Guest post by Richard Rasker
Almost two years ago, in March 2018, a group of 124 doctors and other medical professionals published an article in the French newspaper ‘Le Figaro’, warning the general public for the false promises, unproven claims and dangers of alternative medicine.
Homeopathy in particular is denounced as an unscientific belief in magic, utterly lacking in plausibility as well as in evidence of efficacy for any condition. Subjecting people to these kinds of unproven treatments is unethical, and may result in serious harm by delaying proper medical treatment. Also, homeopaths and other alternative practitioners often express anti-vaccine sentiments, endangering children by dissuading their parents from vaccination.
For these and several other reasons, these 124 medical professionals made an appeal for alternative and esoteric treatments to be excluded from the field of science-based medicine, and to stop reimbursement of homeopathic and other alternative treatments under France’s national health care insurance system.
In a somewhat belated response, French homeopaths are now filing no less than 63 disciplinary complaints with the French Medical Council against the signatories of the appeal in Le Figaro, apparently for “uncollegial behaviour” and “defiling medical ethics”. The homeopaths are represented by homeopathic doctor Daniel Scimeca, president of the French Federation of Homeopathic Societies, who also has close relations with Boiron laboratories, the biggest manufacturer of homeopathic products in the world.
At the time of this writing, 11 complaints have been adjudicated, resulting in 7 warnings, and 4 releases or dismissals. It is unclear how serious such a ‘warning’ should be taken, but it is clear that homeopaths are trying to punish real doctors for supporting and expressing an overwhelming scientific consensus, i.e. that there is no evidence whatsoever that homeopathy is actually good for anything.
And even though these French homeopaths do not resort to the sort of vile, underhanded media smear campaign perpetrated by the late Claus Fritzsche against Dr. Ernst, there are certain parallels – the most important of which is that proponents of unproven ‘medicine’ attempt to silence science-based criticism by unscientific means, instead of open discourse about the merits (or more precisely: the lack thereof) of their chosen profession.
I personally find it rather worrying that almost two-thirds of the complaints resulted in a slap on the wrist for the medical professional involved. Especially in a field that is so strongly dependent on both science and trust, well-founded criticism should be encouraged and made public, not punished and silenced.
I can understand that homeopaths find it hard to accept criticism. This task is never easy and homeopaths do not have a good track record in this area. What I fail to comprehend is that the French Medical Council (FMC) seems to disallow criticism and even punishes the critics.
I had thought that criticism is a necessary step towards progress. From this post and from the Figaro article, one does get the impression that the FMC behaves like some type of mafia aiming to protect commercial interest. Perhaps I do not understand the full story – I always had our French colleagues down as rational and scientifically orientated – so, can someone please explain what this seemingly absurd action of the FMC is all about?
I wondered about this as well, and it certainly does not help at all to ease the already very tense atmosphere between alternative practitioners and science-based medical professionals that was mentioned in the French article.
This course of action is all the more bizarre in the light of this article from June 2018: http://sante.lefigaro.fr/article/l-ordre-des-medecins-prend-position-contre-l-homeopathie/
Yes, you are reading this right: the very same French Medical Council (Conseil national de l’Ordre des médecins, or CNOM) that is currently chastising regular doctors for speaking out against homeopathy, had already taken a position against homeopathy, literally stating that “It is prohibited to claim that unproven treatments are efficacious and risk-free”.
I can only speculate what inspired the CNOM’s latest course of action – perhaps it is rooted in the rather French tradition of not making much of a distinction between regular and alternative medicines. Or to put it like this: the French love their pillules, never mind where they come from, and one can find a pharmacy on every street corner. Homeopathy is fully engrained in the French medical tradition, which means that homeopaths are more or less seen as on equal footing with real doctors, also respect-wise. Hence perhaps the ambiguous stance of the CNOM with regard to homeopathy.
But if anyone can offer a better explanation, that would be most welcome indeed.
French MD speaking here ?
The fact is nearly all the complaints were dissmissed.
But you´re right on the point that some doctors have been punished for non confraternity, but there are interest conflicts in these few sentences (when the homeopath complaining has a lot of influence with his CDOM and/or the CNOM, or when the doctor attacked has bad relationship with his CDOM and/or the CNOM).
Hopefully with this tribune, the French Acedemics of Medicine and pharmacy reminded that homeopathy had no proof of efficacity superior to placebo, the governement has also decieded not to pay back people on homeopathy with our national healthcare system from january 1st 2020 (nothing happens too late…) and some faculties of medicine are deleting homeopathy diplomas which used to be proposed to be taught.
Pardon my (haha) French, but is my information wrong? In the article I read that 11 cases were adjudicated so far, and that in 7 of those, the physicians involved received a caution, and only 4 a dismissal.
As far as I can see, the other 52 complaints haven’t been judged by the Medical Council yet.
So much for liberte, let alone fraternite.
C’est la fin.
Indeed the latest verdicts of the French Medical Council may very well backfire, mobilizing far more French doctors against homeopathy.
these things usually backfire.
Claus Fritzsche tragically committed suicide after the homeopathic firms stopped funding his diatribes.
and Hevert, the German homeopathic firm that sent desist letters to critics prompted a spectacular self-goal.
They are not, it seems defending the attacks, they are attacking the the Doctors on the basis of un collegiate behaviour. A very different perspective and not one that we should muddle.
They cannot defend against the attacks as any such defence would be ridiculed.
This is purely about publishing views in a newspaper.
yes, I understood that; but how can it be un-collegiate to state what is a wide scientific consensus/
This still has the unspoken premise that homeopathy is on equal footing with real medicine, and that homeopaths should be treated as real doctors. Which, as science has convincingly shown even in the past decade alone, is a big misconception.
Homeopaths are, by definition, NOT proper doctors. They are believers in 200-year-old magic, thinking that they can effectively treat sick people with nothing but sugar crumbs and shaken water. They cannot be considered colleagues of people who spent at least 10 years studying up-to-date medical science, and who are taught to be wary of all the human traits and pitfalls in diagnosing and treating disease.
Just like a dowser is NOT a colleague of a plumber, even though they both claim to be knowledgeable with regard to water systems.
This even goes for homeopaths who actually went to med school – because homeopathy is not reconcilable with the best standard of care in real medicine, and those practising homeopathy do NOT provide that best standard of care to their patients. There simply is no condition for which homeopathy is the treatment of choice (although some physicians may see it as an acceptable way to make ‘difficult’ patients feel better with a placebo).
” This even goes for homeopaths who actually went to med school – because homeopathy is not reconcilable with the best standard of care in real medicine, and those practising homeopathy do NOT provide that best standard of care to their patients.”
Bah Humbug !
You tell that to all the friends and families of the sick and dead patients that have been the victims of SBM. SBM has killed more people that homeopathy will ever damage. WAKE UP !
Well, sure, homeopathy kills relatively few people (although I know of one such case from personal experience – whereas I do not personally know anyone who died as a result of real medicine).
Then again, astrology probably kills even fewer people than homeopathy. So next time you’re feeling a bit under the weather, I suggest you consult your personal horoscope for the best (and safest!) course of action.
What’s SBM, please?
It does get confusing when people use abbreviations and acronyms without explaining them. A quick google of SBM gives dozens of meanings, from single black male to State Bar of Michigan, and from smart boot manager to Shiatsu back massage and steamed bone meal. But I think in this case RG is referring to science-based medicine. While he is usually quick to point out harm that has resulted from basing treatment on evidence, he always seems reluctant to admit (or unable to perceive) that it can also do good, preferring treatment that does nothing at all.
Blanket statements like “homeopaths find it hard to accept criticism” are meaningless. Like saying “conventional doctors find it hard to accept criticism”. Like all human beings, some do and some dont. Selection bias; you are likely to hear from those who dont. I confront it all the time and accept it as the price of doing the work which is out of the main stream, and not well understood.
Unfortunately it’s true. Show us a case where homeopaths have stopped using a particular therapy when the evidence has shown it to be of no use. You won’t be able to. I’ll show where conventional medicine has, repeatedly. Criticism and critical thought is a cornerstone of medical practice. It isn’t for homeopathy.
I beg to disagree. Homeopaths who accept (as in: heed) criticism usually don’t stay homeopaths for long. One can only stay a homeopath by – often arrogantly – rejecting even the most well-founded criticism, and religiously sticking to one’s belief in 200-year-old magic. Homeopaths will never admit that most homeopathic principles are obviously silly, even from the point of view of lay people. Take ‘proving’, for instance: homeopaths maintain that this is the best way to identify new ‘remedies’, even though the whole process doesn’t involve sick people or illnesses at all. Which is very, very stupid (and pharmaceutical companies would be forcibly shut down immediately, if this was their modus operandi).
Real doctors, OTOH, have learned to accept that they may need to change the way they do things regularly, because of changing scientific insights and developments. OK, real doctors can be quite arrogant and deaf to criticism too – but then they are still bound by law(*) to practise medicine in accordance with the best scientific and medical insights. So they have to accept the relativity of their current knowledge and skills, and that what they consider to be the best treatment today may be considered less good (and quite regularly even bad) tomorrow. At which point they will need to adapt and accept the new treatment as the best standard of care. Ad infinitum.
*: Which doesn’t apply to homeopaths, of course – and for quite a funny reason: as there isn’t any evidence that homeopathy does anything at all, it would be silly to demand that homeopathic treatments should be kept up-to-date with a best standard of care. After all, you can’t improve something that doesn’t work in the first place.
However, one consequence of this is somewhat less funny, i.e. that homeopaths have the privilege of being virtually untouchable in any legal sense: they can merrily SCAM their patients out of thousands of euros for completely bogus diagnoses and completely useless treatments, without any risk whatsoever of being charged with fraud. Only when someone actually gets hurt AND presses charges, can they (sometimes) be held accountable.
Yes, people die everyday from SBM.
“The Star has obtained an internal report from drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson — never before made public — that found between 2000 and 2011, an average of 68 Canadians died each year because of acetaminophen, the painkiller found in hundreds of products from Tylenol to NyQuil.”
“The Johnson & Johnson report, marked “confidential” and dated September 2014, was released internally and never shared with Health Canada. It documents 820 deaths associated with acetaminophen overdose between 2000 and 2011. The report also notes there were more than 26,300 acetaminophen-related hospitalizations between 2004 and 2013 — an analysis that does not include British Columbia or Quebec.
These statistics, along with others in the report, were “alarming” to a senior industry insider who spoke to the Star on the condition of anonymity.”
So, here we have a drug that is assumed to be safe by patients, this example from Canada is just on drug in one small country. In reality thousands of people die every year from this simple pain reliever.
yes people die every day – some even after taking medicine.
and people survive illness every day – many because of medicine.
You are not exactly the brightest bulb in the chandelier – in fact, the word ‘dim’ seems quite appropriate here, as you appear to have a serious problem with comprehensive reading. Or perhaps English is not your native tongue? Just in case, I shall reiterate my point in somewhat shorter, simpler sentences:
I can think of a thousand things that hardly kill any people at all. BUT THOSE THINGS DON’T CURE OR HELP PEOPLE EITHER.
Homeopathy is among those things. It is a waste of time and money. It does not help patients at all (and no, fooling them with a placebo treatment is not ‘helping’). It should have been abandoned ages ago.
This makes the fact that it rarely harms or kills people completely irrelevant. (And oh, when people pay for something that they’re promised but never get – an effective treatment – then that is harm.)
The rest of your rant about real medicine is off-topic and therefore irrelevant as well.
You are trying to weaponise suicides.Trying to exploit the deaths of vulnerable people by their own hand. Pathetic. Despicable to be honest. People also take their own lives by jumping from buildings. Are you also posting on architecture blogs accusing them of complicity? The sooner you are banned from this blog the more pleasant a place it will be.
This is very sad and indeed alarming but has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that homeopathy doesn’t work. As Ben Goldacre puts it, “if planes occasionally crash that doesn’t imply magic carpets can fly”.
And your point is? (Apart from demonstrating how little you understand of what really goes on in healthcare)
Acetamenophen, or paracetamol as most of the world calls it, is sold over the counter without prescription in the UK and I am sure in many other countries. You can buy it in supermarkets and filling stations. It is common knowledge that an overdose is poisonous and for this reason paracetamol overdose is a favoured means of suicide attempt (mostly by young people making a “cry for help” rather than intending actually to kill themselves).
in 1987 I was a casualty officer in the small seaside town of Hastings, and almost every day, particularly on Saturday nights, we would treat at least one, if not several, usually females in their late teens or early 20’s, who had taken a dozen 500mg paracetamol tablets, washed down (for some reason) with a bottle of Malilibu (a coconut liqueur). They would then drunkenly tell somebody what they had done (“now look what you made me do!”) and be taken to hospital, where we would pass a large-bore plastic tube (about the width of a hosepipe) to wash out their stomach, leaving activated charcoal behind to absorb anything we had missed (it looks like black ink), and check their blood levels of paracetamol to determine what further treatment they required. Intravenous methionine or N-acetyl cysteine is very effecting in preventing the metabolic step that transforms paracetamol to the toxic intermediate compound that actually does the damage.
