that? Whose pockets is the US FDA in, for example? They believe that pharmaceutical companies only want to sell their products, regardless of the impact on the people who use them. The pharmaceutical companies have often been known to lie; to deceive the public; and to be corrupt, after all.

    • The pharmaceutical companies have often been known to lie; to deceive the public; and to be corrupt, after all.

      That’s a good argument, but only if one follows the alternologist system of taking the route of least evidence. Unfortunately, the appropriate answer to this claim would be another series of questions:
      Who lies more, Big Pharma or Big Quack?
      Who deceives the public more: Big Pharma or Big Quack?
      Who is more corrupt: Big Pharma or Big Quack?

      Who is, as a result, most trustworthy? Hint: it’s not Big Quack.

      Whose pockets is the US FDA in, for example?

      Since the FDA demands ultra-expensive tests and proofs from Big Pharma, and not from Biq Quack (as they are forbidden to do by law), I think you can easily answer that question yourself.

      • RichardR there was no reply button beneath your post nevertheless…. no no not websites run by anti vaccine idiots. You and Mojo want to know source of information, do genuine trsearch.

        It is disingenuous of you to set yourself up as the absolute last word on
        Vaccines – stating there is NO SUCH THING AS VACCINE
        INJURY when you have obviously not done comprehensive research.

        Are parents of vaccine injured children cranks ? No. They are parents who care about health.

        Nope, I am not delusional or spreading insidious lies. But people like you who set themselves up as experts are not doing the research

        I am posting here because it’s a blog. I am not against pharmaceuticals- members of my family live because of drugs. Our NHS is wonderful. The care friends with cancer receive from their specialists could not be better. We all
        Have much to be grateful for.

        Let’s not change conflate life saving drugs with vaccines. Whether you are sincerely interested or not there are problems and misinformation or non information about vaccines.

        The HPV vaccine is controversial. There are lawsuits and Japan without the pressure of pharmaceuticals is looking closely at this. Whilst you maybe correct on a technical level that pharmaceuticals are not sued in the USA , in truth there is a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and there are cases settled for vaccine injury and death. Because mainstream media doesn’t publish their reports, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

        Do better research – as I said there are doctors and scientists who are not blinkered. You can try and prohibit complementary therapies but in truth they are more popular than ever. Just so you make no more erroneous assumptions about me – I have used complementary therapies for 50 years, not one practitioner has raised vaccines – but they will refer to medical professionals if appropriate – strangely enough the patient who is not a robot makes the decision.

        You like to speak of the connection between quacks !! and anti vaxxers. There are neither, just good healthcare professionals and families who want to make informed decisions re vaccines. Misinformation is unhelpful.

        I am sure you will want the last word, and you are welcome. This blog is just a nice little forum for likeminded sceptics.

        • @A

          “RichardR there was no reply button beneath your post”. After five levels of indentation you have to scroll up and use the fourth level reply button. [It took me some time to get used to this, too :-)]

          “Are parents of vaccine injured children cranks ? No. They are parents who care about health.” Agreed. But they are mainly people who are wont to believe everything they read on a website without applying critical thinking.

          “…there are problems and misinformation or non information about vaccines.” Exactly. Believe every website in a google response and you’ll certainly get this impression.

          “The HPV vaccine is controversial.” Not at all. This very recent review of multiple studies, from Cochrane — therefore about as dependable as you can get — does not support your point of view.

          “There are lawsuits and Japan without the pressure of pharmaceuticals is looking closely at this.” The problem with people who go to law is identical to the problem of convincing somebody who thinks a cowboy treatment has “worked for them” that they may be wrong. It all comes down to the post hoc fallacy. Look at the Cochrane review I linked to above. 14/10,000 people in the vaccine group died. But, importantly, “No pattern in the cause or timing of death has been established.” People die all the time: to blame a particular vaccine for the death you have to provide better evidence than just claim someone who died had the HPV vaccine at some time in the past; even the very recent past.

