I fear that Sarah Hershberger is now doomed

I am afraid. I am afraid that the Amish girl with cancer whose parents’ battle to treat her with “natural” therapy instead of effective science-based chemotherapy has made international news, is doomed. It might take longer than doctors have estimated, but it seems inevitable now. I will explain.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two months since I first became aware of the case of Sarah Hershberger, the now 11-year-old Amish girl from Medina County, Ohio near Akron with lymphoblastic lymphoma whose parents stopped her chemotherapy after only two rounds. It was around that time that, after having failed before, the hospital caring for the Sarah, Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH), succeeded in having the court appoint a medical guardian, which caused the alternative medicine world to lose its mind. After that, reports started coming out of the cancer quackery underground that Sarah’s parents, Andy and Anna Hershberger, had fled the country to avoid the court order that appointed a medical guardian for her to make sure that she received appropriate science-based therapy. At the time I was unable to confirm these stories in the mainstream press. However, over the long Thanksgiving weekend, the story was confirmed in the mainstream media.

Something else happened last week that has bearing on the case. Specifically, apparently the nurse who agreed to be the appointed medical guardian for Sarah, Maria Schimer, resigned. According to a press release published on David Michael’s (also known as David Augenstein’s) Journal of Natural Food and Health website from the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, which, as “health freedom” activists so frequently do, falsely and ignorantly downplays Sarah’s cancer, “Sarah’s mild form of cancer is a type that can and is being treated without chemotherapy.” Sarah’s cancer is not “mild.” It is aggressive, albeit curable with an intensive two year course of chemotherapy. If the cancer were “mild,” it wouldn’t require such aggressive treatment. In any case, this is the sound of the 1851 Center for Constitutional law crowing while either lying or being willfully ignorant (take your pick) about the seriousness of Sarah’s disease:

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law today accepted the Resignation as Limited Guardian of a state official attempting to, on behalf of the State and Akron Children’s Hospital, force chemotherapy on ten-year-old Sarah Hershberger.

While the resignation still requires the signature of Probate Judge Kevin Dunn, Judge Dunn is expected to approve the resignation sometime next week, effectively ending the two-month stand-off with Sarah’s parents, Andy and Anna Hershberger, who, concerned that the chemotherapy was killing their daughter, sought the right to first try a less invasive alternative treatment that the hospital did not provide.

Andy and Anna, after the Court’s order, left the country to pursue an alternative treatment and prevent Sarah from being taken from them. The family reports that Sarah has responded well to the alternative treatment, the cancer is receding, and she is in excellent physical condition.

If the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law is correct and the parents now seem nearly certain to prevail, Sarah Hershberger will almost certainly die, unless she happens to be one of the lucky minority of children with this form of cancer whose tumor not only went into complete remission after two rounds of chemotherapy, but doesn’t recur in a more resistant form, as most such cancers do. As I’ve pointed out time and time again in cases like this, oncologists don’t use a two year course of chemotherapy because they like to torture children. They use a two year course of chemotherapy because that’s what it takes to produce the 85% five year survival that the current standard of care for lymphoblastic lymphoma can produce. Its lofty claims of fighting for “parental rights” notwithstanding, the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law is in reality fighting to let Sarah Hershberger die a horrible death from cancer. Sure, it doesn’t see it that way, but medical science is quite clear that Sarah’s death will be the likely result of the actions of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law and everyone else who helped the Hershbergers win the right to treat Sarah with “natural” therapies. Already her chances of survival are fading. We just don’t know how much because we don’t know enough about her clinical situation.

The hospital that treated Sarah Hershberger, Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH), strikes me an excellent children’s hospital. I had occasional dealings with patients who had been treated there back when I was doing my surgical residency in Cleveland. Moreover, the administration of ACH has earned my respect by its willingness to go to court to make sure that Sarah Hershberger has the best chance of surviving her cancer that science-based medicine can give her. The hospital has paid a price. Believers in alternative cancer therapies and parental rights activists regularly descend on any media report or blog post about Sarah Hershberger and castigate the hospital as being “fascist” or wanting to “poison” Sarah in order to make obscene profits giving her chemotherapy. Its Facebook page is routinely home to the vilest slurs against the hospital, all based on the Hershberger case, such as:

So happy to see that you weren’t able to poison Sarah, and that she’s now healthy thanks to natural treatment in South America

The charge that ACH is doing this because of the allegedly enormous profit it will receive from treating Sarah Hershberger is particularly ridiculous because it surely hasn’t been cheap for the hospital to pursue legal action through numerous appeals that now appear to be headed for the Ohio Supreme Court, to the point that it’s likely that the hospital, even if Sarah comes back and receives the rest of her therapy, will lose money on the case. The hospital has also endured accusations that it administered “experimental” chemotherapy without properly getting the Hershberger’s informed consent. The pressure that has been brought to bear on the hospital, both in terms of the expense of continuing the legal action and the PR nightmare it has endured over its decision to try to save the life of a girl whose parents, through a combination of religious beliefs, inability to bear watching their child suffer, and what definitely sounds like misunderstandings between Sarah’s oncologists and her parents, has made me wonder how much longer the hospital would continue. After all, ACH is being accused of conflicts of interest, of only wanting to “poison” Sarah Hershberger to make enormous profits, and of doing unauthorized research without informed consent. Any physician who’s ever worked for an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center knows that these charges are almost certainly nonsense, borne of a combination of misunderstandings between the Hershbergers and ACH and “health freedom” activists taking advantage of them, but there comes a time when being unable to counter them publicly due to being involved in legal proceedings starts to wear on even an organization as committed to children’s health as ACH clearly is.

That’s why I wasn’t too surprised when news reports started percolating out that Ohio Amish Girl Won’t Be Forced to Have Chemo and Maria Schrimer had relinquished guardianship. I was wondering as long as a month ago how much longer ACH could keep this up, and, even more, how much longer Schimer could weather the incredible abuse that was being heaped on her for trying to do the right thing for Sarah. It’s not at all surprising that she decided:

“We don’t know where the little girl is,” said Dickinson, an attorney for Schimer. “We’ve kind of inferred that we’re not going to see her again, so it doesn’t make sense for this to continue.”

He said her family is saying she’s cancer-free as the result of natural treatments, including vitamins and herbs.

“If she is, that’s great,” Dickinson said.

“On the other hand, the undisputed medical testimony was that she would die in six months to a year without treatment.

“If she’s not cancer-free, it may be too late for chemotherapy to help her.”

And:

Dickinson said Schimer’s resignation isn’t final until Probate Judge Kevin W. Dunn accepts it. Once Dunn does, Dickinson said he plans to file a brief with the Ohio Supreme Court to say the case is moot.

“Maria’s purpose and the hospital’s purpose was to do anything we could to assist this little girl,” Dickinson said, “and we wish her well.”

It sure sounds to me as though ACH is washing its hands of the case. On the one hand, it saddens me greatly that ACH would make this decision, but on the other hand I really have a hard time blaming the ACH administration for doing so, given the expense, low likelihood of prevailing before the Ohio Supreme Court, and the continued distraction this one case has become to its mission. Most hospitals probably wouldn’t have fought as long and hard as ACH did to save the life of this child. Of course, I’d like to think that most county health authorities would not have declined to intervene, as was the case in Medina County.

So where is Sarah Hershberger and her family, anyway?

So where did Sarah Hershberger and her family flee six weeks ago, and what “alternative treatments” has she been receiving. Given my history of interest in cases like this, I was curious, and I figured that our readers would be interested in knowing as well. News reports seem to indicate that the Hershberger family fled to somewhere in Central America. I’ve also heard claims that the family fled to South America. David Michael reports that she is receiving these treatments:

Andy explained in general terms some of the treatment and nutritional supplements, including high doses of vitamin C and B17, oxygen therapy, detoxification methods, as well as the IV chelation to deliver some of these to Sarah’s bloodstream. He also explained how the doctors arrived at a cancer-free status. She is now on a special diet including lots of vegetables and raw foods and taking special natural supplements, as prescribed by the foreign doctors. Anna said they really needed to leave the area to escape the harassment, fear and pressure they had and have Sarah take biomedical therapy. Sarah only spoke a few words that included she is doing fine and feeling good and wants to come home. She is being schooled during the day while the mother also cares for the baby they needed to bring along. Sarah was very shy–this was likely to her first telephone call.

It would appear that Sarah is receiving a veritable cornucopia of quackery. For example, high dose vitamin C is ineffective against cancer, or so minimally effective as to be useless, while “vitamin B17” is nothing more than that old discredited warhorse of cancer quackery, laetrile. Chelation therapy for cancer is a form of quackery favored by practitioners like Dr. Rashid Buttar. “Detoxification” is a generic form of treatment favored by quacks, particularly naturopaths, as are “special diets.” From the description of Sarah’s treatments, I wonder if she is undergoing some sort of variant of the Gerson protocol, which involves a lot of supplements, often a vegan diet, and frequent coffee enemas to “detoxify.”

Naturally—ahem—I was curious which clinic among the many quack clinics that exist in Central America is treating Sarah. Remember, Costa Rica was where Dan Heckenlively took his autistic daughter for intrathecal injections of “stem cells.” I found a few, although most centers that come up on searches are, in fact, in Mexico. For example, there is Centro Harmony in Costa Rica; Ageless Wonders in Panama (which is a medical tourism service that hooks up foreigners with medical services, including mainly alternative medicine services); and several others, such as Robert B. Wickman in Ecuador. Unfortunately, it’s not clear at all where the Hershbergers took Sarah to be treated; it could also have been to one of the many alternative cancer treatment clinics in Mexico as well. I’m guessing that we’ll find out eventually. Now that there is no longer the threat of the law coming to bring Sarah home, there’s no reason not to reveal the clinic anymore, although it wouldn’t surprise me if David Michael and the Hershbergers keep it secret as long as they can. No doubt they don’t want nasty skeptics like me taking too close a look at what quack treatments these clinics offer.

Parental rights versus children’s rights

What is at the center of the Sarah Hershberger saga is more than just quackery versus science-based medicine, although that it part of it. It’s more than just about how difficult it is for parents like the Hershbergers, particularly if they have a tendency towards alternative medicine already, to bear watching their children suffer through cancer treatment. It’s also about more than just the perils and pitfalls of communicating with parents whose knowledge of science is not sophisticated and who misunderstand why it’s necessary to continue treatment for childhood cancers for longer than two years. Remember, from their standpoint, if the tumors have shrunk away to seemingly nothing after only two doses, it is not at all unreasonable to wonder why more toxic chemotherapy is necessary. The tumors are gone, right?

Since I first started blogging at my not-so-super-secret other blog back in 2004, I’ve covered a number of cases like that of Sarah Hershberger, such as Daniel Hauser, Abraham Cherrix, and Katie Wernecke. These stories are depressingly similar, as are the arguments that go on over them, as I’ve discussed before.

Cases like that of Sarah Hershberger are also directly attributable to the “health freedom” movement—or, as I like to refer to it, the freedom from pesky interference from laws and regulations designed to protect patients from quacks. I’ve said many times before that competent adults have the right to refuse any and all treatments and choose quackery if that is what they want to do. Acknowledging that right, however, is only part of what the “health freedom” movement is about. The other part is to free quacks from the shackles of having to abide by FDA and FTC regulations designed to protect consumers from false medical claims and allow them to claim anything they want.

Sometimes these goals entwine with various political movements, particularly libertarian or libertarian-leaning political movements. For example, in 2011, Ohio voters passed a “health freedom” amendment to its constitution. Obviously, this amendment was intended to shield Ohio from the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. However, in the Hershberger case, the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law is using it as an argument for why Sarah Hershberger should not be compelled to undergo chemotherapy, although how this amendment applies to a child whose parents are subjecting her to medical neglect—and, make no mistake, that is what the Hershbergers are doing, as well-intentioned as they are—is beyond me. (Perhaps Jann Bellamy will help me out here.)

“Health freedom” amendments and laws aside, this is about more than just antivaccinationists. This deference to parental rights over the health of the child plays out again and again and again in these chemotherapy “refusenik” stories. Daniel Hauser? His mother ran away with him. Fortunately, the story had a happy ending, with the Hausers ultimately accepting science-based treatment. Abraham Cherrix and Katie Wernecke? Their parents ran away with them, too. In particular, Cherrix’s story, which is still going on as he continues to battle recurrences of his lymphoma, even led to a horrible law in Virginia known as “Abraham’s law,” that states that the parents of a child at least 14 years old with a life-threatening disease or condition could refuse medically recommended treatment without the refusal being considered medical neglect, provided (1) the parents and child made the decision jointly, (2) the child is sufficiently mature to have an informed opinion on the treatment, (3) other treatments have been considered, and (4) they believe in good faith that their choice is in the child’s best interest. Unfortunately, this law essentially opened the door for a 14-year-old with a life-threatening illness to be given whatever quackery he or his parents choose, in place of treatment with proven efficacy.

Now it’s Sarah Hershberger’s turn. The fact is that no one wants to take a child away from her parents, and no hospital wants to, either, the rants about big pharma profiteering as a motive for crushing parental prerogatives notwithstanding. In the case of ACH, the easiest course of action would have been for the doctors there to shrug their shoulders and mourn the lost of another child to superstition after having done their best to persuade the parents of the disastrous outcome their decision would lead to. It didn’t. The hospital tried to stand up to defend the best interests of the child, the best interests of Sarah Hershberger. It failed. Unfortunately, now that the Ohio Supreme Court will likely moot the case because there is no longer anyone assigned to be her medical guardian (or even anyone petitioning to be her guardian), Sarah Hershberger is likely to die unnecessarily in a manner far worse than what she would suffer if her parents let the doctors treat her with chemotherapy as she needs.

Thanks, David Michael and the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. Yours won’t be a victory for parental rights. It will be a major defeat for children and their right to effective medical treatment. Particularly disturbing is how Sarah’s impending demise doesn’t appear to matter much to them beyond making them feel obligated to downplay the seriousness of Sarah’s cancer. They care far more about “parental rights” than they do about Sarah’s life. I only hope that Andy and Anna Hershberger figure that out before it’s too late.

Comments

  1. #1 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 19, 2013

    David,

    Name the alternative treatment or diet that is guaranteed to cure cancer and provide a link to the study that conclusively proves it.

    Also, everyone knows that you get paid for every message you post here. I think that’s unethical.

  2. #2 AdamG
    December 19, 2013

    David, how many testimonials would it take for you to believe that a certain treatment is effective? How did you arrive at that number?

  3. #3 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    Why are so many MDs against Gerson?

