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Thursday
Apr052012

Francine Scrayen sends me a Cease and Desist.

It looks like two of my previous blog posts have upset Ms Scrayen to the point where she is willing to call in the lawyers. Of course nobody likes such harsh criticism of their business practices, especially when they are already surrounded by intense public scrutiny.

Ms Scrayen is so strongly opposed to my opinions and criticisms of her that she even wants me to remove them from my blog. 

I have no desire to publish inaccuracies and posting such a retraction would be doing just that. My opinions and criticisms of Francine Scrayen are based upon the facts surrounding the death of Penelope Dingle and I am more than willing to defend them in court if need be.

Ms Scrayen may be unhappy with what I've written about her, but I will not be removing it unless it is shown to be false. If Ms Scrayen thinks she can silence my criticism with lawyers then she is in for some disappointment.

I'm sure Ms Scrayen will read this so I'll make this perfectly clear. You cannot silence legitimate criticism with lawyers. If you can prove the Homeopathy works and is effective for treating cancer, as Penelope Dingle was led to believe. Then I will gladly make the necessary corrections to maintain the accuracy of my blog. But if you want to sell unproven medicines to vulnerable cancer patients then you can expect to be justifiably criticised for it; especially if the patient then dies due to your ineffective treatment.

Cease and Desist Letter.

Coroners Report

My First post about Francine Scrayen

My Second post about Francine Scrayen

References (17)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (40)

Surely this part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, an Easter treat maybe? She can't really be serious. Crazy homeopath is crazy.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave

How can anyone 'cause damage to the reputation' of Ms Scrayen?
Her 'reputation' has already been totally shredded by the Coroner!

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter@brendano

I'm incredulous at the actions of charlatans such as Ms Scrayen. It's time that homeopathy was shown for what it is, and that those who practice it be held accountable when they convince sick and vulnerable people to trust them over proven medical treatments.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDarren Griffin

A simple "I refer you to the response given in the case of Arkell v Pressdram " would suffice. I particularly laugh at the "...damage my client's reputation in the eyes of right-thinking members of the community in general"- I would love to see this claim substantiated.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Morgan

I'd like Ms Scrayen to know I'm now aware of this case and her role thanks to the cease and desist.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

I am a right thinking member of the community in general and I think Francine Scrayen is full of shit.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternik

I appreciate your point of view, but I have to tell you, you really need a professional copy editor to go over your work before you post it. It is full of grammar and punctuation errors, and this comes across as very unprofessional and detracts from your message.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose

Couldn't that lawyer make more money off of someone who is terrible at a real job as opposed to being terrible at one that isn't based in reality?

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStu

Don't retractions usually state what's actually being retracted more specifically than "certain statements"?

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiam

I'm a medical professional (retired, in the US,) with many years' experience in gastroenterology.
The account of this unfortunate woman's illness and death was horrific to read, and I'm not sure I understand why criminal charges have not been brought against both her husband and the homeopath. This is a history of clearly intentionally criminal acts, gross negligence and willful fraud. Certainly the patient herself made tragically wrong decisions, but they were obviously based on misinformation and misplaced trust. I hope your blog postings result in at least a review by some authoritative board and serious consequences for the people involved. Thank you for your reporating.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterC. Hallam

Christ on a bike! This is unbelievable!

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCatastraspie

I applaud you Dan. Don't take no guff from the swine!!

Homeopathy is a nice hobby, but it's just that. It isn't, and never should be, a replacement for professional medical attention...

If that were the case, I would buy myself some flowers, seeds and roots, and a pestle and mortar, and I would go earn the money of a brain surgeon, rather than wasting those 10 or so years at university learning how to save lives.

The woman's a con artist, plain and simple. And that goes for 'mediums' too, that scam sad, deperate, mourning people out of their cash while they're in a vulnerable position.

Grrrrrr.........

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave Crandle

The Coroner's Report reads like a Victorian (i.e. 19th Century) portrait of incompetence and criminality. Truly horrific reading.
It underlines the victim's own attempt at making sense of the cruelty she endured
in the letter she drafted to the Homeopath.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Symes (UK)

Isn't it odd that someone who ferverently denies the effect of mainstream medicine has such staunch faith in mainstream lawyers?

