Excerpted ChildHealthSafety in the UK (HERE).
A patient committed suicide after an anonymous malicious complaint was made by Dr Stuart Jones to the UK’s General Medical Council about the patient’s treating physician, a disciplinary tribunal was told. Dr Stuart Jones was at the time a member of Dr Ben Goldacre’s BadScience Forum. The physician concerned sometimes employed treatment methods which were not those conventionally employed by others but which apparently reaped benefits for patients.
After making the complaint to the GMC about the patient’s doctor, Dr Stuart Jones wrote on May 19th 2010 on Dr Ben Goldacre’s BadScience Forum to other forum members:
" Yup, that’s exactly why I complained actually, to give SM a bucket load of administration to wade through and increase anxiety levels in her patients, very pleasurable in deed!”
The patient, who was suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome at the time [also known as ME] killed himself, according to evidence from his doctor, because he mistakenly believed his doctor was no longer allowed to treat him.
Members of Dr Ben Goldacre’s Badscience Forum are encouraged by Dr Ben Goldacre to take direct action and get involved. This has included some members launching online attacks on medical professionals who employ treatment modalities others in mainstream medicine do not. BadScience Forum members are also encouraged to make complaints to a large number of regulatory bodies all the time.
In fact Dr Goldacre encourages his BadScience Forum members to get very, very involved:
"The time for talking has passed. I draw the line at kidnapping, incidentally.”
Dr Ben Goldacre is a psychiatrist and columnist for the UK’s Guardian newspaper where his column is devoted to what he calls BadScience.
Dr Stuart Jones’ complaint resulted in the temporary suspension by the GMC of the patient’s doctor.
The GMC prosecution of the deceased patient’s treating doctor was dropped abruptly by the GMC. Dr Stuart Jones was in turn prosecuted by the Health and Care Professions Council. He was subjected to a very minor punishment of merely a two-year Caution Order. That two year caution order expired two weeks ago on 20th December last.
Between 1st March 2009 and 26th October 2010 Dr Stuart Jones, posting anonymously on Dr Ben Goldacre’s BadScience Forum as “Jonas“, made numerous disparaging remarks about the patient’s treating physician.
The career of the patient’s doctor was nearly destroyed in addition to the patient losing his life after Dr Stuart Jones described the doctor as a ‘deluded, pill-peddling quack’ the disciplinary tribunal hearing was told. Dr Stuart Jones also wrote on the BadScience website that the patient’s doctor, who specialises in treating chronic fatigue syndrome, “lulled patients into a dangerous world of make-believe pseudo-science”. The Health Professions Council heard evidence that Dr Jones’ messages were “defamatory, derogatory and disparaging” and had a detrimental effect on the doctor’s professional and personal life.
Dr Ben Goldacre’s BadScience’s forum was flooded with 10,000 posts responding to Dr Jones’s initial message in April 2010.
Causing a patient to commit suicide by vicious bullying of the patient’s treating doctor specifically to “increase anxiety levels” in the victim doctor’s patients is apparently not a sufficiently serious crime to warrant more than a 2 year “caution” for the Health and Care Professions Council.
It was reported on a website set up to support the patient’s doctor by patients and wellwishers that although no charges were brought against the patient’s doctor by the GMC and the doctor was never called before the GMC, the aborted investigations in 2006/07 resulting from Dr Stuart Jones’ complaint cost the GMC £136,692.12 in solicitors’ fees and disbursements in respect of their investigations into the complaints and a possible further £500,000 on internal costs.
It appears also no action has been taken by the GMC regarding Dr Goldacre’s BadScience Forum activities...(Continue reading at CHS)
Also read Best of AoA -What's Behind Ben Goldacre? and About Ben Goldacre and Fiona Fox to the UK's Leveson Inquiry.