26,300 hospitalisations for an entire country over a ten-year period doesn’t sound at all surprising to me extrapolating from my own experience.
As for the 68 Canadians per year dying from paracetamol overdose (a much smaller number), I wonder how that compares with other means of suicide? Again it is a commonly-used method for those seriously intending to kill themselves, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Assuming that they took enough pills and didn’t seek help until it was too late to remove or neutralise the paracetamol in their system, they then face an unpleasant period of acute illness (severe vomiting, diarrhoea, that sort of thing) before going on to develop liver failure a week or two later. If, by then, they have had second thoughts, then they will be spending their time hoping that a suitable donor is found for a liver transplant. Really it is much easier to jump off a bridge.
In the UK it is only possible to buy relatively small amounts of paracetamol at a time, so anybody seriously contemplating suicide has to plan ahead and stockpile it (anybody seriously contemplating suicide usually does think it out carefully in any case; most suicides by violent means such as shooting are spur-of-the moment decisions, and if they can be stopped the impulse passes within half-an-hour or so – therefore the rate is much higher in countries with easy access to firearms).
For the overdoses which are not serious suicide attempts, paracetamol is much safer than other drugs that used to be commonly used in the past and a lot easier to treat in overdose. It is a nightmare dealing with all the metabolic upsets that result from aspirin poisoning, for instance. Tricyclic antidepressants are cardiotoxic. Barbiturates regularly used to cause unintentional death from overdose. Though any substance that has a phamacological effect on the body is poisonous if you take too much of it.
So safe that they choose to overdose on it? And yet so dangerous that these overdoses rarely prove fatal?
From this and other posts it is clear that you believe that you are one of the chosen few who understand the dangers inherent in medical care and that you have a mission to spread your special knowledge. You regularly do this by quoting mainly news articles, dodgy web sites and sometimes scientific papers, though for some reason you seem unaware of the many occasions when you have chosen them so badly that they undermine rather than support your cause.
Hasn’t it ever occurred to you that nobody is more aware of the risks of pharmaceuticals and other medical interventions than doctors themselves, who are specifically trained in them, and who are the ones who witness the problems, have to deal with the consequences and must take responsibility for any bad decisions that they have made?
RG, there is so much that you don’t know, and yet you seem quite unaware of the fact. How do you manage to keep your mind so closed? How do you manage to see things in black and white with no allowance for all the nuances of shade in between? And how do you manage to be so suspicious of conventional health care and at the same time so gullable?
@RG, you wrote wrt paracetamol (acetaminophen):
The danger of overdosing and the risks associated with long-term use are stated in the leaflet insert and indicated on the packet. I’ve just looked at one. It states:
* Do not take more than eight [500mg] tablets in any 24 hour period.
* Leave at least 4 hours between doses.
* Do not take for more than three consecutive days.
It also has warnings about reactions with other drugs, lists other drugs that contain paracetamol, and tells you what to do if you do take too many.
The deaths cited in that newspaper article are, if the article is accurate, due to overdose. Given the information included in the packet, exactly how does anyone conclude that overdosing is safe?
Don’t bother asking RG for coherence, logic or good sense in their posts or replies. It’s not going to happen.
Homeopathy is the therapy that homeopaths use. We are not like conventional doctors who make up ad hoc therapies for every situation and then have to discard them when they find out later how damaging they are. They are entirely focused on short term localized outcomes with little concern for the bigger long term picture. Homeopathy is not damaging. We dont have to stop using it. Its effective when the right remedy is chosen that matches the patient. And it does nothing when the wrong remedy is chosen. We discuss all the time about cases that went well and cases that didnt go well, but the therapy, homeopathy, stays the same. Its an eternal principle that can be verified if you are willing to investigate it.
“It does nothing and we keep changing the variety of nothing we give the patient until the patient gets better on their own and then we claim the last load of nothing caused the patient to get better.”
There you go, Roger. Fixed it for you.
Lenny – it didn’t fix it for me. Roger makes a good case for homeopathy: it is not some backstreet remedy. Billions worldwide use it. I know a few homeopaths who have become much busier over the years; some have long waiting lists and there is one I know of that is not taking any more patients.