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOne Of The Scruffies

As I often do, I'm keeping a list: Dan Buzzard writes the facts; Homeopath Francine Scrayen Threatens With The Law

I will keep updating the list silently.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Ditz

Thanks Francine - now we all know you're a ridiculous quack with blood on your hands! Enjoy the publicity.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMoo

I suggest Francine reads, "Why I changed my mind about homeopathy" by Edzard Ernst.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDr Ken Harvey

Shut up Rose

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack

Rose- its a blog; someone's thoughts about the world and the issues in it. Clearly not meant to be a work of literary genius. I don't think it detracts from the argument at all. Maybe if he worked full time on writing articles yes, but he doesn't.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Thanks for your courage, Dan. The more homeopathy is exposed for the nonsense that it is, the better.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLouella

Francine Scrayen appears to have hired the Francine Scrayen of law.

What a tragic story. Best case scenario: homeopathic "believers" get a nice fat dose of reality and come to their sense.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

There are NO FACTS, none at all that would allow you to make the accusation that Mrs. Scrayen KILLED anybody. This is pure hyperbole. It is inaccurate, untrue and it is unethical, illegal and tasteless. Even for a so called sceptic. You're just eager to become the leader of the lynch mob it seems to me. Your credibility has been reduced to zero.

And it shows clearly that all you care about is your own agenda, and you don't give a damn about facts or the truth.

Not only do they have every right to sue you, even your webhost should throw you off their servers for making such outrageous accusations that have no basis whatsoever. This doesn't have anything to do with scepsis, this is pure vitriol and hate. You can be proud of yourself.

There are plenty of Australians who are ashamed of people like you.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterme

Actually 'me', it seems to me Dan has done nothing more than to paraphrase the findings of the WA coroner. Dan's language, perhaps, is a little more direct, but the outcome is the same. Penelope Dingle is dead and that is largely due to the intervention of Francine Scrayen.

Francine Scrayen took a sick and vulnerable woman, sold her medications that didn't work, couldn't work and have been proven NOT to work. She isolated her from her relatives, actively discouraged her from accepting mainstream treatments, and wouldn't even let her take pain medication, telling the poor woman that most of the pain was 'in her head'. The facts, apparent from the coroner's report, are that if Francine Scrayen had been taken out of the equation there is a very high likelihood that Penelope Dingle would be alive today. That was certainly Mrs Dingle's view and the coroner supported it.

On the other hand, the Coroner was damning in his appraisal of Mrs Scrayen's apparent inability to tell the truth.

This is really not a person worth defending.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChrys Stevenson

There are NO FACTS, none at all that would allow you to make the accusation that Mrs. Scrayen KILLED anybody

There are quite a few facts that indicate Scrayen's actions contributed greatly to Mrs Dingle's death. Negligence, arrogance and lies also kill. They just don't have pointy edges.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranarchic teapot

I would like to thank Ms Scrayen's lawyer for making me aware that a coroner cited her client's actions in the death of a patient.

Good work there! All hail the Streisand Effect.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZarathustra

just to add to the unregistered comment about language use and "causing the death of" -
I would suggest that there is a lazy agreement here to use a common hatred of Homeopathy, as the demonic agent,
- when no doctor who behaves abysmally and ignorantly brings about the downfall of medicine because they killed a patient using prescribed medication...and yet we have tens of thousands of deaths caused by prescription medication each year...

There is no doubt this woman behaved abysmally - in not persuading her client to go against the advice of her husband and taking the hubris of saying she could "cure" someone of cancer - something the conventional medics generally do not say and rightly so , seeing as these cancers kill thousands a year DESPITE the best efforts of our most advanced medical treatment.
The best practitioners would look at what the success rates of treatments have been and advise the woman to not be so damned exclusive...not accept the role of cure-all goddess.

So the lazy high horse riders need to look more at what really upset the victim in this case - the refusal of the practitioner to deal with the patient responsibly, including responding to letters of concern.

