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Belle Gibson and the Seventh Circle of Hell

Belle Gibson and the Seventh Circle of Hell
0 10 July 2015

I saw this editorial on Medscape and thought the point interesting:


 

Hi. I am Art Caplan, from the New York University Langone Medical Center Division of Medical Ethics in New York City.

If you were to draw up a list of who belongs in Dante’s Seventh Circle of Hell, you might put in some of your enemies. You might put in certain athletes that play for teams you don’t like. But I have another candidate for you: Belle Gibson.

Belle GibsonBelle, an Australian woman somewhere in her 20s (she doesn’t even tell the truth about that), had a very active website where she claimed that she had beaten multiple forms of cancer by eating right and living healthy. She had an app you could download to tell you how to do this; she had a cookbook that told you what to eat; and she had hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites who took her very seriously.

But Belle did not have cancer and she was full of malarkey. Her diets were not based on anything of value. It is not even clear that she herself followed her diets. In fact, she was a complete fraud. The reason I say she belongs in the Seventh Circle of Hell is that she led many people to believe they could beat cancer by eating what she said to eat. There is no evidence that you can get rid of cancer through your diet. Certainly, she deceived people into spending a lot of money on her books and dietary advice, and she persuaded a lot of people that the way to fight disease is to breathe healthy air and live a healthy lifestyle, which is not a bad thing to tell patients, but it is not good to tell patients that this will fight cancer.

She appears at a time when we are struggling to decide what to do about misinformation on the Internet. Many others, such as the Food Babe, who has been touting all kinds of healthy diet stuff, and even the much maligned Dr. Oz, who has been selling quick-fix solutions to obesity, are telling people that there are magic beans and super-duper extracts that can solve all manner of health problems.


 

As it pertains to Age Management Medicine, there is a ton of information available on the Internet for people, but much of it is “malarkey”. Getting one’s information from a doctor specifically trained in Age Management Medicine cuts through the jungle of misinformation. I am available to speak with people who have questions about their aging process, hormones and wellness.

Posted in Dr. Schechter’s Blog by Cenegenics Denver