Respectful Insolence

Schadenfreude

Sorry, but I can’t help but feel a bit of schadenfreude over this. Chelationist extraordinaire Dr. Rashid Buttar is, it would appear, in a bit of trouble:

A Huntersville doctor is facing charges of unprofessional conduct.

Dr. Rashid Buttar’s alternative medicine clinic treats autism patients from the around the country, but tonight there are questions about his treatment of cancer patients.

The North Carolina Medical Board’s allegations are spelled out in a 10 page document.

They could ultimately lead to the revocation of Dr. Buttar’s medical license.

He is accused of offering therapies that have no value in the treatment of cancer and charging exorbitant fees in the process.

The accompanying video gives a lot more detail. Autism News Beat has covered Buttar’s previous interview aired the same television station.


Dr. Buttar is a prominent member of the mercury militia who’s been treating autistic children with chelation therapy (and charging a lot of money to do it) for years now. He’s now branched out into cancer therapy, apparently, using IV infusions of vitamins, chromium (what’s that about heavy metals being such toxins?), and various other compounds to treat advanced cancer and claiming a 100% success rate. I would hope that my readers, even those who believe there is some efficacy to alternative therapy, would know that if a doctor or health care provider claims 100% efficacy for his therapies against a fatal disease, you should run, not walk, out of his office forthwith!

In any case, I wonder what Dr. Buttar’s boosters will think of this? No doubt they’ll say it was a conspiracy by conventional medicine and big pharma to bring him down because he was “curing” cancer patients and autistic children. From my perspective, though, all I can say is: What took the North Carolina Medical Board so long to bust Dr. Buttar for his quackery?

Comments

  1. #1 notmercury
    December 8, 2007

    There is that classic quack wisdom that worsening symptoms, such as a severe cough, are an indication that things are getting better. In this case, that the cancer was breaking up when it was in fact spreading. Lovely.

    One thing that crossed my mind while watching this video, the victims were assigned letters for a reason. Will it be a problem that the wife is discussing this publicly while the investigation is in progress?

    I would also guess that Buttar’s protocol is pretty much the same for all types of cancer and probably for any disease.

  2. #2 Freddy the Pig
    December 8, 2007

    “There is that classic quack wisdom that worsening symptoms, such as a severe cough, are an indication that things are getting better. In this case, that the cancer was breaking up when it was in fact spreading. Lovely.”

    Technically that is correct in some cases – especially in the case of the cancer spreading. The death of the patient from the metastisis will stop the growth of the cancer.

  3. #3 PlanetaryGear
    December 8, 2007

    quacks are so lazy. How difficult would it be to come up with several slightly different modalities for your treatment of different classes of cancers. At least break it up enough so that you’re not doing the exact same nothing for each kind of disease. That would probably buy you an extra 6 months to stash your money offshore before the medical boards caught up with you.

  4. #4 Freddy the Pig
    December 8, 2007

    The cynic in me says that he got away with chelating for autism because he wasn’t competing with other doctors, while chelating for chemistry was competition. The non-cynic in me says that chelating for autism was offering quack therapy for something that EBM can not do a lot for, while chelating for cancer could (and probably did) cause people to forgo potentially succsesful treatments thereby causing unnecesary deaths. There is still no excuse for waiting this long to take action against such a quack. Lives have probably been lost as well as bank accounts emptied because of the unwillingness to take action.

    I am appalled at how many chelationists are in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta “Find a Physician” Data Base – self regulating profession my back behind.

  5. #5 S. Rivlin
    December 8, 2007

    The question is does revocation of medical license is punishment enough for a quack who plays with human lives and concomitantly emptying his patients bank accounts?

    Orac, are you aware of any quackery case where legal action beyond revocation of medical license was taken by the legal authorities?

  6. #6 Gilipollas Caraculo
    December 8, 2007

    Cremation is a sure cure for cancer. He’s claiming a 100% success rate?

    The medical industry tracks nursing staffers to detect and identify serial killers in their midst. Why isn’t the the same thing done for doctors?

  7. #7 daedalus2u
    December 8, 2007

    I think the only sanction that the medical board that is doing this investigating can apply is revocation of his medical license. They don’t have the legal authority to put him in prison, or fine him, or force him to compensate his victims. I wish they did.

    I think his victims could sue him and involve the other mercury/chelation quacks under RICO, in that there is a conspiracy to defraud.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraud

    That fraud could even involve Kirby. Certainly he has said things that are false, so as to pump up sales for his book, and donations for his co-conspirators. That is theft by deception. Certainly John Best (and many others of the mercury malacia) are guilty of witness intimidation. The lawsuit against Brian Deer was a clear SLAPP lawsuit. Certainly the garbage that the anti-mercury folks have put into the scientific literature goes beyond simple error and into fraud. Certainly Wakefield is guilty of fraud, those who cite his fraudulent work uncritically for their own advantage are his co-conspirators.

    I think they are counting on the embarassment of the victims to not acknowledge that they were defrauded.

  8. #8 sirhcton
    December 8, 2007

    So, when does this sort of quack “cancer treatment” by a licensed physician lead to their being charged with some form of manslaughter?

  9. #9 Rjaye
    December 8, 2007

    The thing that gets me is that there while there was criticism of this guy, no-one gets involved until someone gets hurt.

    Yet how much damage has this twit done to children because they are under the care of a deluded and desperate parent whose reason has gone out of the door? We won’t know until the more able of these people get away from those who control them, and can tell us.

    Hopefully, this guy getting nailed for ripping off cancer patients will get some focus on the rest of the crap he’s doing.

  10. #10 PalMD
    December 8, 2007

    Schadenfreude implies a guilt in the joy. I feel no shame in rejoicing in the take down of a quack.

  11. #11 DLC
    December 9, 2007

    Sometimes the things these quacks do makes me wish we could permanently affix a glowing neon sign to their head, reading “Quack! Do Not Trust My Medical Advice!” in flashing red.
    So many of these people do what they do, knowing full well that their “intervention” will have either no beneficial effect or cause an adverse outcome.

    I agree with PalMD — I feel no guilt at all at these quacks getting their comeuppance.

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