Recent news stories have highlighted the strained relationship between medical experts and those making judicial decisions. This is not the first time a medical expert has upset accepted theory. The fact remains that science moves on, sometimes faster than accepted public and legal opinion.
Perhaps we have forgotten the controversy regarding MMR vaccinations. Having investigated some of those claims, there were varied theories on what could have been causing adverse outcomes where the only common factor was the provision of a combined vaccine. In the end, as now, there was no conclusion as to the possible causes for injury.
In the legal world, medical opinions are sought for a variety of reasons. The judiciary ultimately must choose which expert they will believe. Seeing good and valid cases fail because your expert is not believed is heart breaking and devastating for a family seeking redress for a wrong that has been suffered. This does not means all new medical theories are valid, but in a court room, the duty of the expert firstly to provide their opinion to the court.
Please remember, a judicial decision is just that, when making judgements, the judiciary will state whose opinions they prefer, but seldom deem their conclusions as scientific fact.
Medical science needs to be free to propose theories which if possible can be proven by scientific experiment and not discounted immediately because they are new and may challenge a majority view.
We don't live on a flat earth after all.
I am convinced that Squier is correct, but one does not have to agree with me to see the ugly side to the GMC prosecution: the moment that we are denied the right to question a scientific theory that is held by the majority, we are not far away from Galileo’s predicament in 1615, as he appeared before the papal inquisition.