Dr. Cyriac Abby Philips Criticizes Samantha Ruth Prabhu for Spreading Misinformation About Alternative Therapies

Actor Samantha Ruth Prabhu has once again found herself at the center of controversy after being publicly criticized by Dr. Cyriac Abby Philips, also known as The Liver Doc, for promoting what he described as ‘misinformation online’. The well-known hepatologist took issue with Samantha’s endorsement of hydrogen peroxide nebulisation as an alternative therapy for treating viral infections, a claim he firmly rebutted on social media.

Dr. Abby Philips responded to Samantha’s post with a detailed critique on X (formerly known as Twitter), where he expressed deep concerns over her recommendations. In his extensive note, he addressed Samantha’s response to his initial post and accused her of being a ‘serial offender’ when it comes to spreading healthcare misinformation. He wrote, “Ms. Samantha Ruth Prabhu has responded to my ‘provocative’ criticism of her endorsement of unscientific, pseudoscientific, and baseless alternative medicine therapies by playing the victim card and endorsing more alternative practices.”

He did not stop there. The Liver Doc further condemned the actress’s actions, stressing the responsibilities that celebrities hold in public health communication. In a scathing rebuke, he stated, “She (Samantha) is a serial offender in the context of healthcare misinformation, and she has been in the line of fire previously too. The reason why doctors like me have to spend (waste) time from our busy schedules to fight misinformation online is because it is peddled by large influential ‘celebrity’ accounts that have no regard for public health. Engagement and monetization is their concern. Public health and disease prevention is mine. I (we) will be provocative, strongly criticize, be blatant, and brutal with facts because we have no time to waste, catering to emotions.”

Dr. Phillips went on to express his disappointment in Samantha’s conduct, implying he had hoped for better judgment from someone who claimed to want to ‘improve’. He elaborated, “This is far from an improvement. A rational and logical response would be to delete the public health endangering posts and apologize to her millions of followers and vouch to never quote or cite fraudulent practices or practitioners.

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He pointed out the severe consequences of such misinformation and urged celebrities to adopt a more informed and responsible approach towards public health communication. He concluded his statement with a stern reminder, “If celebrity influencers really want to impact people positively, then start unlearning and re-learn, develop critical thinking skills, disregard logical fallacies, and stand up for medical science instead of ‘playing victim’ of the same science that is helping you, and all of us, survive into the future.”

The controversy escalated when Samantha released a post in her defense. Reacting to the backlash, she explained that her intentions were not malicious when she shared the alternative therapy. She elaborated, “Over the last couple of years, I’ve had to take many different types of medicines. I’ve tried everything I was strongly advised to take. As advised by highly qualified professionals and after doing as much self-research as is possible for a layperson like me.”

Her statement, however, did little to mollify her critics, who reiterated the dangerous implications of her recommendations. Dr. Philips particularly lambasted her for suggesting alternative therapies that lack scientific validation and could potentially pose health risks to her millions of followers.

The skirmish between the health professional and the actress has highlighted the increasingly significant role that social media influencers play in public health discourse. With vast followings, celebrity endorsements can often sway public opinion, making it imperative for influencers to prioritize accuracy and credibility when endorsing health practices. The ramifications of spreading unverified medical advice can be severe, leading to misinformed health decisions by the public.

Moreover, in a digital age where misinformation spreads rapidly, the involvement of credible professionals in countering false narratives becomes essential. Dr. Philips’ challenge to Samantha Ruth Prabhu underscores the ongoing struggle between established medical science and alternative health practices promoted by public figures.

The dialogue between the medical community and influencers like Samantha Ruth Prabhu represents a crucial juncture in public health advocacy. It calls for a balanced, informed approach to health communication that prioritizes scientific integrity and the public’s well-being. As this debate unfolds, it offers an opportunity for both celebrities and health professionals to work together in fostering a more informed and healthy society.