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AS IT HAPPENED: Tim Noakes found not guilty of professional misconduct

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21 Apr 2017

Professor Tim Noakes has been found not guilty of misconduct, a professional conduct committee found on Friday.

The majority of the conduct committee found him not guilty.

Read the full report here

21 Apr 2017

21 Apr 2017

The HPCSA has also not proven that Noakes was giving medical advice.

21 Apr 2017

HPCSA has not proven Noakes gave unconventional advice or that the advice was not evidence based, Adams says.

21 Apr 2017

Nothing to suggest that Noakes suggested that mother cease breastfeeding and go on LCHF diet.

21 Apr 2017

Nothing in Tim Noakes' tweet suggests that he intended to dilute the breastfeeding message says Adv Joan Adams.

21 Apr 2017

Not reasonable inference that he was undermining breastmilk. Nothing suggesting he advocated immediate cessation of breastfeeding.

21 Apr 2017

Committee agrees Noakes never obtained background info on Ms Leenstra or her baby.

21 Apr 2017

Can't assume Twitter users are ignorant and vulnerable and need to be protected from themselves, says Adams.

21 Apr 2017

There's no way one can infer Leenstra was hoping for a free medical consultation, Adams says. Noakes was at best someone she'd heard of.

21 Apr 2017

Noakes was happy for others to take part in discussion on his advice and express their opinions, Adams says, which they did.

21 Apr 2017

Twitter account doesn’t say he is a registered doctor or acted as such. No evidence that she considered him her doctor, Adams says.

21 Apr 2017

And baby winds - which Leenstra enquired about - is not an illness, Adams says. Giggles from audience.

21 Apr 2017

She doesn’t address Noakes as 'dear professor or doctor', showing she did not regard him as her doctor. Could be due to character count.

21 Apr 2017

Adv Joan Adams: At no stage did the respondents letter of reply say NO carbs for babies. He says low carbs, high fat.

21 Apr 2017

Adv Joan Adams: The tweet is about breast feeding mothers. It is not babies that are tweeting. It is adult mothers.

21 Apr 2017

Adv Joan Adams: This committee is bound by the HPCSA act. Its tasked with a unique set of facts involving social media

21 Apr 2017

Final section of majority judgment to be delivered after a short break

21 Apr 2017

The HPCSA committee is split over Tim Noakes. 4 of 5 members agree, 1 member holds a different view. The majority judgement being read now.

21 Apr 2017

Dr Pienaar, a bioethics expert: Tim Noakes, although with good intent, did not act as a reasonable doctor when he gave advice on Twitter.

21 Apr 2017

Pienaar said Noakes didn't act as a reasonable doctor. "Even if doctor acted in good faith, could have resulted in negative outcome."

21 Apr 2017

Adv Joan Adams: An expert summary was submitted to the committee suggested "maybe it was a deed of good intent on his part"

21 Apr 2017

HPCSA says Twitter is a 1-on-1 conversation, akin to doctor-patient relationship. Noakes is subject to ethical rules, good practice guidelines.

21 Apr 2017

HPCSA said Noakes replying tweet is ambiguous to message of breastfeeding. Message to encourage this has been global initiative for years.

21 Apr 2017

Noakes not an expert in infant nurtirtion, HPCSA said. Conventional is 6 months breastfeeding and up to two years and beyond.

21 Apr 2017

Pro forma complainant, HPCSA, argued conventional advice is evidence based advice based on guidelines. Must be free of speculation.

21 Apr 2017

Dietitians weighed in, challenging Noakes response. Former Association for Dietetics in SA chair Claire Julsing-Strydom lodged complaint.

21 Apr 2017

Noakes response: "Baby doesn't eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high-fat breast milk. Key is to ween [sic] baby onto LCHF."

21 Apr 2017

Noakes has over 85 000 followers on Twitter, on which he regularly shares articles and research supporting the banting diet.

21 Apr 2017

Tweet read, "@ProfTimNoakes @SalCreed is LCHF eating ok for breastfeeding mums? Worried about all the dairy+cauliflower = wind for babies??"

21 Apr 2017

Unprofessional conduct is defined as acts deemed improper, dishonourable, disgraceful. Noakes was charged after a tweet to Pippa Leenstra.
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