Burzynski And The BBC: The BBC Fail To Answer Any Concerns Raised In My Complaint

20 Dec

Following on from my last post, I complained a second time stating:-

 “I do not understand what is holding the BBC back from rectifying this issue?

Whilst the skepticism is mentioned, it is not explained, why skepticism, what is the controversy surrounding the Burzynski clinic? This is uninformative and yet met by the advertising lines that the treatment is natural – it isn’t, and the line “The antineoplaston therapy aims to target the cancer without destroying normal cells.” which does go into details of the treatment. Whilst this is the aim it isn’t stated that the treatment has failed to be shown to do this. His own published studies show toxicity, side effects such as brain swelling and death. As this story does go into details of treatment, the argument you provided it doesn’t is false. It also does present a biased, un-researched view of the treatment. Since Burzynski is on trial for not informing patients he was giving them chemotherapy drugs and not disclosing he owned the pharmacy selling them, a link to their website doesn’t constitute ‘enough information’ for readers to make up their own minds.

What stopped the skepticism? The advertising which is likely illegal under the cancer act (1939)? It is clearly not evidence. This implicitly suggests they were swayed for good reason. Nor does the piece question why treatment is so costly, an unethical practice. Nor that Burzynski never releases the data of his clinical trials, which may falsely lead people to believe they are funding useful research. The other links don’t cover key concerns.”

Despite these statements of facts, clarifying some of the issues by quoting the piece itself, they respond with what seems to be denial, in essence claiming that they ‘never said that’, when I used a direct quote. It’s as if they have never even read the article. Or think they can somehow convince me those words aren’t contained in it. How foolish. At any rate the reply is unsatisfactory and answers none of my questions or concerns. They don’t even bother to justify why they think it’s an unbiased and acceptable article, despite the quite clear reasons why it would not be acceptable.

Here is their astonishing, dismissive and unacceptable reply

I maintain that the story we wrote is factually correct and has appropriate and balanced links attached.

Yeah. That’s it, in full. How strange

It looks like they still need to check their facts.

Balanced links aren’t good enough either, the article itself has to be balanced. Which it isn’t.

If they feel it is factually correct then they can provide the evidence which supports this. If they believe my complaint is unjustified then they need to explain why and justify their reasons for not making the article more balanced and accurate. As they have not done so, I will assume this is because they cannot do so. They are aware the article is not factually correct or balanced at this point in time but refuse to do anything about it. It is unclear why they refuse, but it seems it probably has to do with not wanting to be held accountable and lack in belief of their responsibility as providers of health information and misinformation. It seems like they have no concern whether or not their misleading uncritical article entices others into undergoing Burzynski treatment, at the risk of forgoing proven treatments or good quality palliative care. They don’t seem to be bothered that patients undergoing this treatment can suffer severe side effects and that evidence from the TMB suggests Burzynski prescribes irresponsibly, his trials take no regard of patient care and protection and he doesn’t inform patients correctly on what treatments they are actually receiving. This, to me, sounds like something that everyone should be bothered by.

If they are not aware of the biases and inaccuracies then I believe they are not acting competently as journalists.

Further action does appear to be necessary.


One Response to “Burzynski And The BBC: The BBC Fail To Answer Any Concerns Raised In My Complaint”

  1. Dorothy Bishop (@deevybee) December 21, 2011 at 10:52 #

    I wonder if they would have run the story if the family in question were raising funds to visit a witchdoctor or a faith healer.

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