Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
Several State of South Carolina employees, a County Coroner, a County Medical Examiner, an Oncologist, a self-styled CAM “lite” practitioner, a private practice attorney, and a newspaper reporter, found out, THE HARD WAY, last Thursday, November 18th, 2004, why it it’s a really BAD idea to rely on any information sucked out of the internet site calling itself “quackwatch.com.”
A South Carolina Judge explained it all to them…
Last Thursday, that South Carolina Judge issued her ruling in a Hearing called by certain employees of South Carolina’s Medical Board system to immediatelyremove Jim Shortt MD’s license to practice medicine alleging that he MURDERED a patient by using Hydrogen Peroxide IV Therapy last March, 2004.
The ruling – an emphatic “CASE DISMISSED!!”
In October of this year, armed agents of several State, County, and Federal departments raided Jim Shortt MD’s Columbia, South Carolina clinic seizing records, and everything, virtually, that wasn’t bolted to the floor. The local media, alerted ahead of time by those agencies, filmed the whole thing. Jim Short was vilified in the local press, primarily by a reporter for “The State” newspaper named Cliff LeBlanc. LeBlanc, in way over-the-top reporting, had accused Jim Shortt of “injecting rocket fuel” into the patient.
Remember LeBlanc’s name – you’ll be reading more about him below. The whole story about Jim Shortt was, of course, written up on “quackwatch.com,” right then.
The Jim Shortt case is so unbelievable it’s hard to find a starting point to begin to tell you about it. To make it simple, I’ll start right from where I first got involved. It’s been a roller-coaster ride. The case has been a literal HELL for Jim Shortt, his family, his business, and his friends – TO THIS POINT. But now, things are going to turn around, and Jim can try to rebuild his life.
The story I’m telling you is one more example of just how rotten, and murderous. the “quackbuster” conspiracy really is. But more, this story tells you how easy it is to turn the situation around if you know what’s actually happening – and who, and what, is actually behind the assault against North America’s cutting-edge health practitioners.
The Jim Shortt Story…
I’ve known Jim Shortt, casually, for several years – mostly through ICIM, IOMA, AAEM, or ACAM meetings which we both attend. We’ve had dinner together at, at least, one of those events. He called me last March after he had been formally accused of murdering tht patient by the County Coroner. Now, I know him, his family, friends, et al, a whole lot better. My gain.
The idea that Jim Shortt, or Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy could murder someone is absolute nonsense. The “quackbusters” and those that relied on their false statements, need to PAY DEARLY for what they did to Jim Shortt. After meeting, and talking, to Jim’s attorneys, I’d say that “pay dearly” project is underway. I’ll keep you informed.
But, our current story begins at the ICIM/IOMA meeting in Atlanta, Georgia this last October 6th through the 10th, 2004. I’ve said before what a great group these people are, and their performance to help Jim Shortt was nothing short of spectacular.
Jim Shortt found me in a hallway, and asked if I could talk to him for a minute. What he told me (the story up-to-date) was shocking. Immediately, we put a plan together to deal with the current emergency, and called in ICIM/IOMA’s “Emergency Response Team” to help. And, help they did.
What was the “emergency?” CBS “60 Minutes” was heading for Jim Shortt’s clinic on Monday… and the news media, so far, had been ripping Jim Shortt, and Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy to pieces. Cliff LeBlanc, at “The State” newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina had sensationalized the Shortt case on the front page of his newspaper, mischaracterizing Shortt and Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy.
But, there was more to LeBlanc. About two years before, LeBlanc had written a glowing article about a local attorney named Richard Gergel. According to his website, Gergel specializes in Medical negligence… and… eighteen wheeler accidents. Gergel is listed on the “Quackwatch Legal Advisory Board.” On November 5th, 2004, Gergel participated in an event put on by the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers called “MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE: Preparing to Win” where he participated in a panel called “Pre-emptive Strike: Stopping the Defense Team in Their Tracks.”
I’m sure Jim Shortt’s attorneys will be asking attorney Gergel about his relationship with “quackwatch.com,” reporter Cliff LeBlanc, the Coroner, the Medical Examiner, and his actions in this case in a very FORMAL manner, soon.
Not long after LeBlanc smeared Jim Shortt on the front page of “The State” newspaper, the New York Times ran a similar article, covering, basically, the same information as “The State.” Then, CBS “60 Minutes” called…
As we know, the “quackbuster’s” New York ad agency frequently arranges for, and misleads, the press in regards to cutting-edge practices. But this time, we were ready for them. “60 Minutes” was invited to fly to Atlanta and interview Jim Shortt’s “peers,” and the IOMA Science committee who had, earlier that day, thoroughly investigated the so-called “homicide” and had given Shortt a clean bill of health – and had, using the patient charts, pointed directly to the REAL cause of death. “60 Minutes” showed up early Sunday morning, and spent the day with us.
The following Thursday, we all met in Columbia, South Carolina where about 20 of Jim Shortt’s patients had volunteered to be interviewed by “60 Minutes,” on camera. They were interviewed. On Saturday, CNN’s Anderson Cooper (Anderson Cooper – 360, 7:00 pm EST M-F – CNN) showed up to interview Jim Shortt on contract to CBS. On Sunday, Jim Shortt was interviewed. And, there was more.
All in all, I spent about thirty hours with “60 Minutes”. Hopefully, I used the time well.
On November 1st, 2004, Jim Shortt was forced into a legal hearing by employees of the South Carolina Medical Board for the purpose of immediately suspending his medical license claiming he was “a danger to the public, due to his use of Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy.” The trial took about two weeks, with the State putting on about seven witnesses, and the defense about twenty. In the end, the Judge ruled for the Defense.
Frankly, the State’s witnesses were simply not credible, and basically told exactly the same story. The basis of their story seemed to be an article written by“quackbuster” Saul Green for the so-called “Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine.” The “Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine,” we know, is owned, and published, by Prometheus Press, the company that publishes all of the “quackbuster” books, and its “Editor” (insert laughter here) is Wallace Sampson MD, who claims as his title “Professor Emeritus at Stanford University.”
Sampson, we know, has NEVER taught at Stanford, and was, not long ago, declared in a PUBLISHED decision on a California Appeals Court to be “biased, and unworthy of credibility.” Saul Green, who has no credentials to write about oxygen therapies at all, has as his claim to fame that he once worked for Sloane-Kettering. His address listed is the same as the notorious American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), well known as a “quackbuster” front, and commonly criticized for its positions.
The common thread throughout the testimony of the State’s witnesses, according to observers, was that they All seem to have been coached, for their testimony, by attorney Richard Gergel. In fact, during cross-examination of the State’s witnesses, it was brought out that Richard Gergel actually wrote, for the complainers, the “Complaint Letters” to the South Carolina State Medical Board.
“60 Minutes” is still on the story, though. We’ll see what happens.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate