Chiropracters drop libel charges against science writer

17 April 2010

Libel action against science writer Simon Singh (see previous news) has been dropped by the British Chiropractic Association. The move follows a successful appeal that would have allowed him to use the defence of fair comment against the charges; the BCA has subsequently announced that it was dropping charges against him to avoid further legal costs being incurred by either side’ – possibly also because their chances of winning were substantially diminished and the action incurring major opposition from the science, medicine and media communities.
Although this is a technical victory for Dr Singh, who has spent more than £200,000 of his own money defending himself against the libel suit, said: “It still staggers me that the British Chiropractic Association and half the chiropractors in the UK were making unsubstantiated claims. It still baffles me that the BCA then dared to sue me for libel and put me through two years of hell before I was vindicated.  And it still makes me angry that our libel laws not only tolerate but also encourage such ludicrous libel suits” (see Libel Reform news). He noted that the effect was to stifle legitimate scientific inquiry and debate, to the detriment of the wider public (see BBC news).

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