          “You can try and prohibit complementary therapies but in truth they are more popular than ever.” Sorry, argumentum ad populum carries zero weight as evidence. 10 billion flies can’t be wrong: eat shit!!

          “Misinformation is unhelpful.” Agreed. And you are helping to spread misinformation by your uncritical acceptance of everything you read that reinforces your particular viewpoint. Please try to develop critical thinking skills and enhance your knowledge of biomedical science from reliable sources.

          • Frank O – thank you for your expertise on reply button which makes no sense on my format.

            In your usual patronising and arrogant stance you proffer I should develop my critical thinking skills and enhance my knowledge of biomedical science from reliable sources. Respectfully, I think what you mean is because my view doesn’t concur with yours I am lacking that skill. It would not occur to you that because it is such a serious subject, I question and assess all before me.i whilst you may find it easy to disregard factual information, I don’t. And there are sone medical professionals willing to speak honestly. But I guess in your narrow view they lack critical thinking skills, too.

            Just for the record I am not spreading anything. Everyone can access the truth. Realistically, I am responding on this blog. The majority of people in my life I would say are pro vaccination. I don’t discuss it with them as unlike you I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

            I have worked with professors, military leaders, who have made crucial decisions regarding health and safety – i was privileged to learn about critical thinking from the best.

            It is unnecessary to denigrate those with a different opinion to make your point. In the good old days it was called debate, but as one of your eloquent fellow sceptics pointed out before, how can you have a debate with the equivalent of the tooth fairy? I kind of get what he means…,. Facts are facts, rhetoric is rhetoric.

          • I have worked with professors

            If you are going to use the argument from authority, you’d better be careful with your claims. Edzard Ernst and Frank Odds both happen to be professors, and they are not anonymous, they don’t need to be. What they say is based on reality, i.e. evidence. So, while they could be wrong, you’d better have the evidence to back up your claims, otherwise you’ll just look like a child that can’t bear the idea of being wrong.

        • You and Mojo want to know source of information, do genuine research.

          Excuse me, but are you playing silly buggers here? You talk about your ‘sources of information’, yet you only tell me to ‘do research’ to find those sources, instead of simply naming them.
          And oh, I have done my research in this field, diligently – well over ten years now, thank you very much for asking.

          Are parents of vaccine injured children cranks ? No. They are parents who care about health.

          First, and again: There is no such thing as ‘vaccine injury’, at least not beyond the known side effects. Children do NOT get serious ailments or permanent damage from vaccines (barring extremely rare incidents, also see below).

          Second: No, those parents most definitely are not cranks; as you say, they absolutely care about their children. But they are misguided, by their own mind and/or by other people – and in this case often antivaccine people.
          Let’s look at a case where a 12-year old girl developed increasingly serious symptoms of fatigue within a week or two(*) of getting her HPV shot. The big question is f course: was that vaccination the cause?

          One thing here is certain: ALL parents (and most of these girls) will at least consider that vaccination as a possible cause, even parents who are fully up to scratch with their knowledge about vaccines.
          This tendency to easily see causal connections, even when there aren’t any, is something we’re all born with, and which has helped us survive in a rather hostile prehistoric environment: if a member of the tribe falls ill after eating a particular bit of food, nobody else will eat it any more, even if the food didn’t cause the illness. It is even likely that anyone else who had already eaten that food would then be feeling rather queasy and throw up, regardless if the food was safe or not.
          The evolutionary reason is simple: missing out on half a meal is usually not a serious problem and doesn’t really get in the way of procreation. Getting violently ill with food poisoning and perhaps dying IS a serious problem in every sense. The same goes with many other potentially threatening situations. There appears to be something moving in the bush a bit further on? Then it’s always better to run away for nothing a hundred times than get eaten by a lion just once. And so on.

