Anti-vaccine chiropractors 55 – so bad it's like we stepped in something, or Clicking the Pug.

[Originally published as Anti-vaccine
chiropractors redux 5 – so bad it’s like we
stepped in something, or Clicking the Pug

I am going to start today with a little reminder of the regulatory teeth behind what almost all of my chiropractor – anti-vaccine and otherwise –  posts are about. My goal from the outset was to publicly present examples for the regulator (the Chiropractic Board of Australia) and the investigator (the Australian Health Professional Regulation Agency – AHPRA – which carries out investigations on behalf of fourteen National health boards). What got me started was the very strong statement from the CBA, over a year ago, denouncing anti-vaccine misinformation, as well as any other non-evidence based claims and treatments. It really was a line in the sand, and it this to which I will contrast all the examples I present:

To protect public safety the Board has…ordered practitioners to remove all anti-vaccination material from their websites and clinics

’We will not tolerate registered chiropractors giving misleading or unbalanced advice to patients, or providing advice or care that is not in the patient’s best interests.’

Even a year later that statement gets stronger. For a Board, it is quite sharp, no doubt.

Another bedrock upon which I hold my examples is the scathing November 2013 speech given by Chiropractors’ Association of Australia National president, Laurie Tassel, to the party faithful at the National development Forum: Tassell thundered:

Maybe when some of you receive substantial fines or suspension you will understand the significance of your selfish and unprofessional actions.

On top of these statements I want to look at just a couple of excerpts from the CBA codes and guidelines. Please have a close read of these, and reflect upon them as you peruse the examples to come. The Code of Conduct has many examples I could include; but, here is just one pertinent section [my bold]:

6.4 Public health matters

Chiropractors have a responsibility to promote the health of the community through disease prevention and control, education and, where relevant, screening.

On any public health matter, practitioners are obliged to provide balanced, unbiased and evidence-based information in order to enable members of the public to make informed health decisions. When called upon to provide advice that is beyond their usual area of practice, chiropractors should seek to refer those patients to another practitioner who possess such expertise.

Good practice involves:

1. understanding the principles of public health, including health education, health promotion, disease prevention, and control and screening

2. participating in efforts to promote the health of the community and being aware of obligations in disease prevention, including screening and reporting notifiable diseases where relevant, and

3. carrying out health activities in a public setting in accordance with the National Board’s attached guidelines (see Appendix 1: Guideline in relation to health activities in a public setting).

Ouch. Almost every chiropractor I have covered has just breached their own Code of Conduct. I wonder how many have faced sanction from the CBA, under the Code of Conduct?

Anyway, here is another guideline which is pertinent; the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services. Important to remember with this guideline is the recent unequivocal stance from the CBA, and other Boards, that all social media is indeed counted as advertising, as it should be. Again, I’ll only include one section of many which could apply; but, you can see that this one should have many chiropractors quaking in their boots [my bold]. I have attempted to leave much text out here, whilst retaining the import, but, still, I apologise for the length:

6.2.1 Misleading or deceptive advertising

Section 133 of the National Law states:

  1. A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that –
    1. Is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to be misleading or deceptive

Examples of advertising that may be false or misleading include those that:

– imply that the regulated health services can be a substitute for public health vaccination or immunisation

– advertise the health benefits of a regulated health service when there is no proof that such benefits can be attained

So I guess the above is pretty self-explanatory.

Now, this one is a doozy. All I can suggest is to go and check out any chiropractic Facebook page:

6.2.3 Testimonials

Section 133 of the National Law states:

  1. A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that –
    1. Uses testimonials or purported testimonials about the service or business

The National Law does not define ‘testimonial’, so the word has its ordinary meaning of a positive statement about a person or thing. In the context of the National Law, a testimonial includes recommendations, or statements about the clinical aspects of a regulated health service.

The National Law ban on using testimonials means it is not acceptable to use testimonials in your own advertising, such as on your Facebook page, in a print, radio or television advertisement, or on your website. This means that::

1. you cannot use or quote testimonials on a site or in social media that is advertising a regulated health service, including patients posting comments about a practitioner on the practitioner’s business website, and 

2. you cannot use testimonials in advertising a regulated health service to promote a practitioner or service.   

What is one term which defines vitalistic chiropractors across the land? Subluxation (in all its  permutations, underpinned by its mandatory accompanying sophistry). Apply it here:

6.2.4 Unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment

Section 133 of the National Law states:

  1. A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that –
    1. Creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment

For example, advertising may contravene the National Law when it:

– creates an unreasonable expectation (such as by exaggerating or by providing incomplete or biased information) of recovery time after providing a regulated health service

– contains any inappropriate or unnecessary information or material that is likely to make a person believe their health or wellbeing may suffer from not taking or undertaking the health service, and/or

– contains a claim, statement or implication that is likely to create an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment by: – either expressly, or by omission, indicating that the treatment is infallible, unfailing, magical, miraculous or a certain, guaranteed or sure cure, and/or- practitioner has an exclusive or unique skill or remedy, or that a product is ‘exclusive’ or contains a ‘secret ingredient’ that will benefit the patient

Again, encouraging customers to visit frequently on the premise that they must have all the subluxations adjusted away, for fear of nerve blockages and the like – or adjusting babies to correct ‘birth trauma’, which can only be done by a chiropractor – is well covered, here:

6.2.5 Encouraging indiscriminate or unnecessary use of health services

Section 133 of the National Law states:

1. A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that –

E. Directly or indirectly encourages the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of regulated health services

Now, to today’s talent. We’re visiting a business called Platinum Chiropractic Erina.

