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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 June, 2005, 20:36 GMT 21:36 UK
Criticism for 'deadly doctor' ad
A Devon publisher was branded "irresponsible" after a book advert claimed people were more likely to be killed by a doctor than a drink driver.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it was misleading, offensive and denigrated the medical profession.

How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You was written by Vernon Coleman and published by Barnstaple-based Publishing House.

The author claimed it was "improper" for the ASA to comment on the advert, which has now been withdrawn.

He said the book has been promoted with the same title for nine years without complaint.

Protect yourself

He argued the book was designed to protect vulnerable people and said it was honest and helpful.

He also restated his belief that doctors are one of the four most common causes of death along with cancer, stroke and heart disease, although precise figures were not available.

The ASA had been unhappy with the advert which declared: "The person most likely to kill you is not a burglar, a mugger, a deranged relative or a drunken driver.

"The person most likely to kill you is your doctor. This book explains how to protect yourself from this serious threat to your life and good health."

Publishing House was told to change the advert and seek guidance from a copy advice team.

The ASA ruled no evidence had been used to back up the claim that your doctor is more likely to kill you than a burglar, a mugger or a deranged relative.

And it ruled its other claims were "irresponsible" and "likely to discourage vulnerable people from seeking essential medical treatment".

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