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Views & Reviews No Holds Barred

Withdraw Saatchi’s quackery bill

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 29 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2974

Rapid Response:

Re: Withdraw Saatchi’s quackery bill

Unfortunately, Dr McCartney has misunderstood the fundamental purpose of this bill, which seeks to offer patients hope when the evidence base is either lacking or uncertain.

The bill certainly does not seek to prohibit research but simply recognises that research has provided too few answers.

Lastly, as someone who helped draft the wording of the bill, it was very important to make ‘quackery’ more, not less, difficult to practise than at present.

That explains why the bill puts in place measures, such as the requirements to involve a multi-disciplinary team and seek approval from a Responsible Officer, so as to ensure that clinicians act responsibly and only offer biologically plausible innovations.

Competing interests: No competing interests

29 April 2014
Stephen Kennedy
Professor of Reproductive Medicine
University of Oxford
John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU