Anti-vaccine chiropractors 69 – Anthony Golle

Over the last few years the Chiropractic Board of Australia has been under the pump to do its job: regulate chiropractors. The board sends out statements about its role and achievements; yet, not much seems to change unless the media starts taking notice. As I have written previously (twice in the last two days):

On August 8 2013, the Chiropractic Board of Australia sent a strong warning to Australian chiropractors that it would no longer tolerate anti-vaccination and other misinformation in the profession…

On March 7 2016, the Chiropractic Board of Australia sent a strong warning to Australian chiropractors that it would no longer tolerate anti-vaccination and other misinformation in the profession…

Way back in 2013, I first wrote about today’s featured chiropractor and one of his franchise colleagues, Rob Hutchings.

Registered chiropractor Anthony Golle owns the Gold Coast business, Body Brilliant. Golle is a member of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia and is/was a professional member of the disgraced anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network. The AVN now has a public health warning against its name, forever:

Golle 7 AHPRA rego

The main business page has spin-off professional pages: Dr Anthony Golle DC and My Baby Brilliant. Golle’s Facebook profile and professional chiropractic pages are all used for the purposes of his chiropractic business:

Golle 34 profile Business and registration as chiropractor

A large part of Golle’s business revolves around the treatment of babies and children. In this 2012 YouTube video, Golle claims that chiropractic can help with ear infections and colic. There are dozens of videos still available on Golle’s YouTube channel:

Golle 1 YT hanging baby upside down

Golle has only sporadically posted anti-vaccination misinformation since our 2013 blog post.

On May 7 2016 – only yesterday – Golle posted this well-known article from 2010 without explanation as to why he was re-posting it. The article pertains to the Fluvax debacle of 2009/2010. Anti-vaccination chiropractor – number 64 in our series – Matt Panetta incorrectly asserts that there were deaths from the vaccine:

Golle 35 profile May 7 2016 fluvax ban Panetta

On December 2 2015, Golle shared this anti-vaccine meme across his profile and professional  pages:

Golle 19 antivax Dec 2 2015

On August 22 2015, Golle posted this anti-vaccine meme on his profile, even acknowledging that he shouldn’t have posted it:

Golle 9 Italian court vaccines cause autism

On May 6 2016, Golle promoted the US anti-vaccine DO, Jack Wolfson, stating that Wolfson promotes chiropractic without having a “vested interest” in chiropractic. What Golle doesn’t mention is the universally known fact that Wolfson is married to cruel anti-vaccination chiropractor Heather Wolfson:

Golle 37 May 6 2016 Wolfson no vested interest in chiro promote

Section 6.2.4 of the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services states:

A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that [will] 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

CBA 13 expectation of benefit 6.2.4 Guidelines for advertising

On April 12 2016, Golle posted this YouTube video which purports to be a “Chiropractic Miracle Story”. As US paediatrician Dr Clay Jones pointed out on April 22 2016, there are no miracles involved in the chiropractic marketing video which was posted by Golle:

Golle 44 April 12 2016 miracle YouTube

Golle had previously posted the “miracle” video on November 12 2014.  So, it’s not the first time that miracles have been claimed on Golle’s business page:

Golle 42 November 12 2014 miracle YouTube video

On April 23 2016, a rather more disturbing post appeared on Golle’s profile, which was immediately shared onto his business page. Golle posted the medication chart of  one of his customers, whilst at the same time denigrating the treatment of this patient by a treating medical professional:

Gotta love the allopathic (symptom treating) medical model.
Diagnosis: cervical radiculopathy
(Means pain radiating from the neck)
Prescription: 8 meds that haven’t done anything – so next recommendation … wait for it – nerve block.
(Meaning – the oil light is flashing on the dashboard so let’s block the message from the engine to the dash board n she’ll be right mate) NOT!!!

Vitalistic health model: find the cause of the problem – turned out to be loss of the normal curve in the neck.
Prescription: specific spinal correction, nutrients to decrease inflammation without side effects, exercises to retrain musculature and education to quit recreating the lifestyle that caused it.