I must start off with an apology, sort of. You see, when I was perusing the complete Facebook page of PCE, I was doing so under the false impression that the main culprit for today’s post was Mr Matthew Hodgson, who appears first on the PCE about page. But, not having realised there is a scroll bar, I later scrolled down to see Ms Whitney Ohlund, who describes herself as “among the most elite chiropractors on the Central Coast.” Remember that.

And, we’ve met Ohlund, the fan-girl of Billy DeMoss, before in Anti-vaccine chiropractors 5. Interestingly, the original Facebook post included in my blog post is gone: admission that they damned well know what they can and can’t do. Remember that, too.

So, I was going to apologise to Hodgson, thinking what is indeed Ohlund’s work all over the internet may have been his work. But, then I thought I should reconsider, given he is a willing accomplice to Ohlund’s work, nearly all done in the name of their business. I mean, look at this page from their website. You’ll be getting no apology from me, old son. With its grand claims and insinuations, the page alone has “multiple breaches” written all over it:

Hodgson 2 kids chiro pageSo, I want to kick off with the anti-vaccine stuff. They have been very careful to remove this sort of thing, as you saw above, when they were caught: but, not all of it. In May 2013 they shared the dishonest petition from anti-vaccine zealot Meryl Dorey, of the thoroughly discredited anti-vaccine pressure group the Australian Vaccination (now) Skeptics Network:

Hodgson 30 Dorey petitionTwice:

Hodgson 31 Dorey petition 2But those anti-vaccine posts were tame. This next one would breach so many sections of the codes and guidelines that I’m not even sure where to start. How about a health practitioner dissuading clients from a beneficial procedure, which may indeed save their life, based on that practitioner’s own inability to discern excellent evidence from crap conspiracy sites? This chiropractor provides medical advice, claiming, unequivocally:

Protect your families…opt out of this jab

“…Further, only a few hundred people at most die from cervical cancer every year in Australia. This, combined with the fact that there is absolutely no solid evidence showing a connection between HPV and cervical cancer, proves that Gardasil, in a best case scenario, will have a negligible benefit in thwarting cervical cancer. Meanwhile, there have been tens of thousands of reported adverse events associated with Gardasil, and at least 130 reported deaths.

‘Gardasil is possibly the most dangerous vaccine on the market with the potential to injure, maim, or even kill the children who receive it.'”

Hodgson 33 Gardasil opt out of this jab

only a few hundred people at most die from cervical cancer every year in Australia

Read that a few times in an attempt to gauge the callousness inherent in such an ignorant, wave-of-the-hand argument, made in some ethically barren universe as a reason to withhold a potentially life-saving procedure. As I have opined elsewhere – on that very same argument often propounded by the University of Wollongong’s anti-vaccine PhD student, Judy Wilyman – what’s a few women…

To show why I am so convinced that much of the work on the PCE Facebook page is Ohlund’s, with the willing complicity of Hodgson, we’ll take a look at Ohlund’s Facebook profile. There can be no doubt that Ohlund uses her profile for business purposes, so we can discard that defence before we begin. The whole profile reads like the PCE Facebook page, as a  paean to the anti-vaccine chiropractic organisation, ICPA, and Billy DeMoss, and any and every subluxation based chiropractic meme in between. I’ll get in a quick plug here: for a brand new post on the ICPA, and their thorough immersion in anti-vaccinationism, this post by Jann Bellamy on Science Based Medicine is wonderful.

So, how do we know we can count Ohlund’s Facebook profile as a business profile, which should be treated accordingly by regulators? Apart from the profile being about chiropractic, here is one business plug:

Ohlund 7 profile used for businessAnd here is another:

Ohlund 6 profile used for businessIt is on her profile, used for the PCE business, that Ohlund now lets her anti-vaccine freak flag fly. The flag can’t be flown on the PCE page and, let’s face it, one needs an outlet for one’s deadly misinformation.

Ohlund shows she has fully swallowed the latest round of anti-vaccine fear-mongering, which has shown to be another empty vessel:

Ohlund 1 vaccines cause autismAnd again we see her sharing the lie that the CDC was involved in a cover-up:

Ohlund 2 cdc fraud etcOhlund is anti-shingles vaccine, of course:

Ohlund 4 anti shingles vaccine greater goodAnd we already know that she isn’t short of a lie or two about the extremely safe and extremely effective Gardasil vaccine:

Ohlund 5 anti Gardasil liesBut, when it comes to one of the heights of killing babies – apart from wanting vaccines gone – telling lies about, and recommending against the Vitamin K shot must be up there with serial killing. People who advise against Vitamin K shots know doing so can kill babies. They just don’t care, I guess:

Ohlund 3 anti Vit KJumping back over to the Platinum Chiropractic Erina Facebook page – the twin page, with Ohlund’s, basically – I want to quickly add a heap of screenshots which couldn’t be left out. I could have added the whole page, but, really, you can read that for yourself. When you go through the variety of claims and statements made in each screenshot, I just want you to reflect upon the CBA codes and guidelines I included at the top. Ask yourself how on Earth this business, and those who run it, can get away with what appears on their Facebook page, and their website. Why haven’t they been disciplined? The page goes back four years, after all.

As with all my posts on anti-vaccine chiropractors, and those akin to them, there’s always no better way to kick the can of one’s credibility with some Billy DeMoss, subluxations, and treating some condition affected thereof:

Hodgson 1 DeMoss subluxations stomach problems“Don’t gamble with your family’s health”.  It is almost as if they are claiming only chiropractic can treat x condition, and that to trust any other health care practitioner would be a bad thing, like some chiropractic DeMoss’s Wager:

Hodgson 6 DeMoss don't gamble scare postYou know what almost every word here is, when formed together into sentences? Bollocks. Well except for “the”:

Hodgson 7 birth trauma subbiesChildhood asthma and ear infections claims via ICPA:

Hodgson 10 asthma ear infections ICPAWith some degree of certainty, they claim that chiropractic for pregnant women is “essential”:

Hodgson 13 mandatory pregnancy chiro preventing caesariansHere they include a chiropractic meme which alludes to greater athletic performance due to chiropractic. I can’t track down the literature proving this one. We’ll need to take it with a grain of salt, whilst the regulator should need a bucket when investigating:

Hodgson 14 athletic promisesNext we have the scary fuse-box with added intermittent caps lock text (DeMoss Sans?) from that intellectual giant, Billy DeMoss. If even half of what he is saying is written in any known Earth language, I’ll get an adjustment:

Hodgson 14 TIC scary fuseboxDid you know that chiropractic adjustments reverse heart disease? Firstly, I saw it on Facebook, on a chiropractor’s page; so it must be true. Secondly, the source is Natural News. Thirdly, I’m not even answering their question:

Hodgson 18 adj reverse heart diseaseBAM! Mr 400%. We haven’t seen you since the last time we saw you (in redux 4), which wasn’t that long ago:

Hodgson 19 400% immune boostA wall of Billy DeMoss. If you can read this, and both eyes are still pointing in a forwardly direction, you have subluxations:

Hodgson 21 chiro doesn't cure anything DeMossNo words required here. ICPA:

Hodgson 26 kiddie constipationThrough the glass darkly we now venture, with the Church of Scientology’s CCHR claiming chiropractic can treat ADHD and autism. And they are serious when they use the hashtags #humanrights and #advocacy, not in the opposite sense of what we would expect the CCHR to use them:

Hodgson 24 CCHRSo, a chiropractor links to autism treatment claims from the CCHR, and they are still practising. Go figure.

Another of the advertising guidelines I included above was regarding the use of testimonials. The section is so clear I’m not sure why testimonials are still so prevalent. I guess it was never enforced, so, no one cared about it. I mean, who reads the codes and guidelines anyway, right?

This chiropractor should have a really good read. Not only are these testimonials, they were added by the chiropractor!

Hodgson 22 writes own testimonialsAnd another:

Hodgson 23 testimonialAnd this one seems to have been made from whole cloth. It must have seemed like a great idea at the time:

Hodgson 28 self testimonial pure healthWHAT THE HELL IS A “MAXIMIZED EXPRESSION OF LIFE”?

Now, I’m not an overly adventurous person, but, I never thought I would be required to come up with the term, “Clicking the Pug”.  But, since you have all made it this far – and for that I thank you – here are the chiropractors of Platinum Chiropractic Erina Clicking the Pug:

Hodgson 29 pug activatorI doubt the pug got as much out of that as the chiropractor, but, anyway, here is another:

Hodgson 20 activator on dogYup. The chiropractor got more out of that than the dog.

I’m being very trustful here and just assuming there is a huge and robust evidence base for any chiropractor using an activator on a dog.

If none of the above stirs you, then, at least let this one sink in; and maybe raise it with your local member of parliament. We, the taxpayers, subsidise defence force personnel and their family members to the tune of $400 a pop, to see these chiropractors:

Hodgson 15 ADF subsidies

Thank you for reading to the end. One would hope that complaints will be lodged about this chiropractic business and the chiropractors included here. Feel free to use any information from this post (it is all public anyway) should you feel so inclined to lodge a complaint. Just for reminders: because this chiropractor operates in NSW, the initial complaint must be made through the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission. The complaint page is here. Complaints can be made online, and the process of lodgement is now quite streamlined and hassle free.

Because of the size of this blog post, and the quality of the content provided by Platinum Chiropractic Erina, and its chiropractors Whitney Ohlund and Matthew Hodgson, I am pleased to announce that they are the inaugural winners of this:




*huge thank you to my clever friends

About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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