...sounds almost like the refusal of medics to take responsibility and say sorry when they make mistakes and kill NHS patients - instead, the system sending them a legally defensive letter to try and evade the costs of action in the courts.

ALL sorts of therapies fail -
the biggest mistakes are in believing too readily that your own set of beliefs are infallible - then shoring up your false beliefs when the excrement hits the extraction device.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteroffpat

Me: Science is based on evidence. Homeopathy is based on "Well, it hasn't actually poisoned anyone so maybe it'll be good for you"

Before Medicine is given to the public it must be experimented and tested for SEVEN YEARS before being released to the public. No such rule for homeopathic medicine, it just has to be proven to not be poisonous.

So my "Belief" in scientific medicine is based on people who have to study Pharmacology for nine years at a university while a belief in Homeopathy is based on someone boiling a plant in water, adding sugar and telling someone it will cure them of cancer.

And apparently homeopathy is bullshit, you know why? Because Penelope is DEAD. She. Is. Dead. And that is the saddest argument I have ever had to make in my life. And by the way? The husband is equally culpable, for believing and touting such bollocks to his own wife.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Anyone who believes that homeopathy may be a genuinely effective treatment for anything should read the comprehensive history and review of this practice in Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst's "Trick or Treatment".

You don't even have to buy the book (although I strongly recommend that you do). You can find it online here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/27625992/Trick-or-Treatment-Simon-singh-amp-Edvard-ernst-2008-ISBN-9780593061299

The homeopathy chapter starts at page 90. After an analysis comprising 1000s of words, which does not shy away from studies which appear to have shown some benefit from homeopathy, the authors conclude:

"hundreds of trials have failed to deliver significant or convincing evidence to support the use of homeopathy for the treatment of any particular ailment. On the contrary, it would be fair tosay that there is a mountain of evidence to suggest that homeopathicremedies simply do not work ...

... we have come to our conclusions about homeopathy based on a fair, thorough,scientific assessment of the evidence. We have no axe to grind andhave remained steadfastly open-minded in our examination of homeopathy. Moreover, one of us has had a considerable amountof experience in homeopathy and has even spent time practising as a homeopath. After graduating from a conventional medical school,Professor Ernst then trained as a homeopath. He even practised at thehomeopathic hospital in Munich, treating inpatients for a whole rangeof conditions."

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChrys Stevenson

This woman sounds like a truly horrible human being. That she has lawyered up after the fact shows she knows the harm she has done; in other words, she's not a real believer in her BS. I don't know the legal system in Australia but she should be locked up for what she has done (or at least denied all modern medical care from now on).

If anything in the total balderdash that is homeopathy actually worked, the pharmaceutical companies would find that compound and turn it into a drug.

The harridan won't go anywhere near a court.
She could well end up on at least a charge of manslaughter..
And for those who advance the homeopathic crap when it comes that you are ill all there is for you is water drink it up

April 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

Rose,

You wrote,

"It is full of grammar and punctuation errors, and this comes across as very unprofessional and detracts from your message."

I feel the ‘and’ after the comma was overkill, turning what could have been grammatically correct into a badly written dialogue. I feel in turn you tried to spruce up this before mentioned dialogue by utilising the Microsoft Word grammar correction facility, which did its usual bad job.

As Jack eloquently and correctly said earlier, “Shut up Rose.”

I would like to add to this statement, “We all know what makes a Rose grow better, just add a pile of shi#...”

Dan, keep up the good work!

April 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercatzvp

There is no doubt, as Rose said, that grammar and punctuation errors can appear unprofessional and detract from a message.

Rose said she appreciates Dan's point of view and my perception is she is constructively suggesting how it could be *even* better.

May I suggest that we sceptics stick together to fight woo, instead of attacking each other?

April 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLouella

I agree, in-fighting will get us no where. Especially over trivial matters such as grammar. Lets not lose sight of the issue at hand.

April 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterDan Buzzard

If francine (deliberate use of lower case so as to diminish the person) had paid as much attention to mainstream medical rules as Rose would like us to believe that she, Rose, has done to grammar then Penelope may still be with us.

