Right off the bat I feel I have a conflict of interest – of sorts – to declare. I am writing this post as the author of the same AHPRA notification on which it is based. I don’t usually like lodging complaints. I do have three others in the system. They are also as bad as this one, so much so that I didn’t really have a choice but to lodge notifications about them.
Anyway, I received a final report from AHPRA of the determinations of the Chiropractic Board of Australia into the investigation of Mr Koe Davidson, who featured in the extensive post, Anti-vaccine chiropractors redux 1. It might be worth your while to reacquaint yourselves with him, and just how bad he was.
Basically, the CBA have allotted my complaint into four sections:
1. Davidson had published testimonials on his professional Facebook page. He admitted this. He was caught cold.
2. Davidson had published anti-vaccine information, between 2011-2013, on his two professional Facebook page, and on his professional Twitter page. He admitted this. He was caught cold, again.
3. On January 4 2014 Davidson made several anti-vaccine comments, including anti-vaccine memes, on the Channel 9 Facebook page, The following are two pertinent examples. Take special note of the anti-vaccine memes he posts:
In pointing out Davidson’s activity on the Channel 9 page to the CBA I was extremely careful to make special mention that the profile commenting above led straight to Davidson’s personal profile, which led in turn to two of his professional chiropractic pages. The pages were awash with anti-vaccine and other misinformation. Among the anti-vaccine posts were these two. Look familiar?
So, we’re pretty clear that the Koe Davidson private Facebook profile which is posting anti-vaccine memes is posting precisely the same anti-vaccine memes and other arguments as the Koe Davidson – Chiropractor professional Facebook page. And, just so we’re even clearer, here is the Koe Davidson private Facebook profile, in 2012, posting the precise same meme later posted on Channel 9 in 2014:
Okay. We’ll come back to the above. Just so we’re clear that the Koe Davidson profiles and pages have been consistent in both their messaging and the exact memes they post for that period of two years (at least).
4. I argued that Davidson misrepresented himself as a lawyer in posting a legal threat to the comments section of my original blog post pertaining to his activities. Of course it is nigh on impossible to prove that Davidson was the author of the threat. A US associate kindly traced the email address used and found that it was brand new. An Australian friend carried out a trace route on the IP address and found that it resolved to the general vicinity of Davidson’s location in Melbourne. Still, it’s not enough, and without the author having the courage of his/her convictions the source will never be known. It’s not a huge deal anyway:
So, what happened? Davidson denied he made the above comment, which impersonated a legal practitioner, and that’s all that can be done there.
So, back to 1. and 2. above. The CBA found:
…Dr Davidson’s conduct may be considered to have been unsatisfactory as he failed to maintain his knowledge of and comply with his professional responsibilities with regard to advertising.
…Dr Davidson failed to comply with his professional responsibilities to promote the health of the community through disease prevention and control, education and, where relevant, screening as set out in the Code of Conduct for Chiropractors.
And on searching the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Victoria) Act 2009 under which the investigation and sanctions are undertaken we find the sanctions handed down to Davidson, section 178(2)(a) are…
That’s it. A caution, which will be handed down in private, and will not be recorded on the AHPRA registration page of Mr Davidson (chiropractor).
So what happened to 3. I hear you ask? All of those various Davidson pages and profiles saying and sharing all of the same things over at least a two-year period? Well, on the day in question in which the Davidson private profile made all of those consistent comments and posted those consistent anti-vaccine memes on the Channel 9 Facebook page, this is what happened:
He. Was. Hacked.
He was hacked.
And the Chiropractic Board of Australia believed it.
And the Chiropractic Board of Australia accepted it.
But, it’s not the first time the CBA have accepted the word of someone who denied his own actions to save his own skin. I have a vast repository of all of the comments made by Mr Rob Hutchings, a chiropractor now based at Body Brilliant in Queensland, made on the Australian Vaccination Network Facebook page.
From 2010 on Mr Hutchings made a huge contribution to the page of the rabid anti-vaccination lobby group, the Australian Vaccination Network. You have met him before pretending to be a doctor, and stating that he can sign conscientious objector forms via fax. And here is Hutchings telling his chiropractic mates, on August 16 2013, exactly how to get out of trouble for expressing their own beliefs:
I mean, why tell the truth when you can make dishonest accusations against a group of innocent people knowing full well that you yourself made all of the comments? The Chiropractic Board of Australia won’t hold you to account.
The bravery and the courage of these guys…I am without speech.
Registered practitioners, no? What a joke CBA.
You are kidding me!
No it is April 3 ,not the 1st.
The Chiro board are a disgrace.
Long overdue for the self regulation to stop.
They have a licence to do as they will, and they do!
Pissed off big time!
Thank goodness we have a strong regulatory body that scrupulously monitors its professional members’ conduct.
It looks like the CBA is about as rigorous as ANTA or any of the other fronts set up to confer a degree of legitimacy on their industries. Disgraceful.
If you let quacks regulate quacks, what can you expect.
Perhaps the CBA could ask Mr Davidson to admit on the relevent pages that they had been “hacked” with comments that do not reflect the views of the page owners
If you can’t get no satisfaction, what about the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman? That’s the next step
I’ll have a look at that. Thanks.
Sorry, still laughing at the “lawyer” who thinks unspoken defamation constitutes slander.
That one never gets old.
“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.” said Chiropractic Board Chair, “Dr” Phillip Donato.
Well, if all you do is issue a caution, then you are tolerating misleading and dangerous advice, Phillip.
“I don’t have the answer to what is the best approach here” says Hutchings. I have a couple of suggestions. Stop expressing anti-vax views. Read and comply with your regulator’s code of conduct.
You just can’t regulate quacks or quackery; it is futile and indeed dangerous to attempt to do so and provide a veil of legitimacy. Deregulate the whole sham and reduce it to the witch-doctoring it is – do not provide patients with a false reassurance of regulation. Keep up the good work Hank.
“I was hacked” appears to be the worldwide excuse.
Ha, yes. I also had visions of the British parliamentarian from Little Britain, and his habit of falling on top of his young, male acquaintance, his penis “accidentally” entering the younger man as a consequence.
Step 1 is a caution and unfortunately it rarely goes beyond that point. All you can do is watch to see if the individual is stupid enough to do it again and submit a further complaint. Keep up the good work Hank! I share your frustration!
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