Libel Reform

Margaret McCartney

Simon Singh goes to the UK courts today (Tuesday 23rd February) in an appeal against a preliminary ruling in a libel action raised by the British Chiropractic Association. I wish him well.

Another libel action is ongoing on in the UK against cardiologist Peter Wilmshurst, who is being sued after comments made about results in connection with research done by US company NMT Medical.

There is an unsettling feeling in the UK about libel law: many scientists and doctors are speaking out about it as a bad way to judge scientific proof and evidence.

The potential cost puts many people off even pursuing debate and many choose to settle before a case knowing they may not be able to afford it.

You can read about Dr Wilmshurst’s case here and he is also interviewed on Radio 4 for a programme Science on Trial.

I would urge you to consider signing the petition if you have not done so already. Sense about science: National petition for libel law reform

Health and science blog (Archived)

This blog, part of the FT's health series, is a forum for readers interested in the science, policy, management, technology, business and delivery of healthcare.

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About our regular bloggers

Margaret McCartney is a Glasgow-based GP and FT Weekend columnist. She started writing for the Life and Arts section in 2005 and moved to the magazine in 2008. She also has her own blog:

Clive Cookson has been a science journalist for the whole of his working life. He joined the FT in 1987. Clive, the FT's science editor, picks out the research that everyone should know about. He also discusses key policy issues, from R&D funding to science education.

Andrew Jack is pharmaceuticals correspondent, covering the industry and public health issues. He has been a journalist with the FT for 19 years, based in London, Paris and Moscow