Golle 23 profile customers medication list

Golle 24 profile med list

As we can see, Golle made claims about the patient’s prescribed medications, yet, failed to mention that the majority of the medications listed were not prescribed for the diagnosis cited by Golle: “cervical radiculopathy”. Again, this misleading post was shared onto Golle’s business page:

Golle 26 shared profile med list to page

If it wasn’t for the response from a rational chiropractor, Golle’s misleading claims would have remained unchallenged on his profile. As it is, the misleading claims remain unchallenged on Golle’s professional page:

Nexium is used in the treatment of GERD and other conditions of acid over production.
Thyroxine is used in the treament of underactive thyroid such as Hashimodo’s thyroiditis or idiopathic hypothyroidism.
Hrt cream is used for treatment of menopause, hysterectomy and other needs to replace oestrogen.
Dexamethasone is a glucocorticoid used to treat chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD and other allergies.
Valium (benzodiazepene) is used to treat seizures, anxiety, alcohol withdrawal. If there is muscle spasm that is unremitting, then valium may well be indicated.
Naprosyn is a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID) used in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout.

You would know that most of these are not used to treat radiculopathy.

The two that look like they may be indicated for cervical radiculopathy are endone and lyrica.

It is likely that her GP has tried to educate this patient into a healthy lifestyle before. This hasn’t developed overnight. I applaud your efforts to encourage her to ditch the lifestyle that led to chronic inflammation. But the medical model hasn’t failed her. It’s likely kept her alive when in decades gone she would have likely met her maker.

The lost curvature in her neck hasn’t caused her chronic diseases. But i hope you can help her get her life on track.

Golle 25 profile med list MP response

In its March 7 2016 statement, the Chiropractic Board of Australia stated the following, regarding misleading claims still being made by chiropractors:

Of particular concern is the number of treatment claims in advertising relating to infants and children. Claims suggesting that manual therapy for spinal problems can assist with general wellness and/or benefit a variety of paediatric syndromes and organic conditions are not supported by satisfactory evidence. This includes claims relating to developmental and behavioural disorders, ADHD, autistic spectrum disorders, asthma, infantile colic, bedwetting, ear infections and digestive problems.

And:

Care of pregnant patients

Chiropractors are not trained to apply any direct treatment to an unborn child and should not deliver any treatment to the unborn child. Chiropractic care must not be represented or provided as treatment to the unborn child as an obstetric breech correction technique.

On his website, Golle includes several claims such as those listed by the CBA:

Golle 36 website ear infect ADHD colic etc kids

On April 7 2016  one month after the CBA missive – Golle posted claims about chiropractic adjustments and ear infections:

Golle 17 BB April 7 2016 ear infections

On March 4 2016, Golle posted an image which claims that chiropractic can treat “colic, nursing difficulties, weakened immunity, sleep disturbances and constipation”:

Golle 27 weakened immunity constipation baby

On February 15 2016, Golle posted a photo claiming that chiropractic assists babies in sleeping and digestion”:

Golle 28 baby improved digestion

On February 11 2016, Golle posted these extraordinary photos which claim that ear candling and chiropractic adjustments are treatments for ear infections:

Golle 18 ear candling adj

On November 12 2015, Golle posted an article which claims that chiropractic care can be used as a treatment for ear infections:

Golle 30 2015 ear infection

On October 16 2015, Golle posted an article claiming that chiropractic can treat “ear infections, constipation, eczema, bedwetting, breastfeeding issues and overall behaviour”:

Golle 32 reasons chiro used OP

Golle 33 reasons chiro bedwetting eczema ear infection constopation

On January 8 2015, Golle posted this chiropractic meme which claims that chiropractic can strengthen “immune function”:

Golle 40 January 8 2015 immune functions stronger

On December 9 2014, Golle posted this meme from the ICPA which claims that chiropractic care leads to “shorter, easier births”:

Golle 41 December 9 2014 ICPA pregnancy claims

Golle also uses variations of an advertising technique I term “The Subluxationist’s Wager”: What unknown harms would befall your precious baby if you didn’t get her checked for subluxations by the chiropractor?

