Monthly Archives: December 2011

My complaint to ITV regarding Dr Hilary Jones and the Burzynski Clinic

UPDATE 27/01/12) ITV Viewer Services replied today (details here).

UPDATE (25/01/12) ITV Viewer Services replied on 28th December to say that the email below has been passed to the Daybreak production team for a response. There has been no further response so I have just sent the following to ITV Viewer Services and the Daybreak team:

I’m concerned that I have still had no response from the Daybreak team to my email of 23rd December (copied below).
I find it very worrying that Dr Hilary Jones presented this highly dubious clinic in such a favourable light, even brushing off the well known legal problems by stating that ‘pioneers in medicine tend to get a rough ride to begin with’. This was appalling and deserves attention.
Since my last email, it has come to light that a former patient of the clinic is seeking damages from Dr Burzynski (and his companies) for negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, deceptive trade and conspiracy. She says that the defendants failed to disclose that her treatment was part of a clinical trial and charged her $500 per pill for drugs she could buy elsewhere for a fraction of that price.
I think it important that you address my concerns.

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As has already been discussed here and here, Wednesday’s Daybreak show on ITV featured five-year-old cancer sufferer, Chiane Cloete and her father. They appeared on the show alongside in-house doctor Hilary Jones, to discuss Chiane’s proposed treatment at the Burzynski Clinic and her fundraising campaign.

While it was clear that ITV had done some background research and were aware of some of the controversy, I was shocked by the feature and emailed viewerservices@itv.com with the following: Continue reading

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The Observer fails once more to address concerns regarding the Burzynski Clinic

The Observer readers’ editor, Stephen Pritchard has responded (by email) to criticism of his 4th December column regarding complaints about an article on the controversial Burzynski Clinic. I have published his email in full at the end of this post.

I hope that this inadequate response will not be the Observer’s final word on the subject. It remains to be seen whether the Press Complaints Commission will be able to resolve the situation (together with my more recent complaint against the Evening Standard) Continue reading

The Evening Standard fail to address my concerns about the Burzynski clinic – will the PCC act on this?

UPDATE (25/01/12) The PCC have reached the decision that the article did not breach the Editors’ Code (details here).

UPDATE (18/01/12) The Evening Standard have now published an article by their in-house doctor, Christian Jessen, which is critical of Burzynski’s claims to provide innovative, cutting-edge “Personalised Gene-Targeted Cancer Therapy”. He mentions that scientists have been unable to reproduce what few results the clinic has published and that Burzynski’s treatments have been described by experts as ‘scientific nonsense’.

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Since the Evening Standard have failed to adequately address my concerns regarding their recent article promoting the Burzynski Clinic, I have now made a complaint to the PCC.

My original email was sent to Geordie Greig, the Editor. I received an unsatisfactory reply from their Managing Editor, Will Gore earlier this week.

I replied as follows: Continue reading

Dear Evening Standard, it is immoral to promote the Burzynski Clinic

This Wednesday, the London Evening Standard published an article promoting a fundraising campaign set up in order to send a five-year-old girl suffering a rare form of brain cancer to the controversial Burzynski Clinic. This was despite the author of the piece already being aware that Cancer Research UK had raised concerns about the clinic and that seventeen-year-old schoolboy Rhys Morgan had received intimidating threats from those claiming to represent it.

I summarised my concerns in an email to the Editor (geordie.greig@standard.co.uk): Continue reading

Burzynski critics respond to The Observer Readers’ editor

As my Twitter followers may have noticed, I was angy and upset after reading this week’s Readers’ editor column in The Observer – which seemed to paint critical Burzynski bloggers like myself as sanctimonious and vitriolic, with little regard for accuracy.

I was not alone. Several people responded to my angry tweets (one of which invited people to forward their complaints to me) and I have published their emails below.

I can also recommend the Quackometer post ‘The Observer Responds – Complicity in Misinformation‘ and the 21st Floor’s ‘Burzynski: A perfect storm?‘ (and subsequent comments) for background, and to see reactions of Andy Lewis and various other bloggers, including myself. (EDIT 05/12/11 This Dianthus Medical post is also recommended and indicates that a complaint has now been made to the PCC.)

For my part, I calmed down, read the article again a few times, and wrote a more detailed and balanced response this morning: Continue reading

What can I do about Burzynski?

If you have any further suggestions for this article (for example, nominations of reputable cancer charities outside the UK or any new ideas), then please get in touch.

Donate

Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients are fundraising for St Jude’s Chilren’s hospital in honour of Dr Burzynski’s 7oth birthday on January 23rd 2013. They aim to raise at least $30,000 by then (the cost of entering one of #Burzynski’s trials) and will then challenge Dr Burzynski to match the total sum.

Here are some other suggestions:

Continue reading