ASA legal disclaimer
Under current legislation, health practitioners are not allowed to say that we treat anything that is not sanctioned by the Advertising Standards Authority. Any statements that we treat medical conditions, the Advertising Standards Authority states, should be substantiated by “robust scientific evidence, such as clinical trials conducted on peopleâ€. These trials require huge resources, taking many years to produce and costing many thousands of pounds â€“ for each and every condition. To put this into context, only 11% of medical practice has been shown to be effective by robust evidence, with a further 23% substantiated by less well-established evidence. More than half of medical practice is not substantiated by evidence at all. Nevertheless, the Advertising Standards Authority does not allow health practitioners such as osteopaths now to say that we treat anything more than a short list of minor orthopaedic conditions. Consequently, to comply with current legislation we have to make the following statement:
We do not say, or even infer, that we treat the conditions mentioned on this site and it should not be interpreted by readers to believe that we do. However, as already stated (see Osteopathy?), we do not treat conditions, rather we are concerned with that which has compromised the health. Hence, we offer on this site only a list of some of the conditions that patients have complained of when they have come to see us.
The Advertising Standards Authority has also expressed concern that people with serious medical conditions could be discouraged from seeking advice and treatment from a qualified medical practitioner. On the contrary, in order to ensure that patients have the best available care, we check that patients have the appropriate investigations and treatment that they need. In fact, our practitioner such as the osteopaths can provide another avenue of advice and referral for patients who need conventional medical care. This is particularly valuable if patients are not aware that they might have a potentially serious medical condition. Part of the responsibility of an osteopath in the UK today is to identify cases that might be better treated elsewhere and advise the patient accordingly.
Some people prefer to consult their osteopath first, before seeking a medical opinion, because they prefer the osteopathic approach. In our opinion, the public should have that choice. Osteopathy can offer patients choice in their health care that is not readily available within the conventional system. It is of concern if people are denied the opportunity to come to an informed opinion about choices available in their personal health care.
For further information see: