GDC reprimands 81-year-old dentist over ‘whistleblowing’ advert
 

Dental News
Article detail

See the following article detail about

GDC reprimands 81-year-old dentist over ‘whistleblowing’ advert

0845 527 9810

Article details for

GDC reprimands 81-year-old dentist over ‘whistleblowing’ advert

 

GDC reprimands 81-year-old dentist over ‘whistleblowing’ advert

An 81-year-old dentist who pioneered an alternative treatment to orthodontics has been reprimanded by the General Dental Council (GDC) for misconduct.

John Mew upset the governing body by openly arguing that the profession has promoted surgery as the only treatment for jaw misalignment and failing to tell patients of other methods.

The GDC took issue with adverts placed in magazines by Dr Mew criticised orthodontics and stated that the GDC had encouraged the suppression of alternative treatments to major jaw surgery.

Labelled a maverick by some, dentist John Mew has been campaigning for more than 25 years to have orthotropics – his alternative to orthodontics as a method for correcting malocclusion – accepted by the profession.

He reasons that malocclusion is ‘no more than a postural deformity' that can be corrected as any bad posture can – and maintains that the method he employs is ‘very different and very dependent on co-operation of the patient'.

John, who has practised as a dentist for 40 years in Surrey and Kent, claims that jaw surgery – usually carried out for cosmetic reasons on patients between 13-18 to correct overbite – is of limited benefit and can lead to permanent disfigurement of the face if the jaw bones move back again or slip.

He says research suggests half of operations relapse within 15 years and therefore recommends.

The battle with the GDC began in 2008 when John Mew was issued with a written warning by the Investigating Committee of the GDC about two ‘misleading advertisements'.

His advertisements ‘denigrated orthodontics and falsely alleged that the GDC had accepted the truth of Mr Mew's report', the GDC said.

He was warned that he should ensure his advertisements should not contain any statements that were false.

However, Mr Mew continued with further advertisements in Parents News in parts of the south east of England between October 2008 and October 2009.

These advertisements again criticised orthodontics, but also stated that the GDC had deliberately encouraged the suppression of alternative treatments to major jaw surgery.

Mr Mew stated that orthodontists were ignoring these alternatives and he described them as more natural methods available to treat malocclusion.

Beneath these advertisements were further advertisements for Mr Mew's own practice in orthotropics, which Mr Mew described in the advertisement as ‘natural growth guidance'.

The case report read: ‘The GDC has brought Mr Mew before this Professional Conduct Committee in relation only to the parts of the advertisements relating to the allegation Mr Mew made that the GDC had deliberately encouraged the suppression of alternatives to major jaw surgery.

‘This Committee has found proved all the allegations against Mr Mew, three of which Mr Mew had admitted, and it has found that his conduct was inappropriate, unprofessional and likely to undermine public confidence in the profession.'

‘The GDC has brought Mr Mew before this Professional Conduct Committee in relation only to the parts of the advertisements relating to the allegation Mr Mew made that the GDC had deliberately encouraged the suppression of alternatives to major jaw surgery.

It concluded: ‘This Committee has found proved all the allegations against Mr Mew, three of which Mr Mew had admitted, and it has found that his conduct was inappropriate, unprofessional and likely to undermine public confidence in the profession.'

‘He has fallen far below the acceptable standard of conduct expected of a registered dental practitioner. He deliberately provoked his regulatory body with unfounded and untrue assertions and this is fundamentally unprofessional conduct. Therefore, the Committee has determined that his actions amount to misconduct.'

Orthoptropics uses removable appliances which encourage the bones of the face to grow correctly starting at the age of eight, when the jaw is still flexible.

The treatment usually lasts between 18 and 24 months.

Advocates of this method suggest this cannot be done with traditional, fixed braces.

In March 2009, a news feature on John Mew appeared in Dentistry magazine and quoted him as saying: 'Sadly, almost every idea I put forward – including the cause of malocclusion, non-extraction, early treatment, expansion, moving the teeth forward, moving the maxilla and mandible forward, correcting oral posture, avoiding fixed appliances, opening the airway, etc – was ridiculed by a very conservative orthodontic establishment with a vehemence that few could now imagine, especially as they have since followed these suggestions almost all the way.'

Following the GDC hearing, a representative for John Mew, said: ‘The primary line of defence was that he was whistleblowing. The public disclosure act allows a certain element of impropriety as long as the main aim is to bring to light issues that were being ignored, as long if all other avenues have been exhausted.

He added: ‘Most people aware of John Mew will know that he has exhausted every possibly avenue over the last 40 years, during which time he has never been given a meeting at the GDC to tell them of his concerns. Although the advert was clearly headed ‘Whistleblowing' it was argued by the council's barrister that the legislation is at present only recognised for employed individuals and has never been tested in the high court. So this line of defence was ignored.

The GDC concluded: ‘There are many other ways Mr Mew can promulgate the efficacy of orthotropics, including sensible debate and marketing, but this Committee does not accept that it is appropriate for any dental registrant to use his regulatory body, the GDC, as a means to do this.'

Following the reprimand, Mr Mew commented that the findings ‘are not going to help the people who are having major jaw surgery without every knowing the alternatives or finding them when they are too old'.

 Posted on : Wed 31st - Mar - 2010

 

Call Dental Support UK

Premium IT Support

  • All Servers & workstations covered..
  • Saturday Cover INCLUDED.
  • Telephone support.
  • Remote support.
  • 4 hour on-site Server response.
  • System monitoring.
  • Network monitoring and security.
  • Anti-Virus & Application updates.
  • Unlimited Remote Server Data backup.
  • Loan equipment on hardware failure.
  • Reduced rates for PC parts supply & installations.

No matter how big
your practice you
pay the same
price!!


ONLY

Click here for more info
Dental News Archives 2018

August - 2018
July - 2018
June - 2018
May - 2018
April - 2018
March - 2018
February - 2018
January - 2018

Dental News Archives 2017

December - 2017
November - 2017
October - 2017
September - 2017
August - 2017
July - 2017
June - 2017
May - 2017
April - 2017
March - 2017
February - 2017
January - 2017

Dental News Archives 2016

December - 2016
November - 2016
October - 2016
September - 2016
August - 2016
July - 2016
June - 2016
May - 2016
April - 2016
March - 2016
February - 2016
January - 2016

Dental News Archives 2015

December - 2015
November - 2015
October - 2015
September - 2015
August - 2015
July - 2015
June - 2015
May - 2015
April - 2015
March - 2015
February - 2015
January - 2015

Dental News Archives 2014

December - 2014
November - 2014
October - 2014
September - 2014
August - 2014
July - 2014
June - 2014
May - 2014
April - 2014
March - 2014
February - 2014
January - 2014

Dental News Archives 2013

December - 2013
November - 2013
October - 2013
September - 2013
August - 2013
July - 2013
June - 2013
May - 2013
April - 2013
March - 2013
February - 2013
January - 2013

Dental News Archives 2012

December - 2012
November - 2012
October - 2012
September - 2012
August - 2012
July - 2012
June - 2012
May - 2012
April - 2012
March - 2012
February - 2012
January - 2012

Dental News Archives 2011

January - 2011
February - 2011
March - 2011
April - 2011
May - 2011
June - 2011
July - 2011
August - 2011
September - 2011
October - 2011
November - 2011
December - 2011

Dental News Archives 2010

December - 2010
November - 2010
October - 2010
September - 2010
August - 2010
July - 2010
June - 2010
May - 2010
April - 2010
March - 2010
February - 2010
January - 2010

Dental News Archives 2009

December - 2009
November - 2009
October - 2009
September - 2009
August - 2009
July - 2009
June - 2009
May - 2009
April - 2009
March - 2009
February - 2009
January - 2009

Dental News Archives 2008

December - 2008
November - 2008
October - 2008
September - 2008
August - 2008
July - 2008
June - 2008
May - 2008
April - 2008
March - 2008
February - 2008
January - 2008

Dental News Archives 2007

December - 2007
November - 2007
October - 2007
September - 2007
August - 2007
July - 2007
June - 2007
May - 2007
April - 2007
March - 2007
February - 2007
January - 2007

Dental News Archives 2006

December - 2006
November - 2006
October - 2006
September - 2006
August - 2006
July - 2006
June - 2006
May - 2006
April - 2006
March - 2006
February - 2006
January - 2006

Dental News Archives 2005

December - 2005
November - 2005
October - 2005
September - 2005
August - 2005
July - 2005
June - 2005
May - 2005

hide toolbar
Would you like weekly updates on our latest offers? If so enter your email :
Quick Remote Dental Support