    Because he’s as full of shıt as you are, albeit with a drainage strategy. Gerson is effectively Gonzalez, and Gonzalez has failed, big-time. Try to stick to one “point.”

  4. #4 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Sarah

    This is a testimonial from a survivor, a real person. Why is it you think his testimonial does not matter? I would think this would spark curiosity and imagination of possibility… outside of the selective book knowledge pumped in by big pharmaceutical companies pushing their drugs for major profit.

  5. #5 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Narad

    lol, ok. So Gerson is full of shit? I really hope you are not an MD.

  6. #6 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    Not sure if that’s the one or not, but I’ll look into this.

    What the fυck do you mean you’re “not sure”? You’ve already admitted that you didn’t know what you were referring to. Guess what? This is from the year you specified, states what you specified, and accords with your half-assed description of the time frame.

  7. #7 AdamG
    December 19, 2013

    This is a testimonial from a survivor, a real person. Why is it you think his testimonial does not matter?

    Because neither the survivor nor anyone else have any way of knowing whether his remission was spontaneous, which happens at low but measurable rates, or if the remission was caused by the treatment.

    That’s why I asked you how many testimonials are sufficient. 1? 10? 100?

  8. #8 TBruce
    December 19, 2013

    Why are so many MDs against Gerson?

    Here’s why: http://www.skepdic.com/gersontherapy.html
    Check out the references at the end, too.

  9. #9 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 19, 2013

    Testimonials are unreliable sources of data because a) they’re not necessarily factual, b) they tend to be affected by the testifier’s biases, and c) they don’t always accurately ascribe effect to cause.

    This is not to say the people involved are lying. They may well be accurately reporting what they remember. They may be incorrect.

    An example from some months ago: there was a person who claimed that homeopathy cured his frequent gout flareups. The way he described it, he would start taking one of several homeopathic products that claimed to be good for gout. However, the product that worked last time never worked the next time, so he’d try another, then another, then eventually his gout would subside!

    There are also people who are convinced that horoscopes work or that wearing the same clothes to every baseball game will help their team get the pennant. I’m sure they can make very convincing testimonials as well.

  10. #10 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 19, 2013

    David, we have a little practice here that we call “ultimatum questions”. We usually don’t bring it out this early, but because you insist on addressing directly the person most likely to be intensely hurt by your f*ck-ignorant spewing of evil conspiracy theories, the timetable is being moved up for you.

    Here’s how it works. We ask you a question. You must give us your answer within your next three comments, on this or any other thread. If you fail to do so, the answer will be filled in for you and you will be treated as having affirmatively given that answer.

    Here is your question: “What evidence supports your claim that, quote, ‘doctors receive thousands of dollars in financial kick back every time they prescribe chemo’?” (And no, it will not be sufficient to point to isolated cases. You were the one who chose to say “every time they prescribe chemo”; now you have the responsibility to back up that claim, not any watered-down version of such.)

    If you do not answer, you will be taken as having given the following answer, and you will be referred to as having given this answer: “I have no evidence at all to back up that accusation, or any of the other accusations I have made about the practice of chemotherapy. I decided to talk as if I actually had some knowledge of my subject, but in reality, I just have prejudices and I invent things from my own imagination that match up with my prejudices and misrepresent them to people as facts.”

    Maybe you don’t like the idea of having that go down as your official position. In that case, it’s actually very easy to avoid that: start backing up the claims you chose to make. Back it up or pack it up, your choice.

  11. #11 Johanna
    December 19, 2013

    @David

    Testimonials are not an equivalent to actual, y’know, science.

    My problem with Gerson and the other quacks? Adequately answered by other folks who’ve stopped by in the meantime. There’s no point in my repeating them.

    As for my husband’s treatment: it was a combination of surgery and chemo. He survived three years, post diagnosis and had a pretty good quality of life – all things considered. No idea how long it would have been if he went an “alternative” route, but I’m sure it would have been much, much less.

  12. #12 Mrs Woo
    December 19, 2013

    @David:

    You make unsubstantiated assertions with no documentation, continually repeat them without any references, etc. It makes it seem unlikely that you are just a true believer.

    I don’t have the fancy education of many here. I’m just a middle of the USA housewife. Can I ask you a question?

    Why is it that Dr. Burzynski, unlike other researchers, charges those who are in his clinical trials, as well as adding large profit mark-ups to conventional (yes, he prescribes those, too) chemotherapies, and only allows those to be administered at his clinic?

    Why do you hold him to high esteem while painting every other oncologist in the country with such a broad (and rather unlikely to be true) brush?

  13. #13 Shay
    December 19, 2013

    Aw…are we being mean to poor li’l ol’ David, just cause he came busting in here telling us we’re clueless idiots and now is being forced to back up so fast he’s leaving skid marks?

    And he’s hurt because we’re insulting him.

    This is the classic way Doctors sell patients on chemo also isn’t it? Spin right out of the issue, avoid it and focus on something else. Obviously, i’m talking about a common understanding as it’s widely believed that most if not all doctors who prescribe chemo drugs get commission pay.

    Prove it. Produce a list of the doctors who do this. Put up or shut up, you hypocritical mealy-mouth whiner.

  14. #14 LW
    December 19, 2013

    We need a better class of troll. This one is so thick you could use him to stop X-rays.

  15. #15 Sarah A
    December 19, 2013

    This is a testimonial from a survivor, a real person. Why is it you think his testimonial does not matter?

    I just have a couple of things to add to what’s already been said. Firstly, did you read the comments under this video? Did you notice the one where someone talked about his sister who refused chemo and died from cancer? Why do you think his testimonials doesn’t matter, David? For every anecdote there is an equal and opposite anecdote.

    Also, since you’re so concerned about potential conflicts of interest, I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear that the cancer survivor interviewed is selling a book about his experience (just $19.53 from amazon.com!) and that Chris is shilling for various supplement manufacturers. Other sites I’ve been to openly tell you that if you click their links to buy something from amazon, they get a small percentage. I don’t know if this is the case with Chris’ site or not, but it’s strange that he doesn’t even address the question, don’t you think?

  16. #16 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    @Narad

    lol, ok. So Gerson is full of shit? I really hope you are not an MD.

    Have I ever claimed to be an MD, halfwit? Hey, wait a second, who am I?

    I’m wondering how I can get my hands on this study. Scary statistics and to think this came from a 12 year long study! wow.

    What I did claim to do is your homework for you. So perhaps you could plug your gob for long enough to compose an appropriate thank-you. Unless, of course, you’re too damn busy changing the subject.

    Where are those “kick backs,” again?

    And, yes, Gerson is full of shıt.

    Tell me exactly what happens when you swallow “pancreatin.”

  17. #17 TBruce
    December 19, 2013

    @Narad

    lol, ok. So Gerson is full of shit? I really hope you are not an MD.

    That’s all you’ve got to say? There’s a big fat failure of Gerson “therapy” placed right in front of you that you’re ignoring. Why should I expect otherwise?

  18. #18 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    December 19, 2013

    There is a hardcore nut fringe you’re never going to reach with logical arguments, facts, or scientific results. Shall we say…27%? For those who were skeptical about the Crazification Factor the other day: Death Panels Live!

  19. #19 Militant Agnostic
    December 19, 2013

    Calli

    No, I did not know that, because it’s not true.

    I am definitely stealing that.

    LW

    We need a better class of troll. This one is so thick you could use him to stop X-rays.

    Never mind X-rays, this dolt is thick enough to stop neutrinos.

  20. #20 herr doktor bimler
    December 20, 2013

    So Gerson is full of shit?

    That would certainly explain his fixation with enemas.
    As for the troll, someone ring the septic tank maintenance crew; this one’s overflowing.

  21. #21 jane
    December 20, 2013

    It seems like David, above, is attempting to reference the well-known fact that many chemo drugs are purchased and administered by oncologists who are then reimbursed at a profit, and folks here are responding by equating such oncologists to “unicorns” and calling him “evil.” Well, I have no opinion on the latter. But here are some relevant publications on unicorns – I mean physician-dispensed chemo:

    PM Danzon and E Taylor. Drug pricing and value in oncology. Oncologist 2010;15(Suppl. 1):24-31. Full text available from:
    http://theoncologist.alphamedpress.org/content/15/suppl_1/24.long

    Notes that since 2005, Medicare has reimbursed physicians for medication they dispense in their offices at the manufacturer’s average selling price plus 6%. While initially this reduced dispensing physicians’ *profit margins*, in the long run it “creates perverse incentives for manufacturers to compete by charging high rather than low prices, because a higher price offers a larger margin to the dispensing physician and this may influence prescribing, other things equal.”

    That is, if a doctor is choosing between $10,000 of chemo that will net his office $600 profit or $100,000 of chemo that will net them $6000 [not counting office visit costs], there might be a temptation to think of the latter as better. To support the assertion of potential influence, these authors cite:

    M. Jacobson et al. Does reimbursement influence chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients? Health Aff. 2006;25:437-443. Full text available from:
    http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/25/2/437.full.pdf+html

    This study dealt with patients treated between 1995 and 1998, at which time “Medicare reimbursed physicians for chemotherapy drugs at rates that greatly exceeded physicians’ costs for those drugs.” The study found that high reimbursement rates did not significantly effect the decision to give some form of chemo to metastatic cancer patients, but “[p]roviders who were more generously reimbursed, however, prescribed more-costly chemotherapy regimens to metastatic breast, colorectal, and lung cancer patients.”

    A linked comment on this study published by Gregory Pawelski is suggestively titled “Selling cancer chemotherapy with concessions creates conflicts of interest for oncologists.” Dr. Pawelski explains the situation as follows:

    “The shift in the United States … to community-based, ambulatory sites for treating the majority of the nation’s cancer patients has prompted … additional costs to the government and Medicare beneficiaries…. Typically, doctors give patients prescriptions for drugs that are then filled at pharmacies. But medical oncologists bought chemotherapy drugs themselves, often at prices discounted by drug manufacturers trying to sell more of their products, and then administered them intravenously to patients in their offices…. The result is that the medical oncologist selects the product, selects the vendor, decides the markup, conceals details of the transaction to the degree they wish, and delivers the product on their own terms including time, place, and modality…. It’s not that all medical oncologists are bad people. It’s just that the system is rotten and still poses an impossible conflict of interest…. Social science research shows that people can be biased by self-interest without being aware of it.”

    So indeed, if you spend $20,000 on physician-dispensed chemo, some of that does go into the doctor’s pocket. David above seems to make other assertions that might well be questioned, but as I keep trying to explain, if someone mentions a well-known fact that he knows to be a fact and you respond by bellowing abuse at him, it’s not going to go far towards convincing him that you Know Better on issues about which he has less rational reason for certainty.

  22. #22 Narad
    December 20, 2013

    as I keep trying to explain, if someone mentions a well-known fact that he knows to be a fact and you respond by bellowing abuse at him, it’s not going to go far towards convincing him that you Know Better on issues about which he has less rational reason for certainty

    You didn’t read the comments very carefully, did you? This has already been observed.

    Notes that since 2005, Medicare has reimbursed physicians for medication they dispense in their offices at the manufacturer’s average selling price plus 6%.

    Post-sequester, 4%. This has already been observed. Nearly as much has been conceded to David as is possible. And there are still no “kick backs.” Do you want to talk about Section 340B of the PHSA?

  23. #23 TBruce
    December 20, 2013

    jane:

    I think David might have attracted less shzt and abuse if he had provided some support for his claims, and not stated point blank that chemo was chosen for patients based only on the profit motive. He is a dope. Nothing terrible about that, except when said dope claims to have all the answers, and doesn’t consider what others have to contribute.

  24. #24 herr doktor bimler
    December 20, 2013

    It was obvious from david’s first post (#99) that yelled abuse is precisely what he is seeking. Not to mention his subsequent argumentative style of bad faith, mendacity and general bullsh1t. He wants to be shouted at, people want to shout at him, evidently it is a mutually-satisfying situation.

  25. #25 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 20, 2013

    jane,

    What David said was

    Did you know that chemotherapy is the only drug in the US that doctors receive thousands of dollars in financial kick back every time they prescribe chemo? Let me say that again, doctors receive a huge commission check for prescribing chemo.

    I haven’t had time to review the links you provided, but did they say:
    1. that doctors receive “kick back” for prescribing chemotherapy drugs?
    2. that doctors receive a “commission check” for prescribing chemotherapy drugs?
    3. that doctors receive this compensation for chemotherapy drugs and only chemotherapy drugs?

    Thanks.

  26. #26 jane
    December 20, 2013

    I didn’t read all the way back to post 99, but when a doctor buys a drug for $10,000, administers it in his office, then gets both paid for the office visit and procedure and reimbursed $10,600 for the drug – or now $10,400 – or perhaps more if private insurance is involved – then it’s entirely accurate to refer to that $600, $400, or whatever as a “commission.” While “kickback” might be an ugly way to describe the practice, it’s no uglier than some of the namecalls and straw men David got for arguing about it. And yes, this practice is almost entirely limited to chemotherapy drugs. In other fields, your doctor may be pushing an expensive drug you don’t Need down your throat because some rep has convinced him to, but he’s not going to be buying Pradaxa for $9 a pill and selling it to you for $10 a pill; in fact he could be severely disciplined for doing so.

  27. #27 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 20, 2013

    jane – I have to disagree. I’d call that a profit. The doctor bought the drug, he resold it.

    I used to deliver newspapers. I bought newspapers from my district manager, I sold them to customers. I did not get a commission for selling papers.

  28. #28 Johanna
    December 20, 2013

    Jane – have you never heard of operating expenses?

  29. #29 Shay
    December 20, 2013

    jane, I hope you’re not a business major.

  30. #30 David
    December 20, 2013

    The monetary benefit in question that doctors receive for prescribing chemo can’t get past semantics or insults on this forum. So many stories like the one below raise serious question.

    It seems there is a markup program that big pharma sales people present to doctors and doctors often take part in. You people call it smart business? WTF?? Why should there be a markup for this drug? If it works isn’t that good enough? A hefty markup in the retail industry is a strategy to entice retailers to carry the product simply because the retailers make more money, therefor the product company makes more money. Markup puts a weird twist on the whole doctor/patient relationship; the patient may die or get brain damage, but the doctor is making a nice markup regardless of whether the drug works because the patient is also signing a waiver that relieves doctors and hospitals from any responsibility from side effects or even death. Since markup has been somewhat admitted by several folks on this forum as being normal for doctors when prescribing, purchasing and reselling chemotherapeutic drugs, it confirms, what I’ve been hearing.

    Then there’s a bigger issue that isn’t as easy to uncover due to all those corrupt doctors protecting their money, one that is even more corrupt in which there are a lot of claims by doctors out there that are sold into receiving monetary gain as a result of prescribing chemotherapy drugs. Hopefully the term “monetary gain” can be understood here as something unusual, out of the norm, morally incorrect, profit, regardless of how it is labeled. Let’s just say it’s enticing drug money. Now I can not go out and open up every doctors books and ask him/her how the lexus or the fancy house was paid for, or ask the Oncologist to explain his/her connection to the drug money, but that’s obviously impractical, I do have a day job. Never the less, I don’t buy the assertions made here on this thread and elsewhere that it’s only real if you can prove it, because that’s not practical either for a discussion. However, it raise serious concern when doctors come forward and share stories about pharmaceutical companies enticing them to serious monetary gain for pushing their chemotherapy drugs. I don’t know if the drug money is more specifically tied to private practitioners versus salary based hospital planted doctors, but the corruption is awful and explains why people like Sarah H’s parents are running from doctors and hospitals.

    “Here’s what Dr. Frank told us: A salesman from one of the best-known drug companies paid him a visit a few years ago. The sales rep pulled open his laptop computer and asked Dr. Frank, “How many patients do you have?” The sales rep entered the information into his laptop.

    A few minutes later, he gave Dr. Frank a business proposition: “Okay. If you give every patient a high dose of chemotherapy, after one year you’ll get $3.7 million Euros back.” That was more than $5,000,000.

    The drug company was willing to sneak this 3.7 million Euros to Dr. Frank under the table — with no taxes or reporting.”

    http://www.cancerdefeated.com/newsletters/Big-drug-companies-bribe-cancer-doctors.html#article

  31. #31 Narad
    December 20, 2013

    Jane – have you never heard of operating expenses?

    One might indeed wonder about the storage costs for 55 gallon drums of sanctimony and Calgon.

  32. #32 palindrom
    December 20, 2013

    David @230 — the link you posted begins:

    A cancer doctor told us an incredible story about drug company tactics. Dr. Frank runs an outstanding alternative cancer clinic in Austria. It’s featured in Andrew Scholberg’s Special Report, German Cancer Breakthrough. I’ve visited Dr. Frank’s clinic myself, and it’s definitely on my “short list” of places to go if I ever get cancer myself.

    (emphasis added correctly, I hope).

    Incredible! Maybe even literally so!

  33. #33 Narad
    December 20, 2013

    I don’t know if the drug money is more specifically tied to private practitioners versus salary based hospital planted doctors, but the corruption is awful and explains why people like Sarah H’s parents are running from doctors and hospitals.

    No, it doesn’t, if their own words are of any value.

  34. #34 TBruce
    December 20, 2013

    David:
    Here is a footnote to your reference:

    Reminder: We’re the publishers of Natural Cancer Remedies that Work, Adios-Cancer, Cancer Breakthrough USA, Missing Ingredient For Good Health, German Cancer Breakthrough and How to Cure Almost Any Cancer for $5.15 a Day.

    I would therefore take what it says with a truckload of salt.
    I can say that in my province, cancer treatment protocols are tightly controlled and are determined by the current evidence of efficacy. The chemo agents used are likewise strictly specified according to the type and stage of the cancer. They are not doled out willy-nilly according to the whim of the oncologist or by how big a kickback he or she gets. It’s interesting that in your example, the crooked drug rep was offering the “business proposition” to an alternative therapist. If it’s true, it seems that the drug rep has a good grasp of his customer base.

  35. #35 David
    December 20, 2013

    @TBruce

    The alternative therapist also prescribed chemo in low dosages. The footnote is irrelevant. The doctor claims to have been bribed. You defend so fiercely and that makes you suspicious. There are many stories like this. Doctors who admit to being bribed by big pharma. But people like you protect the corruption. Why is that?

  36. #36 David
    December 20, 2013

    @Narad

    What’s your profession?

  37. #37 David
    December 20, 2013

    @palindrom

    It is incredible isn’t it?! That a pharmaceutical sales man was actually baffled that a private practicing doctor would not consider millions of dollars for poisoning patients? Just incredible.

  38. #38 TBruce
    December 20, 2013

    Because I have no knowledge of corruption apart from what you and some junk altie newsletters claim. The footnote is relevant, it speaks to the source of the accusation, which is, in my opinion, not to be trusted.
    I am part of the cancer treatment system in my province and you are accusing some of my close associates of criminal behavior and medical malpractice. Of course I “defend so fiercely”. I am a pathologist, so I have no conflict of interest and no possible financial involvement in treatment decisions. I simply support approaches that work and I don’t like grifters. Speaking of which, did you get around to reading that study of the Gonzales protocol yet?

  39. #39 David
    December 20, 2013

    @TBruce

    Well grassroots movements just don’t have the power of drug money and giant drug pushers do they doc? But word from the trillion dollar corrupt industry is totally legit and honest for you. Outstanding. I never thought of it that way, the humble trillion dollar industry.

  40. #40 LW
    December 20, 2013

    Let me recap.

    david started off with:

    Did you know that chemotherapy is the only drug in the US that doctors receive thousands of dollars in financial kick back every time they prescribe chemo? Let me say that again, doctors receive a huge commission check for prescribing chemo.

    “Kickback”, according to Merriam-Webster, means “an amount of money that is given to someone in return for providing help in a secret and dishonest business deal”. It is exceedingly obvious that david does mean that this is secret and dishonest:

    Why do Doctor’s get paid huge commission checks for writing a prescription for chemotherapy? This is ludicrous and criminal.

    jane then “supports” david as follows:

    Notes that since 2005, Medicare has reimbursed physicians for medication they dispense in their offices at the manufacturer’s average selling price plus 6%.

    This study dealt with patients treated between 1995 and 1998, at which time “Medicare reimbursed physicians for chemotherapy drugs at rates that greatly exceeded physicians’ costs for those drugs.” The study found that high reimbursement rates did not significantly effect the decision to give some form of chemo to metastatic cancer patients, but “[p]roviders who were more generously reimbursed, however, prescribed more-costly chemotherapy regimens to metastatic breast, colorectal, and lung cancer patients.”

    Notice that the 6% (or 4%) cost-plus payment from Medicare is neither secret nor dishonest. Nor is it criminal, obviously, since it is provided under Medicare regulations.

    Furthermore, notice that jane herself cited that “high reimbursement rates did not significantly effect the decision to give some form of chemo to metastatic cancer patients”. In other words, this gives us the answer to david’s rhetorical question:

    If chemotherapy did not come with commission checks would doctors really be pushing this awful drug over the past 50 or so years?

    The answer is yes. Although david believes chemotherapy is a single, awful drug, unchanged for fifty years, that no one would prescribe unless bribed, all of these beliefs are false.

  41. #41 Shay
    December 20, 2013

    On the one hand, we have TBruce, who actually works in the field and on the other we have David-now-with-a-big-D, who has yet to utter anything that can be interpreted as corroboration for his accusations. Which is more believable…oh, decisions, decisions.

    (grass-roots movement? what grass-roots movement? Is this loon calling himself a movement now?)

  42. #42 LW
    December 20, 2013

    Hmm, so according to Dr. Frank’s literally incredible story about drug company tactics, the drug company rep just casually strolled in to talk to a doctor he did not personally know and, without any attempt to feel out his criminal tendencies, offered to pay him an illegal bribe for committing malpractice, with the added fillip of tax evasion.

    Right.

    Oh, and Dr. Frank didn’t report this to the authorities or suggest that they should be investigating all the other doctors and all the hospitals that this rep has visited, since they can all be nailed for massive tax fraud.

    Right.

  43. #43 novalox
    December 20, 2013

    @david

    You do know that using the pharma shill gambit is a sure sign that you have no argument at all, right?

    So again, [citation needed] for your assertions.

  44. #44 Shay
    December 20, 2013

    LW — what possible reason would Dr Frank have for making up a story that casts his competition in a bad light?

  45. #45 LW
    December 20, 2013

    Shay — man, that’s a puzzle. I’m going to have to think on that.

  46. #46 Alain
    December 20, 2013

    David,

    I am a pharma shill who even made a tattoo in the honours of all my hero working in the medical industry (see http://www.securivm.ca/2013/12/a-work-of-art.html). The reason I’m a pharma shill is because medications prescribed by my hero was responsible to bring me from psychologically dead to superhuman in a very remarkable way.

    The thing is, my hero has the dual role of being a psychiatrist and also, a researcher. He could be perfectly happy prescribing me the 10$/month pills that my previous doctor used (you may wonder how much of a kickback does he make from the 10$ pills but actually, kickback are against the law here) and he did in fact, prescribe me the 10$ pills for a few month until he took the time to find a treatment that worked on me; which is based on research and not what sales rep says. After all, he get called on when complicated mix of medications are used in patient having multiple health issues.

    One of his latest case study was the case of a bipolar woman having cancer and with that, he absolutely can’t rely on pharma sales rep for his information because it require the kind of informations about the chemistry of medication that sales rep can’t have in order to prevent medication issues and it is VERY complex chemistry to find a medication that work for her mood issues which won’t interfere or conflict with the chemotherapy she’s taking. Is it something that your average naturopath can handle? I doubt so.

    On the subject of his salary, he get paid by the the therapy he give (whether there’s any medication or not) under the socialist regime we live in and he spend more time teaching medical students as well as physiology students (he’s professor of physiology) so the number of patients he see are very limited.

    Now it may not be obvious the point of what I’m talking about but then, if he get paid the same amount regardless if he prescribe natural products or actual big pharma medication, why is he prescribing big pharma medication, exercise (yes, he did prescribe me exercise) and to slack on the bottle of beer. After all, he could prescribe me sauna (which would do real harm on me because of thyroid issues), massages (I can prescribe myself that very well and in fact, go see escorts from time to time), natural products which he can study anytime he want (there are researchers studying natural products all the time and it’s possible to get subsidies for it) and diets (the science based solution would be to prescribe me a dietician and he will do so if the situation warrant it).

    The reason he prescribe medication is because they work and there is lot of data showing that they work after even very, very careful review by scientists such as him even after the FDA or our own Health Canada.

    Also, why don’t he either rally against the massive corruption of doctors in USA or else, do a 180 and go live in the united states where he could quadruple his salary by receiving kickbacks? because there’s no such kickback and a good quantity of doctors would speak about it if it were the case (like http://1boringoldman.com/). I know I would if I was practicing medicine.

    I’m a pharma shill, because I know that medication work.

    Alain

  47. #47 Calli Arcale
    December 20, 2013

    David:

    The monetary benefit in question that doctors receive for prescribing chemo can’t get past semantics or insults on this forum.

    You know, that’s pretty rich given that when challenged to back up your claims, you eventually responded that “Proof is a manipulated concept in the US. First you’d have to agree as to what constitutes proof.” Then you went on a tangent about how you feel the system is skewed. Just a tip: that’s not actually answering the question. It’s a cop-out followed by a digression to try to distract your audience.

    I mean dude, they were just asking for pretty simple and straightforward things. A malpractice suit against a doctor for taking bribes to prescribe certain drugs, a fraud case, something like that. Your tangent about a grand conspiracy to control the clinical trial process is totally irrelevant.

    And then you have the gall to accuse your opponents of using semantic games.

    BTW, there is one great example of a doctor engaging in quite massive financial fraud to enrich himself by his unethical prescribing of chemotherapy. And you did actually cite him! However, you cited him as an example of someone being suppressed by the establishment. Burzynski administers chemo (and badly) while severely overcharging for it. Way beyond the 4% that Medicare is currently reimbursing on all drugs. (Not just chemo. All drugs.) Marked up hundreds of times in some cases. And you clearly know about him, since you linked to one of his patient’s testimonials. Yet you do not use him as example of this kind of grievous misconduct.

    I really wonder why.

  48. #48 TBruce
    December 20, 2013

    The “cost-plus-4 or 6%” reimbursement would make sense, since there is some expense storing, monitoring supply and expiry dates and ensuring the right drug and dosage is given to the right patient. There’s not going to be much left over for a kickback of thousands per dose of Chemotherapy(TM). I guess that’s why they don’t throw a few loonies to the pathologist.

  49. #49 david
    December 20, 2013

    So what we have is Dr. Franks confession of a pharmaceutical company illegally bribing him with millions of dollars if he would consider pumping as much chemo as possible into his patients.

    On the other hand we have a bunch of doctors in this forum feverishly avoiding the issue of corruption presented in Dr. Franks confession. Then more insults.

  50. #50 david
    December 20, 2013

    @Calli

    The bigger issue is why you focus on spin tactics rather than being pissed and a coward about corruption in your industry.

  51. #51 Denice Walter
    December 20, 2013

    @ david:

    What makes you think that everyone who comments here is in the ‘industry’ of medecine/ pharma?

  52. #52 Narad
    December 20, 2013

    @Narad

    What’s your profession?

    I’m pretty sure that everybody who isn’t a drive-by troll already knows the answer to that question. Does this help? (Don’t look at me.)

    OK, now, so what’s yours?

  53. #53 Shay
    December 20, 2013

    So what we have is Dr. Franks confession of a pharmaceutical company illegally bribing him with millions of dollars if he would consider pumping as much chemo as possible into his patients.

    A story so laughably implausible only a gullible troll would fall for it.

    That’s your proof? One anecdote? If every single oncologist in the US is on the take, where are the arrest records?

  54. #54 Alain
    December 20, 2013

    On the other hand we have a bunch of doctors in this forum feverishly avoiding the issue of corruption presented in Dr. Franks confession. Then more insults.

    Why do you assume I insulted you and I am a doctor?

    Alain

  55. #55 Narad
    December 20, 2013

    Is this loon calling himself a movement now?

    If you insist. There’s an intermediate step or something.

  56. #56 david
    December 20, 2013

    Alain, it’s very clear you’ve established yourself as a drug user who worships your doctor. I don’t think you’re a doctor, don’t worry.

  57. #57 Alain
    December 20, 2013

    Something worth mentioning about for the SBM crowd is the ethics of finding the active ingredient of a natural compound in order to refine it, dose it and deliver the best treatment with the least amount of side effect as possible. Scientist working for big pharma companies have ethical drive about doing the best products there is for their clients.

    Alain

  58. #58 Shay
    December 20, 2013

    Between you, Mojo and herr doktor bimler, I need a new keyboard.

  59. #59 david
    December 20, 2013

    @Narad

    I wasn’t calling myself a movement, I was simply referring to smaller news sites that don’t have the same funding as your humble trillion dollar industry that makes tons and tons of propaganda and laws supporting the like killing drugs you love so much.

  60. #60 Alain
    December 20, 2013

    @David,

    I’m more than a drug user; are you curious what else?

    Alain

  61. #61 Shay
    December 20, 2013

    Ok, David — provide links to some of these sites so that the rest of the class can investigate for themselves.

  62. #62 david
    December 20, 2013

    Alain, please enlighten me.

  63. #63 Alain
    December 20, 2013

    @ David,

    A natural product user (Synthroid which is derived from thyroxine) and a computational biologist. I uses my training to know exactly what my doctor is prescribing me. Although My formation is limited (I didn’t spend many years at school), I spent years evaluating what I’m taking.

    But that’s not possible with the natural products sold by naturopath because we don’t have any publication evaluating what’s inside a natural product. With Medication, I know exactly the compound involved and do my best to educate myself about it by buying textbooks and looking at scientific publications about the medication. It’s my job after all.

    Alain

    Alain

  64. #64 david
    December 20, 2013

    I don’t know what to say.

  65. #65 Alain
    December 20, 2013

    Oh, and the last time I worked as a computational biologist, I made exactly 12$ per hours Canadian money and this was in 2007-2008. Now I work for free and this is out of my hearts to do my own scientific project so I’m not making any income from big pharma. Will you accept my testimonial then?

    Alain

  66. #66 Narad
    December 20, 2013

    @Narad

    I wasn’t calling myself a movement

    I wasn’t calling you a movement either, but I will if you insist.

    I was simply referring to smaller news sites that don’t have the same funding as your humble trillion dollar industry

    Did you fail to understand my response to your previous demand for my papers?* There’s nobody who would be more surprised than I to learn that I was in a “trillion dollar industry.”

    Now: What is your profession?

    * I know, it was just the other day, but I’m tired.

  67. #67 david
    December 20, 2013

    I accept all of your testimonials from all of your hearts.

  68. #68 david
    December 20, 2013

    Narad, did you say something?

  69. #69 Narad
    December 20, 2013

    Narad, did you say something?

    Yes, did you miss that part? You demanded to know my profession. I told you, although it might have taken a third neuron to put the pieces together. I thus would like you to return the courtesy of having indulged your colander.

  70. #70 Alain
    December 21, 2013

    @David,

    Thanks you and don’t worry, the last time a gigantic case of a doctor was under the pay of big pharma (google Charles Nemeroff) when it made the news, there was lot of angry scientist because he left a royal lot of scientific publication tainted with big pharma underwriters and even made a corrupt textbook advising primary care doctors to prescribe paxil to everyone under the sun including children for depressive and behavioral issues. When I do a pubmed search (www.pubmed.gov), I specifically remove his search results as well as a number of other doctors who have been under the pay of big pharma to advertise their products.

    Alain

  71. #71 herr doktor bimler
    December 21, 2013

    what grass-roots movement?

    Perhaps David is comparing himself to the result of a wheatgrass enema.

  72. #72 david
    December 21, 2013

    Alain, may i suggest you and Narad converse on this subject? I somehow think you both share a commonality. I must go now.

  73. #73 Shay
    December 21, 2013

    he who posts and runs away….

  74. #74 TBruce
    December 21, 2013

    David:
    You may not be a movement but everything you’ve claimed is pretty much the product of a movement.

    Man, that was too easy.

  75. #75 Mrs Woo
    Rural Missouri, or maybe outer Siberia...
    December 21, 2013

    David never even found me worth answering guys. You’re much more interesting.

    I’m baffled, though. Has David actually spent time with real doctors? As someone with multiple health issues, I have. At times I was uninsured and they would use the cheapest codes they could get away with when finishing my office visits. They did their best to find me the cheapest medications possible and were nothing but supportive.

    I have a friend with stage IV cancer being treated for free while he attempts to get Medicaid. He owned his own restaurant and the illness made him too sick to continue working.

    I’m not getting this depiction of evil oncologists rolling in filthy kickbacks. Maybe I should move closer to the city or something…

  76. #76 Shay
    December 21, 2013

    Welcome back, Mrs. Woo. You’ve been missed.

  77. #77 Narad
    December 21, 2013

    Alain, may i suggest you and Narad converse on this subject? I somehow think you both share a commonality. I must go now.

    Oh, dear, you’re going to run away when posed with the same question that you horked up in the first place? It’s almost as though you set out to be a giant, posturing, waste of time. Hey, look up! The Colossus of Maroussi isn’t anatomically correct!

  78. #78 Alain
    December 21, 2013

    @David,

    Your reliance on testimonial is exactly what caught you in trouble because no testimonials are any better than any others testimonial. What I’d suggest, for you and for anyone else reading this is to look beyond testimonial. A first example is everyone doing a Master or a PhD. After 4 years of studies at the bachelor level, they get to investigate a question (i.e. does chemotherapy work) and they have to remove all the factors undermining the issue. They compile all the studies at hands and select some relevant features out of them (i.e. the data) because, often, studies include lot of irrelevant details such as the conclusion and the abstract and we’re finding the relevant gold nugget from them (i.e. results that we can enter in our statistical software). With these results, we can be sure a treatment work or don’t.

    As for my work in 2007-2008, the doctoral student I was working with, has found 40 studies applying to the project at hand. When I entered the project, it took me a long time to do so but I have found a way to deliver a pdf file containing 7000 abstracts our relevant studies (neuroimaging studies about sound) of which she selected about 75 and sent me the actual studies for review. Before that, I personally reviewed 1900 studies. That’s how rigorous we are to draw our conclusion. We selected 58 studies for the final results because we could rely on them to fit our very stringent criteria. Doctors, when they apply chemotherapy, apply the same criteria when choosing drugs to prescribe.

  79. #79 david
    December 21, 2013

    Mrs. Woo, nice to meet you,

    Did you just say you have a friend with stage IV cancer being treated for free? I think you mean they’re fronting your friend the chemo drugs just until the Medicaid loot kicks in? I don’t doubt that some doctors innocently believe chemo works but this study illustrates that 75% of the sample set of Doctors (cancer experts) said they would not do chemotherapy if they got cancer. It does make you wonder. I’m curious what you think of the article (respectfully of course).

    http://www.naturalnews.com/036054_chemotherapy_physicians_toxicity.html

  80. #80 Alain
    December 21, 2013

    @David,

    You want to be a real scientist? It’s easy; find the reference given by Mike Adams, look at the study (don’t forget, it’s a single study not worth much in the scheme of 7000 studies) and try to find some faults in the studies, any problems you notice and tell yourself how much weight you’d give to the study. after that, do a poll among the oncologists you know if they’d rely on this study should they need chemotherapy and report back here. That’s what we do as scientists.

  81. #81 Alain
    December 21, 2013

    @David

    If I may simplify how much a scientist job it is, it might be to find out how wrong we are in our conclusion. That’s why a Master in the biosciences is long and a PhD is even more long, because biological science is messy (remember, going doing from over 7000 studies to 58 involve a bunch of really stringent criteria) and we have to select the best evidence there is for our studies (which lasted from 2006 to publication in 2010). Remember, doctors do the same work under a vastly reduced schedule (in my case, a few month for my doctor) because it’s critical to bring the best result to the patient in a short amound of time so he or she benefit from the treatment and chemotherapy has, over the years, proven it worth in the treatment of cancer so this is why I recommend you look at the citation of Mike Adams, not his writing and evaluate for yourself the article specifying that 75% of the oncologist would refuse chemotherapy. Use your logic. We do, every day.