On November 8 2015, Golle claimed that “subluxations don’t discriminate”:

Golle 31 kids subx dont discriminate

On August 19 2015, Golle posted this fear-inducing chiropractic meme:

Golle 10 profile post showing chiropractic professional

On April 14 2015, posted this meme from the anti-vaccination pediatric chiropractic organisation, the ICPA:

Golle 4 ICPA newborn baby

On April 7 2015, posted this chiropractic meme from the ICPA:

Golle 39 April 7 2015 ICPA wager

And Golle doesn’t limit himself to humans.

On December 3 2015, Golle claimed that there is no placebo effect when he adjusts babies and dogs. Unfortunately, babies, parents, pet owners, and dogs are not immune from this bias. From 2008, on Science-Based Medicine:

Client expectations can be very powerful motivators.  Having participated in a therapeutic transaction, clients generally expect to see some results.  Optimistic owners may be more likely to diligently pursue treatments.  Even failing obvious results, normal reciprocal responses often result in clients reporting improvement, at least initially, even when no improvement has occurred.  At the very least, veterinarians can help clients understand what problems are occurring in the animal – such comfort and reassurance may make a problem easier for the client to deal with.  That’s a good thing, mostly, unless the veterinarian steers the client into areas that are unsupported by evidence.

Golle 29 baby and dog

And if you can’t be findin’ no dawg to put a crack in its ass, best be slammin’ some white boy gangsta beats, yo:

Golle 43 April 2016 profile gangsta

The following addenda contain excerpts from the Chiropractic Board of Australia’s codes, guidelines, and social media policy from which the reader may wish to choose when lodging any complaint about Anthony Golle and Body Brilliant.

Thanks for reading.

_____________________________________

Addendum 1

Code of conduct for chiropractors.

1.2 Professional values and qualities

[Practitioners] have a duty to keep their skills and knowledge up to date, refine and develop their clinical judgement as they gain experience, and contribute to their profession.

All practitioners have a responsibility to recognise and work within the limits of their competence, scope and areas of practice. Areas of practice vary according to different roles; for example, health practitioners, education providers, researchers and managers will all have quite different competencies and scopes of practice.

2.1 Providing good care. Introduction

a appropriately assessing the patient, taking into account their history (history includes relevant psychological, social and cultural aspects), views and conducting an appropriate physical examination

b ensuring that the diagnosis/clinical impression is appropriate, relevant, justifiable and based on sound clinical reasoning

d formulating and implementing a reasonable management plan (including providing treatment/care and advice and, where relevant, arranging investigations and liaising with other treating practitioners)

2.2 Good practice

a recognising and working within the limits of the chiropractor’s competence and scope and area of practice, which may change over time

b maintaining adequate knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective care, including providing treatment/care and advice and where relevant, arranging investigations and liaising with, or referring to, other health professionals

e considering the balance of benefit and harm in all clinical management decisions

g providing treatment/care options based on the best available information and practising in an evidence-based context and not being influenced by financial gain or incentives

h ensuring that services offered are provided with the best possible skill, care and competence

m ensuring that the chiropractor’s personal views do not adversely affect the care of their patients, and

n evaluating practice and the decisions made and action taken in providing good care.

3.4 Confidentiality and privacy

b seeking consent from patients before disclosing or sharing information

g ensuring that all staff are aware of the need to respect the confidentiality and privacy of patients and refrain from discussing patients in a non-professional context

j ensuring that use of social media and e-health is consistent with the practitioner’s ethical and legal obligations to protect privacy

3.5 Informed consent

b providing an explanation of the treatment/care recommended, its likely duration, expected benefits and cost, any alternative(s) to the proposed care, their relative risks/benefits, as well as the likely consequences of no care

c obtaining informed consent or other valid authority before undertaking any examination or investigation, providing treatment/care (this may not be possible in an emergency) or involving patients in teaching or research, including providing information on material risks

3.6 Informed financial consent

a ensuring that any financial agreement is based on the clinical needs of the patient

3.7 Children and young people

b placing the interests and wellbeing of the child or young person first

d ensuring informed consent to providing care for children involves the patient’s parent and/or guardian being provided with clinically relevant information for the chiropractic management of the child; unless a chiropractor judges that a child is of sufficient age and mental and emotional capacity to give their own consent to a service and relevant state and territory laws are complied with

e ensuring that risks of care and alternatives to care are sufficiently explained as these are essential elements of informed consent

4.1 Use of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities in chiropractic practice

a a full and thorough assessment of patients using tools, tests and procedures that are appropriate for the gathering of information necessary to form a reasonable diagnosis or clinical impression

c only using diagnostic tools, tests and procedures in accordance with established protocols for their appropriate use

d evaluating and reporting the data obtained in a contextual way to ensure that a reasonable and relevant diagnosis/clinical impression is formed, and that appropriate and necessary care is provided

e when using tools, tests and procedures in formulating a diagnosis/clinical impression, management plan and/or for prognostic purposes, the tools used should be for conditions where there are demonstrated acceptable levels of reliability and validity, and

f not misrepresenting the clinical value or significance of the findings of any tool, test or procedure.

5.1 Respect for colleagues and other practitioners

b acknowledging and respecting the contribution of all practitioners involved in patient care

6.4 Public health matters

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

b 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

6.5 Provision of care in a healthcare facility

Good practice involves:

a seeking permission to access and provide care

b adhering to and following the policies and procedures of the facility

c communicating effectively with other practitioners involved in the management of the patient

d keeping the the facility informed of any care

e ensuring professional indemnity insurance (PII) coverage to cover care in that facility, and

f keeping adequate records.

9.6 Advertising

a complying with the National Board’s Advertising guidelines and relevant state and territory legislation and Commonwealth law.

b making sure that any information published about services is factual and verifiable

10.2 Chiropractors’ health

c understanding the principles of immunisation against communicable diseases

_____________________________________

Addendum 2

Guidelines for advertising regulated health services

6.2 Prohibited advertising under the National Law

Section 133 of the National Law prohibits advertising that:

– is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to be so
– offers a gift, discount or other inducement to attract a user of the health service without stating the terms and conditions of the offer
– uses testimonials or purported testimonials
– creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment, and/or
– encourages the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of health services.

Maximum penalty—

a in the case of an individual—$5,000; or

b in the case of a body corporate—$10,000.

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 –

a Is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to be misleading or deceptive

Eg:

– mislead, either directly, or by implication, use of emphasis, comparison, contrast or omission

– only provide partial information which could be misleading

– 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, and/or

– compare different regulated health professions or practitioners, in the same profession or across professions, in a way that may mislead or deceive.

6.2.2 Gifts and discounts

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 –

b Offers a gift, discount or other inducement to attract a person to use the service or the business, unless the advertisement also states the terms and conditions of the offer

Advertising may contravene the National Law when it:

– contains price information that is inexact

– contains price information that does not specify any terms and conditions or variables to an advertised price, or that could be considered misleading or deceptive

– states an instalment amount without stating the total cost (which is a condition of the offer), and/or

– does not state the terms and conditions of offers of gifts, discounts or other inducements.

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 –

c Uses testimonials or purported testimonials about the service or business

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 –

d Creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment

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

Advertising may contravene the National Law when it:

– makes use of time-limited offers which influence a consumer to make decisions under the pressure of time and money rather than about their health care needs.

_____________________________________

Addendum 3

Social media policy

When using social media, health practitioners should remember that the National Law, their National Board’s code of ethics and professional conduct (the Code of conduct) and the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services (the Advertising guidelines) apply.

Registered health practitioners should only post information that is not in breach of these obligations by:

– complying with professional obligations
– complying with confidentiality and privacy obligations (such as by not discussing patients or posting pictures of procedures, case studies, patients, or sensitive material which may enable patients to be identified without having obtained consent in appropriate situations)
– presenting information in an unbiased, evidence-based context, and
– not making unsubstantiated claims.

Additional information may be available from professional bodies and/or employers, which aims to support health practitioners’ use of social media. However, the legal, ethical, and professional obligations that registered health practitioners must adhere to are set out in the National Boards’ respective Code of conduct and the Advertising guidelines.

___________________________________________

 

About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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One Response to Anti-vaccine chiropractors 69 – Anthony Golle

  1. angus says:

    Frightening stuff. Hopefully there’s something more than inaction by the CAA/CBA.

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