What Doctors Don’t Tell YouSeptember 24, 2013
After a blogging absence of literally just over a year, in which time the world has failed to end, no-one has sent out a search party to ascertain whether I still breathe, and I’ve received the distinct impression that I have not made one iota of difference to the lot of mankind, I have got my letter-writing hat on to add my voice to the merry throng of skeptics upset at the magazine “What Doctors Don’t Tell You”. Specifically, we are objecting to the fact that Tesco stock this magazine, which is a repository of bad and wrong health advice.
I am expressing my disapproval via an email to email@example.com, which runs as follows:
Dear Sir / Madam
I am writing to express my concern that Tesco is stocking the magazine “What Doctors Don’t Tell You” (WDDTY), and respectfully ask that you do not continue to do so.
WDDTY is a magazine devoted, essentially, to two complementary goals, namely:
1) To increase suspicion of conventional, scientifically tested and validated medicine, such that people will reject it.
2) To promote alternative, unproven treatments, in the hope that people will turn to them, and their practitioners will be suitably enriched.
WDDTY has been repeatedly criticised by health professionals for giving misleading and dangerous advice about healthcare to its readers. Anyone relying on it for guidance when making healthcare choices (which many of its readers will undoubtedly do, regardless of any legally-mandated disclaimers it may publish) is putting themselves at risk of serious injury and death from the unproven (or even harmful) treatments it endorses. The fact that the Advertising Standards Authority has had to adjudicate on a large number of misleading adverts published in the magazine should at least be seen as a warning that maybe something is amiss.
I believe that a large retailer such as Tesco should act in the interests of its customers. I am not trying to deny the publishers of WDDTY the right of free speech, but I am suggesting that Tesco has no obligation to provide peddlars of dubious and dangerous advice with a platform from which to preach. In fact, I would argue that it has a moral obligation to see that its customers are not put in harm’s way.
To sum up, if Tesco were to stock a product that was found to injure people, it would be removed from the shelves and recalled. WDDTY is a product which is highly likely to result in injury to readers who follow its advice (and some certainly will). Therefore, Tesco should not endanger its customers by stocking it.
Yours faithfully etc.