Author Topic: Ex-Naturopathic Doctor Sued for "Defamation" of Alternative Medicine  (Read 287 times)

Online Shiranu

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You may be aware that Britt Hermes, a noted skeptical campaigner, has been taken to court in Germany by US-based naturopath ‘Dr’ Colleen Huber, claiming that Britt has defamed her. This concerns statements Britt made in a blog, in which she was critical of the medical and fundraising practices of the Naturopathic Cancer Society and the Nature Works Best Cancer Clinic (Huber is associated with both).

Britt is an American former naturopath, who has spent much time and effort lately in campaigning against naturopathic practices. She is the author of the blog “Naturopathic Diaries – Confessions of a naturopathic doctor”, which she has written since January 2015. She has also addressed many skeptical groups across the world – just in the last few months she spoke at QED in Manchester, CSICon in Las Vegas, and Skepticon in Sydney.

For this reason, Australian Skeptics Inc is managing a fundraising campaign to assist Britt in her current legal action.
We are concerned by the case brought against Britt, not primarily from the point of view of the merits or otherwise of the libel action, but that the case may have the effect of silencing a major campaigner against unproven and disproven ‘medical’ practices through the imposition of considerable legal costs.

Skeptics will be familiar with the libel action brought by the British Chiropractic Association against Simon Singh in 2008-2010. Following a judgement that Simon could use a “fair comment” defence, the BCA dropped its case. Nonetheless, Simon was still left with substantial legal costs.

While no-one likes to see anyone suffer punitive costs under such circumstances, Simon is a successful author in his own right and had the support of skeptical groups around the world. Britt is not in a similar financial situation, being a PhD student in evolutionary biology at the University of Kiel, Germany. The current case is being brought against her in a German court, and she is already incurring considerable legal costs in her defence case.


The war on science continues. She is a PhD student of biology and a former Naturopathic "doctor", but her saying that it is bullshit, in the eyes of American court systems, is considered defamation of "legitimate doctors".

A link to her blog, if you want to see the horrible things she has posted (such as examples of alternative medicine that are both scientifically debunked for years as well as unethical, or showing charts of what states allow these practices).


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Offline Baruch

Re: Ex-Naturopathic Doctor Sued for "Defamation" of Alternative Medicine
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 12:58:42 PM »
True alternative medicine, can never have a scientific basis, by definition.  On the other hand, much that regular medicine does, is harmful.  On that basis of harm, there would be huge swaths of the medical community, shut down.

Other countries have different defamation laws than the US.  Speech isn't completely free in the US, and it is definitely curtailed in other countries.  But this reminds me of the movie/book QB2.
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Offline Hakurei Reimu

Re: Ex-Naturopathic Doctor Sued for "Defamation" of Alternative Medicine
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2018, 08:46:16 PM »
As far as I'm concerned, alternative medicine defames itself. When you take on the task of the care of human health, you take on the responsibility just as grave. That means you take on the primary duty of the doctor: do no harm. And giving a person false medicine and treatment (even if it is not harmful in themselves) is harm, because you may dissuade them from seeking real treatment.
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Offline Baruch

Re: Ex-Naturopathic Doctor Sued for "Defamation" of Alternative Medicine
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2018, 08:55:12 PM »
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As far as I'm concerned, alternative medicine defames itself. When you take on the task of the care of human health, you take on the responsibility just as grave. That means you take on the primary duty of the doctor: do no harm. And giving a person false medicine and treatment (even if it is not harmful in themselves) is harm, because you may dissuade them from seeking real treatment.

Correct, self medication/treatment is usually non-objective.  Just as a lawyer should never represent himself.  But most people do self-medication, because it is cheaper, even though the corrupt State tries to protect the incomes of the medical industry.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Ex-Naturopathic Doctor Sued for "Defamation" of Alternative Medicine
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2018, 01:46:32 AM »
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The war on science continues. She is a PhD student of biology and a former Naturopathic "doctor", but her saying that it is bullshit, in the eyes of American court systems, is considered defamation of "legitimate doctors".

A link to her blog, if you want to see the horrible things she has posted (such as examples of alternative medicine that are both scientifically debunked for years as well as unethical, or showing charts of what states allow these practices).


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