Burzynski Clinic Threatens Blogger

November 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm (Legal Chill) (, , , , , )

Someone acting for the Burzynski Clinic, Burzynski Research Institute, and Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, has written to Le Canard Noir of the Quackometer blog to make threats of legal action regarding a critical article he posted. The correspondence is aggressive (“Be smart and considerate for your family and new child, and shut the article down”), accusing the blogger of “lying” and being part of “a fraud network”.

The correspondence includes threats, unsubstantiated allegations about the blogger and other critics, and some very nice formatting in places – underlining, capital letters, and a bright red font. What it doesn’t include is an indication of the words complained of – i.e. the Burzynski representative refuses to tell Le Canard Noir what is wrong with the article, he just demands its removal.

One of the claims made is this: “you better do full research on Stephen Barrett who is not licensed, or ever was licensed“. Now, I did some research on Stephen Barrett – specifically, I checked to see if the claim made by Marc Stephens in the correspondence with Le Canard Noir was true.  From a link here, I discovered that Stephen Barrett does have a medical license (MD005361E). It seems that Marc Stephens, rather than LCN, is the one who needs to “do full research on Stephen Barrett”.

Burzynski

You can read more about Burzynski and his activities on various blogs. Edit, 28/11/11: Blogger Rhys Morgan has also been the subject of legal threats from this representative of Burzynski.

Legal Threats

There are a number of people who have responded to criticism of their unproven or disproven therapies with threats of legal action. A company called Rodial threatened a doctor with a lawsuit after she raised doubts about a “boob job cream”. Professor Frizelle’s response to the Chiropractors’ Association in New Zealand was impressive. The Society of Homeopaths sent the Quackometer’s hosting company Netcetera a complaint via their legal representatives and the page they had complained of was taken down (then mirrored by a bunch of other sites). Gillian McKeith’s legal threats are documented in this article in The Guardian. There was the famous case of Simon Singh and the British Chiropractic Association – a case that brought only defeat, a host of complaints against members, and ridicule from critics for the BCA. Matthias Rath versus Ben Goldacre saw Goldacre sued over criticism of Rath, who dropped the case and ended up being responsible for the Guardian’s legal costs.

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8 Comments

  1. Ducks are nuthin’ but trouble « Short and Spiky said,

    [...] Burzynski Clinic Threatens Blogger [...]

  2. Skepticat said,

    Nice work.

  3. Stanislaw, Streisand and Spartacus | Josephine Jones said,

    [...] Burzynski Clinic Threatens Blogger (jdc325.wordpress.com) [...]

  4. david said,

    After reading the critical article (Le Canard Noir of the Quackometer), I am surprised it did not mention that legitimate clinical trials in the US do not require patients to pay anything to enroll. The fact that Burzynski’s “studies” are listed in the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) database of clinical trials does not mean they have been independently endorsed or peer reviewed. None of Burzynski’s “studies” mention required fees to enroll. The list includes clinical trials sponsored by anyone whose chooses to add their study to the database. However, as a result of changes in US Federal law and National Institutes of Health policies, NCI discontinued trial registration activities in 2010.

  5. Gerald Boykin said,

    Wow, after reading some of the post here my head started to spin. I don’t know Dr. Burzynski but I’ve seen his documentary, and it seems to me that for the gov’t to go after him as hard as they have if there was not something to his treatment that he would be in jail by now. Is it your contention that there is no cure or treatment of cancer other than the conventional way.

    Is Suzanne Somers lying about her cure? Was Johanna Budwig a quack?
    These are just questions not challenges since I’m not a doctor or scientist.
    Is there no alternative cure or treatment for cancer?
    Thanks for your time

  6. jdc325 said,

    @Gerald

    You’re mixing up two issues there: the question of whether Burzynski’s treatment works and the question of whether his trials are legal.

    If Burzynski’s treatment works, then he can convince everyone by publishing his data in reputable, peer-reviewed journals.

    I think I’ll leave the question of the legality of his trials for the American legal system to answer.

  7. dyson said,

    Hitler has a view…

  8. Ducks are nuthin' but trouble | A Plague of Mice said,

    […] Burzynski Clinic Threatens Blogger (jdc325.wordpress.com) […]

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