August 2016 Puzzles

31 July, 2016

August’s Picture Puzzles and “Mixed Bag” Questions  are at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE ;

August 2016 Skeptical Crossword Puzzle revisits Chiropractic ;

and there’s a set of August 2016 Logic & Maths Problems .


Dr Ken Harvey on the Radio – Chiropractic Advertising

13 September, 2015
Dr Ken Harvey

Dr Ken Harvey

By Mal Vickers

Dr Ken Harvey, a friend of the Vic Skeptics was recently interviewed on ABC Radio National. (play the interview below)

The subject up for discussion was advertising by chiropractic businesses. The interview was prompted by an article Dr Ken Harvey recently authored for the MJA (Australian Medical Journal).

In the article, Ken expresses his concerns that not much has changed in the last five years since the regulator, AHPRA (incorporating the Chiropractic Board of Australia, CBA), issued a warning via a newsletter for chiropractors to clean up their advertising.

AHPRA stated:

The Board asks all chiropractors to review their advertising including their websites as a priority to ensure that the content meets the advertising requirements of the National Law and the provisions of the Guidelines on Advertising. There are criminal penalties for breaching section 133 of the National Law, which is set out in the attachment to this communiqué.

AHPRA newsletter, Aug. 2010

Since then, a CBA statement has also reminded chiropractors about their advertising obligations “in more than six publications in the past three years…Read the rest of this entry »

Does Osteopathy Work? Is it Scientific?

30 May, 2015

Osteopathy graphic 800W

By Mal Vickers

I was recently asked, “Does osteopathy work? Is it scientific?” The short answer is: osteopathy is unlikely to be effective for most health conditions. It’s a form of alternative medicine. I wouldn’t put it in the category of a sciencebased medicine. Read on if you’re interested in why I would think such a thing.

It’s difficult to definitively answer questions like this for three reasons.

One – Science is all about probability.

Two – it’s hard to prove a negative.

Three – it’s not a very clear question.

If the idea is to sort the wheat from the chaff in medical treatments, there are better/tougher questions to ask.

Let’s try to explore it.

Whole health disciplines might contain just a handful of useful treatments for some ailments, Read the rest of this entry »

January Puzzles

31 December, 2014

qskep * Our January 2015 SKEPTICAL CROSSWORD is, as usual, available in both standard and cryptic versions and has Chiropractic as its theme;

* here are the JANUARY 2015 LOGIC & MATHS PROBLEMS ;

* and new sets of PICTURE PUZZLES  and  “MIXED BAG” (trivia type) QUESTIONS have been placed at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE


Video – Simon Singh Interviews

29 June, 2014
A two-part interview of Simon Singh while in Melbourne earlier this year
a) Trick or Treatment? Beware the Spinal Trap! 

b) The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

    Many thanks to Adam Ford!

Money Well Spent? Dubious Medicine on Medicare

4 May, 2013

By Mal Vickers

Before you read any further, try to guess the answer to this question:medicare chiro acu

In Australia, in 2012, how many chiropractic treatments occurred as a result of a doctor’s referral?

To clarify, I’m not asking for the total number of chiropractic consultations that occur per year, just patients consultations for chiropractic treatment where the patient was referred by a medical doctor – how many? Find the answer in the text below highlighted in red. How close were you?

Medicare Dollars are Taxpayer Dollars

Everyone in Australia pays for Medicare rebates through the tax system. Medicare enables community access to a variety of quality health services but that’s not in question. What I’d really like to look at is how much we pay through the Medicare system for treatments that show little or no efficacy. Read the rest of this entry »

A Letter to Chiropractors about Advertising

20 December, 2012

by Mal Vickers

Back in June 2012, a letter was sent to the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA). The text of this letter is reproduced below. The letter was signed by representatives of the Australian Skeptics and the Tinnitus Association of Victoria.

letter edge texture -430W top

Att: Dr Laurie Tassell

President of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (National) Limited

Date: 19 June 2012

Dear Dr Tassell,

We request that your organisation takes action by removing misleading claims regarding the treatment of medical conditions via chiropractic. It appears to be a practice of a small number of your members to advertise that they can treat conditions for which there is little or no scientific evidence that chiropractic is effective. Read the rest of this entry »