By us, I exclude Dr Dingle.

April 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternjptower

10 April 2012! That’s today! Oh, it’s WST, so there’s still time. :)

April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE Burns

I feel the ‘and’ after the comma was overkill, turning what could have been grammatically correct into a badly written dialogue.

Nah, that's editorially correct American English. And no, speaking as a bona fide professional American English editor, I don't give a shit about the Thistlebottoms of the world. They make lousy hires.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOtto

As a registered health professional, i've talked to a lot of patients who have enquired about the benefits and risks of homoeopathy. Out of the patients who have decided to proceed as either a replacement, or and adjunct to normal medical treatment, not one have reported any improvement to their condition with using homoeopathy. Sadly, its those who are most vulnerable in our community who end up getting hurt from using a therapy that is not scientifically proven. I am yet to see an unbiased randomised, double blind study that have shown there to be any benefit to homoeopathy. From research that I have conducted, I have seen some study's that have shown benefit to the patient, however these have no creditabilty due to either the ridiculously small sample size, the wording of questions 'leading' the subjects responses, and/or the conflict of interest from corporate funding which may or may not be disclosed.

I think its time for the government to be more proactive by removing homoeopathic products from the shelves. They should also prosecute those who are directly responsible for initiating unproven treatments. If I initiated a therapy that is contraindicated for my patients and something goes wrong, my registering body (AHPRA) would investigate the incident, and potentially deregister me. Why can some homoeopath's be at least partly responsible for the death of a person, and then open their doors the next day and do the same thing over again.

I think this case effectively demonstrates the harm that can come about when people who are not properly trained and educated in diagnosing and treating medical conditions are allowed to practice psudo-voodoo. A Diploma in Homoeopathy is certainly not a qualification that could allow homoeopaths to give medical advice.

I would have not even have known about this case if it wasn't for the cease and desist sent to the auther of the blog. I don't think that the reputation of homoepaths could ever be damaged, considering there is no reputation there to begin with.

In a comment specific to the case involving Francine Scrayen and the death of Penelope Pringle:
A N Hope, The State Coroner, in his report stated "The problem in this case was that Mrs Scrayen was not a competent health professional."

The record of investigation into death, the coronars report, is available from
http://www.safetyandquality.health.wa.gov.au/docs/mortality_review/inquest_finding/Dingle_Finding.pdf

A great youtube video of homoeopathy accident and emergency can be found here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMGIbOGu8q0&feature=player_embedded#!

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Poultice for a minor cut? sure...
Cure for cancer? How could there not be charges filed -- fraud, criminal negligence...
Civil suits against the quack and the deceased's husband at the very least (and a paltry fraction of justice at that).
Peace,
Dan

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

In some ways, I sort of hope that homeoquack Francine Scrayen takes Dan to court. That way she will be subjected to a forensic examination, be shown to be a lying fruitloop, lose the case, have to pay everybody's costs, and go bankrupt.

April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKen McLeod

Others could bear witness to the following sad case:-
In the 1990's a Leura homeopath/ herbalist treated ms. Briioney Halcyon
For breast cancer . Brioney, a registered nurse, refused surgery & opted
For alternative therapy.
The Leura ( NSW) even sold her a mixture to apply to the then FUNGATING, malodourus
Breast cancer, in addition to the remedies to be taken by mouth !!!........
Finally a registered nurse called in a local G.P. & she was given
Morphine to give a measure of relief. The poor woman was in agony & died soon afterwards
This woman still 'practices':- declines to label her remedies , like accredited, competent
Homeopaths routinely do.


Leura residents beware!

(I see a homeopath . It has turned a corner for me & kept me going for 20 years.
I am aware that skilful practitioners are few & far between.
So many are not even accredited .
Any good homeopath knows when to advise medical intervention:- tests, scans , surgery etc.
He or she will stress the difficulty in achieving a positive outcome , homeopathically & explain why.)


It is a pity the late Ms Briony Halcyon had no N.O.K. To sue the despicable woman who
'Treated' her.
Linda.

January 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

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