I am not sure who you are trying to convince ( I am not aware of anyone I know who reads this blog) but you are not getting the message through. Oh yes I know Good thinking did their very best with the NHS….. but even so it retains popularity.
I think you may be given short shrift if you ever engaged with a friend: even now after many years, she relates the story of being cured of a serious disease by homeopathy and that her consultant didn’t dismiss it. She attributes her good health to her homeopath. That lady is not for turning, alongside billions of others.
@Angela, you wrote re homeopathy:
Do you have a primary reference for that “billions” assertion? I ask because the most egregious of the ‘usual suspect’ touts for homeopathy only have the gall to claim (also, without supporting evidence) a few hundred (usually 200 to 400) million.
Most consultants know that their patients have all kinds of strange beliefs, and, when these are raised, will usually murmur some quiet assent while changing the subject back to the problem in hand. Challenging them takes up valuable clinic time which can generally be spent more productively.
The same could be said of sugary drinks or the practice of adding salt to food. It does not, however, mean that either are good for your health.
No. Just like you, Roger is a True Believer, and that’s why you think that he does a good job.
There is, however, a very simple way for Roger to actually make a good and very convincing case for homeopathy: demonstrate that he can distinguish homeopathic ‘remedies’ from one another by means of proving. After all, he keeps on claiming that even persistent sceptics can be convinced by doing a proving themselves – even though that bears the risk of those sceptics being less than truthful about what they experience.
So the best and simplest solution is to let Roger do the proving himself. He appears to be experienced and skilled in this procedure, and probably knows best how to interpret the ‘symptoms’.
If he succeeds, then that is very encouraging evidence for what he says, and a good case for homeopathy in general.
However so far, he hasn’t accepted this simple, honest proposal – he hasn’t even acknowledged it yet. And neither has any other homeopath. Strange, isn’t it? Perhaps you have an idea why this is?
Oh dear … I can see that you’re in urgent need of treatment with Erythroxylum coca C30.
Dr Julian – “most consultants know that their patients have all kinds of strange beliefs….”
To be fair I don’t really know what the consultant said to her as she briefly alludes to the consultation with those words. It is the homeopathic experience that is important as far as she is concerned, and the one she likes to talk about
I have two friends on immunotherapy who have no strange beliefs (if in this context you mean CAM) so I guess consultants are skilled in managing a broad range of patients. .
Respectfully, because you are the medical professional and I am not, I find your analogy of sugar and salt with homeopathy difficult to comprehend.
I remember decades ago a controversial book called I think ‘sugar is a poison’. Like smoking the dangers were unknown. Now, there seems to
be a great number of books about sugar and its effects, and on the internet one sees comments like ‘sugar is more addictive than cocaine ‘. Over the years salt is either good or bad, dependent on the current study.
I know skeptics call them sugar pills when referring to homeopathy : but that’s not the same as a spoonful of sugar….. helps the medicine… or not…..
I apologise for not making myself clear.
The evidence is quite unequivocal that adding salt to food is unnecessary and harmful (for anyone with high blood pressure, eliminating added salt and high-salt processed food from their diet is as effective as starting any single antihypertensive drug). The evidence for harm from sugar is also very strong, leading to obesity, type 2 diabetes and all the consequences of that, including strokes, coronary heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. As with climate change (where again there is no disagreement about the science), vested interests and individuals with strange ideas of their own have muddied the water and confused a lot of people.
The fact remains that they are both very bad for you, and yet billions of people consume them. Your argument in favour of homeopathy (essentially that billions of people can’t be wrong) is fallacious. I am sure if you think about it you will be able to come up with many other commonly-held beliefs that are nevertheless false.
Steve Tonkin – asks ‘do you have primary reference for that ‘billions’ assertion?’
Well I went to my resource and indeed I am wrong – apologies. It appears the ball park figure is more in line with your statement – egregious or not.
However, the caveat is : how do we really know ? Where is the transparency around use of homeopathy? I ask because I have just been reading about the NHMRC suppressed report on the effectiveness of homeopathy: Rachel Roberts, Australia homeopathy research institute says : ‘ to see this document finally seeing the light of day is a major win for transparency and public accountability in research’.
This report took three years of campaigning to be released. Why ? Well we know it was replaced by a different report with different conclusions: how convenient.
Forgive me if a few hundred thousand less users pales into insignificance when we are faced with the underhandedness of those against CAM.
If you think Roberts’s appraisal of it is reality based, you clearly haven’t understood it (or, for that matter, that it is common practice for drafts to be improved before publication – the clue is in the word “draft”). Here to help you is an annotated PDF that highlights the shortcomings of the draft and demonstrates why it needed improvement: https://t.co/ryXT9dBDw7
Once again you invent numbers: it wasn’t a few hundred thousand, it was several hundred million – even if we accept the most inflated number of users of this species of pseudomedicine claimed by homeopathic trade bodies, your made up number was more than half a billion people in excess!
Do you not care whether or not what you write is true?
Richard Rasker – you say I am a true believer. A true believer in what? You say that’s why I think (Roger) does a good job.
I commented thus, and you make assumptions. It’s ok though: I just have to remind myself this blog is against CAM and all becomes clear again.
But for the umpteenth time: apologies for reiterating that homeopathy is complex. The correct remedy prescribed by the wise homeopath is a joy.
A ‘true believer’ in your context would expect every remedy to work : I don’t have any expectation ( but extremely pleased) when the remedy is the ‘one’. You see correct remedy is ‘key’ . It’s a challenge sometimes when, as a non homeopath, I self prescribe , but absolutely delighted when I hit on the right one. 40 years’ usage helps to have some knowledge.
I think it’s the other Richard who repeats that any success attributable to a homeopathic consultation is due to being listened to (ie a counselling session) . Well, on occasion I have received the best and lengthiest listening skills and I have not improved.
So if you want to call me a true believer that’s ok : but the true belief is qualified by the fact that the correct remedy works, not the belief it will work nor the empathetic skills of the homeopath.
Interesting (and not totally unexpected) reply – because your response addresses exactly two rather unimportant words from me: ‘True Believer’.
You completely ignored the larger and far more important part of my message, including the question at the end – and the interesting thing is of course that I literally mentioned that ALL homeopaths I spoke to so far exhibited the exact same blindness and/or unwillingness to acknowledge anything that even remotely threatens their fantasy world.
Let me tell it like it is: if Roger (or any other homeopath) would actually carry out the homeopathic proving as proposed, he would simply fail, just like ALL other similar provings have failed, already from 1835 onwards. And because ‘failure’ is not a word that most homeopaths understand in relation to themselves, they simply avoid any situation that would expose them (or homeopathy in general) as such.
Yeah, right: https://twitter.com/ChrisWilki/status/605013486616358912?s=20
Steve Tonkin – thank you for the reminder why I don’t ‘do’ twitter.
Steve Tonkin – oh dear – me and numbers eh? It’s not good I agree, but my excuse is I was distracted with providing sustenance for a coach load of people ….. or did it just seem that many?
Richard Rasker – you say ‘ you completely ignored…… including the question at the end’.
I ignored the question ‘perhaps you have an idea why this is?’because I really don’t: I am not a Homeopath.
I am in enough hot water as it is with Steve Tonkin so best leave your question for someone qualified to give you an answer.
Tylenol is a simple pain reliever, in most places it won’t even require a prescription….. and it’s killing many many people.
C’mon, the Pharma industry really needs to stop the charade, claiming their products are safe.
If the same product was being sold by a sCAM therapist, and killing thousand of people every year….the uproar would be deafening.
You really don’t get it, do you? Even if regular medicine would kill 100% of its patients, that still would not change the fact that homeopathy doesn’t work as claimed.
And oh, contrary to your dumb straw man argument, pharmaceutical companies do NOT claim that their products are safe AT ALL. Just read the label for a comprehensive list of possible risks, side-effects and contra-indications. If anything, pharmaceutical companies list every and any adverse outcome that may be even remotely related to their product, even if it is exceedingly rare. The reason for this is simple: they want to cover their ass, in case people get hurt by their products.
And no, it is not just pharmaceutical companies who do this. Any product that can even remotely pose a health risk comes with a plethora of warnings and disclaimers. This is where the idiotic warning never to put your pet in the microwave oven comes from. Because one fateful day, a person equipped with a brain not unlike yours had the brilliant idea that his bedraggled kitty could be made really snug and toasty really quickly in the microwave oven – and, after the inevitable horror outcome, to sue the manufacturer for selling an ‘unsafe’ product…