Hero cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan shuts down Twitter account following backlash
Hero cancer campaigner, Vicky Phelan, has shut down her Twitter account following online criticism she suffered on Wednesday night.
The terminally ill mother of two from Mooncoin, took the decision after coming under attack from an author and academic, who accused her of spreading misinformation about a treatment she undertakes in her battle with cancer.
Dr David Robert Grimes, who has written a book about medical misinformation, launched his attack against Ms Phelan – the person instrumental in bringing the CervicalCheck scandal to light – by saying she was pushing “dangerous pseudoscience.”
This was in reference to Ms Phelan’s use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a process that involves breathing pure oxygen in an enclosed chamber. In a tweet, Dr Grimes said: “It is certainly not a cancer treatment and can cause active damage.”
The doctor’s tweets seemed to be the catalyst for many more to criticise Ms Phelan. However, there were as many online to defend her, saying due to her prognosis and the ordeal she has been through, she should be let try any treatment she feels may help her.
This support, from some of her 22,400 followers, was not enough to prevent Ms Phelan closing her account.
Vicky Phelan was a frequent user of Twitter, using the platform to highlight issues within the CervicalCheck scandal and to keep her followers up to date with the latest developments.
Earlier this week, she used twitter to defend her fellow victims, after they came under attack from radio presenter and personality, Dr Ciara Kelly.
In an article published in the Sunday Independent, Dr Kelly said: “Many view the ongoing situation with CervicalCheck simply as cause for litigation,” and questioned whether all the good that came out of the CervicalCheck campaign would be “sued into oblivion.”
Ms Phelan was quick to counter Dr Kelly’s opinion on her twitter page, pointing out the legal battles would serve to benefit the families of those women who will die from cancer.
“This is simply not true. Of the 221 group so far, ONLY 6 cases have hit the courts.
“Tell that to my children, and the children of Emma Mhic Mhathuna and Ruth Morrissey, who have successfully sued and who will not see our children grow up,” Ms Phelan tweeted.
This evening, #VICKYPHELAN is trending on twitter, receiving massive support from people, now horrified by the actions Dr Grimes and those who supported him.