Unscientific health practice and disciplinary and consumer protection litigation

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialOtherpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence-based health care is expected of their practitioners by contemporary health professions. This requires health care to have a foundation in scholarly literature and to have a scientifically valid methodology. However, there are many instances of registered and unregistered practitioners either providing assessment and treatment that does not conform to such requirements or making representations about likely efficacy that are unjustifiable by reference to peer-reviewed clinical knowledge. Sometimes such conduct is predatory and deliberately exploitative; other times it is simply misconceived on the part of practitioners who regard themselves as medical pioneers. This editorial situates such conduct within unscientific and unorthodox health practice. It surveys recent consumer protection and disciplinary decisions to evaluate the role of the law in regulating such conduct. It argues in favour of an assertive legal response to protect vulnerable patients or potential patients against forms of treatment and promises of outcomes that are unscientific and deceptive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-668
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Law and Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

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