The North American “quackbuster” operation is scrambling for survival – because, among other things, the American Court System is “horse-whipping” them.
Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
I just received word about a new Supreme Court Case Decision involving an attack on an innovative health practitioner, Edward W. McDonagh, D.O., from Missouri, who had the common sense to use chelation therapy on his heart patients.
Of course his patients got better, and of course the State, blindly following the recommendations, and the nonsensical statements, found on delicensed MD Stephen Barrett’s ludicrous “quackwatch.com” website, tried to take this dedicated healer’s license to practice medicine away from him.
Not only did they fail, but the resulting Supreme Court Decision has become a landmark, and will be used across the land, as “case law” whenever any State agency is dumb enough, or sleazy enough, to use the “quackbusters” or “quackbuster” dogma, as a resource. The case decision had a lot to say about a lot of issues.
The final words of the Missouri Supreme Court Decision are: “This case needs to be over. The board should end the case itself rather than suffer the indignity of further adverse commission and judicial rulings, to say nothing of the waste of public resources that such proceedings will entail.”
You can read the whole decision by clicking here. When you go to the page you’ll find the decision in two parts. The first part (in green text) is the decision of the Missouri Appeals Court. The second part (in black text) is the words of the Missouri Supreme Court.
Here’s what one of the Missouri Supreme Court Justices said about the State’s action against Doctor McDonagh, and some of the bigoted assumptions made by the State in the McDonagh case:
Physicians are afforded considerable leeway in the use of professional judgment to decide on appropriate treatments, especially when applying the negligence standard. For instance, Hasse v. Garfinkel, 418 S.W.2d 108, 114 (Mo. 1967), a medical negligence case, holds that “as long as there is room for an honest difference of opinion among competent physicians, a physician who uses his own best judgment cannot be convicted of negligence, even though it may afterward develop that he was mistaken.” “Negligence” does not seem an appropriate concept where the physician has studied the problem and has made a treatment recommendation, even though that is not the prevailing view of the majority of the profession. The lack of general acceptance of a treatment does not necessarily constitute a breach of the standard of care. The use of negligence in licensing situations, in the absence of harm or danger, is particularly inappropriate.
One could argue that because chelation therapy is not accepted by mainstream medicine and is an off-label practice not approved by the FDA, it is therefore harmful and dangerous. If that were the board’s position, the licensing statute would thwart advances in medical science. A dramatic example is the treatment of stomach ulcers, which were long thought to be caused by stress. In 1982, two Australians found the bacterium helicobacter pylori in the stomach linings of ulcer victims. Because helicobacter pylori is a bacterium, some physicians — a minority to be sure — began prescribing antibiotics to treat stomach ulcers as an infectious disease. The National Institutes of Health did not recognize antibiotic therapy until 1994; the FDA approved the first antibiotic for use in treating stomach ulcers in 1996; and the Centers for Disease Control began publicizing the treatment in 1997. Today’s physicians accept as fact that most stomach ulcers are primarily caused by helicobacter pylori bacteria infection and not by stress. (FN6) But, by the chronology of this discovery, if a physician in the late 1980s or early 1990s had treated ulcers with antibiotics, that treatment would have been “negligent” as the board in this case interprets that term because inappropriate use of antibiotics can be dangerous.”
Delicensed MD Stephen Barrett, and his nefarious website “quackwatch.com,” the “quackbuster’s” ” bible, is being dropped, as a resource, almost EVERYWHERE. It is court Decisions like this that fuel these actions.
Ironically, and what has to be particularly galling for the “quackbusters.” is that Missouri was the home-base of one of the originators of the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) – John Renner MD. Renner died on the operating room table while undergoing Cardiac Bypass Surgery – in Missouri. Renner was AGAINST chelation therapy, and was probably instrumental in causing this attack against Doctor McDonagh. The Missouri Supreme Court said, very pointedly:
“In contrast, according to the commission, cardiac bypass surgery — an approved therapy for severe athlerosclerosis — has an operative mortality rate of between two and 30 percent, depending on where you are in the United States, and mental impairment occurs in as many as 18 percent of cardiac bypass patients…”
The self-styled National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF), the “quackbuster’s” flagship, has sunk – it is financially insolvent, legally defunct, and its members owe the homeopathic world over $100,000 in legal fees it can’t pay. The NCAHF president, Bobbie Baratz, has been ripped apart in the Courtroom, and his“testifying” income has been curtailed.
Things are not going well for the “quackbusters.” They are not going to survive 2005.
We are heading for a health care “Nuremberg…” And, it’s about time…
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate