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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19505

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Magazine

Colyer S
Court finds alternative cancer therapy claims not misleading
Oncology Update 2011 Apr 21

Full text:

The Supreme Court of Victoria has quashed attempts to stop a dentist turned cancer therapist from promoting treatments such as ozone, photo-dynamics and high doses of vitamin C.
Noel Rodney Campbell’s Hope Clinic in Glenroy advertised on its website that photodynamic therapy could work in situations when surgery would not be feasible, such as for inaccessible tumours of the neck and throat.
On ozone therapy, the clinic’s website claimed it “boosts the immune system and kills infections and cancer cells”.
And vitamin C was said to “destroy cancer cells in a nontoxic way” when used in very large doses administered intravenously.
But Supreme Justice Tony Pagone said the plaintiff, Consumer Affairs Victoria, had not established that any of these statements or others like them were false and misleading.
“Whether or not a statement is false and misleading depends upon its text and its context,” Justice Pagone said.
“[Campbell’s] view may be erroneous when judged from the point of view of prevailing science and conventional medicine but it does not make the statement false and misleading in the context of the whole of the website which is directed at promoting a form of treatment described as not being within conventional science and conventional medicine,” he said.
In response to the clinic’s claim its treatments extended life and improved quality-of-life in most cases, Justic Pagone said to conclude this was false and misleading “would deny the expression of an opinion from any point of view other than that of traditional medicine and prevailing scientific knowledge”.
“Judicial proceedings should not become the means to suppress views and opinions which do not conform with prevailing views and opinions,” he said.
Victorian Consumer Affairs director Dr Claire Noone was reportedly considering appealing.


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What these howls of outrage and hurt amount to is that the medical profession is distressed to find its high opinion of itself not shared by writers of [prescription] drug advertising. It would be a great step forward if doctors stopped bemoaning this attack on their professional maturity and began recognizing how thoroughly justified it is.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963