          *: Please note that it can’t be called ‘chronic fatigue’ after just two weeks; the condition has to persist for at least several months for this qualification. This is actually mildly funny, as every now and then, ‘chronic fatigue’ is reported with VAERS as an adverse event – mere days after the vaccination.

          What does this have to do with vaccines causing serious conditions, you ask? Simple: it is our tendency to confuse correlation with causality, or ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’. Just because a nasty event (e.g. chronic fatigue) happened after a vaccination, this doesn’t automatically mean that the vaccination caused it.
          Unfortunately, because the real causes of chronic fatigue are unknown, the tendency to blame the vaccine as the cause is almost irresistible. This effect is all the stronger because vaccinating a child is hurting the child – we’re poking the poor thing with actual needles, for crying out loud! (which is indeed one of the more common side effects ..) And all that for a benefit that we never even expect to see! Those diseases are something that happens in other places. Not here. Not my child.

          On to the original question: did the vaccination cause chronic fatigue? It must be clear by now that this can’t be answered by just looking at this one case. It can’t even be answered by looking at a lot of similar cases (a serious error made by Danish doctor Louise Brinth, who reported a causal relation after exclusively interviewing HPV-vaccinated girls suffering from chronic fatigue).
          The real answer can only be found when the sample includes four groups: HPV-unvaccinated and HPV-vaccinated girls, and girls who suffer from chronic fatigue and those who don’t, in both groups.
          In the past decade, a lot of studies like this have been done, for several vaccines. And the outcome is invariably the same: there is no difference in health between vaccinated children and non-vaccinated children. None whatsoever. And this is why I can say very confidently: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS VACCINE INJURY.
          Yes, there can be incidents. And e.g. very severe allergic reactions resulting in serious injury can and do happen, but only very, very rarely. We’re talking about incidences of one in ten million or so. Simply crossing the street is far more dangerous.

          And no, the existence of the VICP (Vaccine Court) and the fact that quite a number of claims have led to compensation payments does not prove otherwise. The VICP is merely a practical solution to America’s huge problem of what I call the Lawsuit Lottery, something that almost caused vaccine manufacturers to stop supplying the American market in 1986.
          Anyone who can show that after receiving a vaccination in column 1 they suffered damages from column 2 within a time span defined in column 3 of a simple table will receive compensation. No further proof of causality is required. In return, the vaccine makers are no longer harassed with lots of protracted, multi-million-dollar lawsuits with largely uncertain outcomes (the lottery part), usually because case outcomes were decided by lay juries, not experts or scientists.
          But even if in all VICP cases ruled in favour of plaintiffs the vaccines were the actual cause of damage, the proportion of ‘vaccine injuries’ would still be very low – far lower than antivaccine people claim: it would actually be one injury for every one million(!) vaccines administered. This once again supports the notion that there is no such thing as vaccine injury, at least not in any significant sense.
          Here you can read the numbers yourself.

          And oh, if you think that you have better sources of information than I do, please don’t insult my intelligence again by telling me to “do my own research” to find these. There is a huge load of antivaccine rubbish out there that many gullible people call ‘sources’, but that I wouldn’t even deem fit for lining the cat’s litter box (to put it politely). I have no intention of grubbing through that Augean dung heap any more than I need to.
          So either come up with those sources, or shut up.

        • You and Mojo want to know source of information, do genuine trsearch.

          OK, I’ve done some genuine trsearch [sic] and found your sources, and they all seem to be rubbish.

      • Bart B Van Bockstaele – you appear to be upset stating I am using argument for authority because I said I worked with professors and heads of military and disrespecting the Professors Odds and Ernst. It’s hard to understand why : I haven’t worked with them; which is probably a blessing on both sides.

        The nuance was missed – Frank O accused me of being incapable of critical thinking: I was stating that in fact I learnt from highly regarded individuals – well yes I will boast a little – after all we did win The falklands war; here is a little clue for you – I was not the Admiral but had the privilege of observing the critical thinking and ensuing decision making. Now if you seriously think this is argument for authority you need to overhaul your critical thinking skills.

        This is all silly back and forth stuff – the subject is serious, and you sceptic guys will continue your ‘we are absolutely right on everything’ stance. Good luck with that.

        • A: please let us see your critique of the Cochrane review I linked to.

        • you appear to be upset

          Rest assured, I am not even remotely upset. I am merely pointing out that your argument holds no water.

          Frank O accused me of being incapable of critical thinking:

          I don’t think he accused you, he pointed out something you are demonstrating with great success.

          after all we did win The falklands war

          The party with most firepower usually wins. When it doesn’t, we tend to call it fiction. Your example is a confirmation of this, not a confirmation of superior thinking power.
          Furthermore, superior thinking power is not a contagious condition. If it were, there would be no need for institutions that provide a life to people with mental problems: we would simply put them next to some more intelligent people to cure their condition. As far as I know, this has never been attempted with any degree of success.

          and you sceptic guys will continue your ‘we are absolutely right on everything’ stance. Good luck with that.

          Incorrect. I told you that prof. Ernst and prof. Odds could be wrong and I even told you how you could show that: by providing evidence for your claims. That is quite different from a ‘being absolutely right on everything’ stance.

  • could be criminally negligent

    I haven’t studied the law in any detail, but shouldn’t there be some provisions somewhere that don’t call this naturopathic behaviour “negligence” but rather incitement to endangerment or perhaps even manslaughter/murder? To me, encouraging people to forgo vaccination or opt for pseudoalternatives is not unlike “daring” someone to go lie down on a highway in the midst of traffic: while there is no guarantee that a person so enouraged will be harmed or killed, there is certainly an increased risk that is offset by a potential benefit only for people involved in healthcare or funerals.

  • Proving clinical negligence in the case of giving questionable advice that patients can either act or not is difficult. Providing alternatives to vaccination could end up in a court case if actual harm occurs but even then it is likely that other routes would need to be explored first. Marketing claims dealt with in a different way.

    Canadian regulation of naturopathy varies from province to province. People might find this useful. Naturopathy is recognised in the larger provinces, except Quebec where naturopaths face criminal prosecution for practicing(civil law system like most European countries). Canadian regulation is different to that of the UK and more akin to US regulation which is unsurprising given history and proximity.

    In the case of harm resulting from non-vaccination of children, it’s more likely that parents will be held liable than the dubious practitioners. Whatever the regulatory status of naturopathy in a particular profit, it’s clear from legislation that they are regarding as lesser to medical practitioners.

    Regulation of naturopathy et al in Canada may well change. There have been plenty of news stories recently.

  • Some time ago, job interviewers added a question to their arsenal: “how do you remain professional?”
    A range of witty replies evolved, but I’m most impressed with “by being what I profess to be.”
    As I read the contributions of medical professionals and CAM apologists, it’s hard not to conclude that the CAM brigade do not offer what they profess. Anti-vaxers may attack Big Pharma instead of offering robust argument and data for their own products.
    How does such behaviour merit legal consequences? By diverting someone (or their offspring) from proper, tested, validated and beneficial medical attention these CAM charlatans are increasing the risk of injury to health and wallet of the customers (and imune-deficient folk they encounter – elderly, infants, cancer patients) they profess to care for. This is reprehensible. Each apologist peddling this gibberish is complicit in the suffering of those who delayed medical attention.
    Lock ’em up? Maybe: but confiscate the assets gained by such activities, too: all their ill gotta gains.
    So, CAM apologists and anti-vaxers, how can you claim to be professional?

  • @A: actually the definition of rhetoric doesn’t obviate or diminish facts or fact-data.
    However your response seems to indicate you intend to defend yourself with your own brand of rhetoric which apparently is lacking in critical thinking and observational clarity.
    Facts are of little value if your shibboleth is even a tacit approbation of belief-driven implausibilities.

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