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18 Constitutional Right Of Freedom Of Speech




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This article is from the Amalgam and Mercury-free Dentistry FAQ.

18 Constitutional Right Of Freedom Of Speech


As Bio-Probe has previously reported, the American Dental Association
(ADA) has taken the position in a court of law that it may make any
representations it wishes on the ''amalgam'' issue without fear of
civil liability. In the July 1995 (Vol. 11, Issue 4), Bio-Probe
reported that the ADA had successfully argued in court that it owed no
legal duty to dental patients who were injured by exposure to mercury
from amalgam. The ADA also successfully argued in the same case that
representations it had made concerning the alleged safety of amalgam,
whether true or false, constituted protected free speech under the
First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In a letter dated 10 August
1995 from Dr. John Zapp, Executive Director of the ADA, the ADA
confirmed its view that representations concerning amalgam were
protected by the First Amendment. The letter, which was reprinted in
its entirety in the September 1995 issue of ''Bio-Probe Newsletter''
(Vol. 11, Issue 5), stated: ''It is a fundamental tenet of free speech
that truth is most likely to be discovered in the free marketplace of
competing ideas, rather than in courts of law. The ADA makes no
apology for defending the free exchange of scientific information on
the safety of dental amalgam.'' Mercury-free dentists are left to
wonder if Dr. Zapp and the ADA are willing to apologize for the
persecution of dentists who, after examining the scientific evidence
demonstrating the hazards presented by amalgam, have been led to a
contrary conclusion. If the ADA's unfounded representations concerning
amalgam safety constitute protected speech, then the well-founded
representations of mercury-free dentists concerning amalgam dangers
must also constitute protected speech.

 

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