  82. #82 david
    December 21, 2013

    Alain, let’s reel this in a bit. Here’s a study that proves chemotherapy does not work. What’s your non verbose take?

    http://chrisbeatcancer.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/contribution-of-chemotherapy-to-5-year-survival.pdf

  83. #83 TBruce
    December 21, 2013

    David:
    Natural News as a reference?

    To quote Willy Wonka: “You lose! You get nothing! GOOD DAY SIR!”

  84. #84 Narad
    December 21, 2013

    this study illustrates that 75% of the sample set of Doctors (cancer experts) said they would not do chemotherapy if they got cancer. It does make you wonder. I’m curious what you think of the article (respectfully of course)

    This item from 1986/1991/1997 finally is what you’ve already been alerted to, Scoby. But you apparently didn’t bother with what you originally pled being unable to figure out how to “get your hands on.”

    And The Nonprofit Mike Adams Charity Center not only rivaled you in pulling numbers out of one’s ass, they failed to actually provide a link to the “groundbreaking downloadable PDF report.”

    Fan. F*cking. Tastic. You seem to be quite fond of offering that you are “curious” about this and that and so forth. You of course have already pretended to leave in a huff but returned in a minute in a huff, but the real issue is that the only curiosity is you, and you seem to be turning people’s fingers green.

  85. #85 Alain
    December 21, 2013

    David, Do you mind if I look at that after a good night of sleep? I’m currently in textmode linux on my laptop compiling software updates and I don’t have pdf reader which I’ll have tomorrow after rebooting in Mac OS X.

  86. #86 Narad
    December 21, 2013

    In on-topic news, nothing whatever appears to have occurred in Medina probate or the Ohio supreme court jiggery-pokery.

  87. #87 david
    December 21, 2013

    Narad, you’re absolutely pathetic. Do you sit on your nutrient deficient ass all day hoping to write something, hoping to be heard? I bet it makes you feel important doesn’t it? Job not that satisfying? Not as successful as you wish you were? You got some endowment issues buddy? Try a little harder to cover it up. It shows.

    The article by Mike Adams is all over the place, go find whatever citations you deem appropriate jack ass.

  88. #88 Narad
    December 21, 2013

    Narad, you’re absolutely pathetic. Do you sit on your nutrient deficient ass all day hoping to write something, hoping to be heard? I bet it makes you feel important doesn’t it? Job not that satisfying? Not as successful as you wish you were? You got some endowment issues buddy? Try a little harder to cover it up. It shows.

    Can’t quite control yourself, can you? What’s your profession? Have you figured out mine yet?

  89. #89 Narad
    December 21, 2013

    C’mon, david, you and I both know exactly what’s going on. Will you not join me in celebration?

  90. #90 Krebiozen
    December 21, 2013

    I’m late to this one, but a skim through reveals that evil oncologists are apparently making a huge profit from chemotherapy drugs. No doubt entrepreneurs around the globe are scurrying to take advantage of the enormous 6% profits to be made buying and selling chemotherapy drugs. Why bother buying and selling vitamin pills with a paltry 395% markup when you could become an oncologist and make up to 6% on chemo? It only requires ten years or more of expensive and difficult training to become an oncologist and you too could barely cover your overheads.

    In other news, oncologists are more likely to prescribe more expensive drugs if they know they will be reimbursed for them.
    [sarcasm off]

  91. #91 Lawrence
    December 21, 2013

    Given that 6% profit is not nearly enough to cover standard overhead and expenses (most corporations shoot for at least 30% margins or more) I really am not seeing what David is so upset about.

    It seems (and Jane has jumped on the bandwagon) that he wants medical professionals to perform their services for free & for companies to sell their products at $0.00 cost….someone really isn’t in touch with reality.

  92. #92 MI Dawn
    December 21, 2013

    What do you all want to bet if D(d)avid gets cancer he’ll be the first one to run screaming to the oncologist’s office for that horrible chemotherapy.

    And yes, he has caused Scopie’s Law to be invoked, and therefore has lost the argument.

  93. #93 TBruce
    December 21, 2013

    If oncologists were raking off thousands in kickbacks every time they prescribed chemo, why wouldn’t that hit the mainstream press? That would be the news story of the year. Even if the mainstream media were intimidated by the Ebil Pharma Overlords, wouldn’t Mother Jones, Brian Deer or the tabloid press have picked up on it? Wouldn’t there be public inquiries or even arrests?
    Since you know this corruption for a fact, david, have you informed the FBI? If not, why not?
    And Narad, what in god’s name was THAT?

  94. #94 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 21, 2013

    Folks, let’s remember that we have a tool to use for Goofuses like David who change the subject at high speed: the ultimatum questions.

    David has already admitted that his “chemo kick back” accusation is a product of his imagination and prejudices. If he didn’t want that confession to lying to go down as part of the record, then he should have backed up the claims he chose to make, rather than running on to make new claims.

    Would someone else like to offer him the next ultimatum question? (I’d love to ask, if he trusts Natural News as a source and thinks what he reads there is trustworthy, does he also believe that the caduceus was deliberately chosen by the medical profession as a symbol to subliminally indoctrinate all doctors into a culture of evil? But I’m sure others can think of better questions.)

  95. #95 Denice Walter
    December 21, 2013

    And why is Mike Adams to be believed as a source when he has conflicts of interest of his own?

    He owns companies that sell supplements, foods, media et al thus his choice of ‘stories’ is not entirely unbiased: SBM is his direct competition as is mainstream news.

    According to Wikipedia, Rational wiki and his own Health Ranger site ( Profile, History), he owned a ” multi-million-dollar” software company which he sold in 2003. Natural News is not a tiny operation that he operates on a shoestring- he has business interests globally ( Taiwan etc): I imagine that he is not headed for bankruptcy anytime soon. When he left Ecuador, his hacienda was listed at 695K USD ( photos can be found – Vilcabamba Real Estate). His products are not offered at cost ( see Store).

    Although he brags about his educational achievements ( HR site/ Profile), he never tells us which university he attended and what he studied other than saying he got a BS degree in “science”.

    Rational wiki lists his 2013 predictions: it’s nearly year’s end, where are the great economic crash and the police state horrors he predicted? OK, well maybe next week?

    Alt media honchos like Mike and Gary Null ( one of Mikey’s role models according to HR) gather an anxious audience by skillfully decimating trust in standard institutions like medicine, universities, governmental agencies and news providers. They artfully tell people that they have been decieved by the powers-that-be for monetary reasons. They scare readers/ listeners about their future-
    economic crashes, gang warfare, jackbooted police SWAT teams, rising sea levels, contaminated food and water, food shortages, poisonous meds, treacherous doctors, ignorant teachers, corrupt corporations and officials, a compromised media; who can you trust? Well, THEM, of course. AND their products/ news.

    And I ask, if you truly don’t believe what government leaders, university researchers, educated professionals and the mainstream media tell you about events that affect your future WHY in the world would you believe supplement salesmen – with either a non-descript or facsimile degree ( respectively)- who blithely mangle the English language and play g0d on the internet?

    AND -btw- as someone who studied the areas in which these creatures claim expertise ( esp psychology, economics), in my many years of surveying them ( Adams since about 2007), I’ve never heard anything sophisticated or reasonable from either of them. Their readers/ listeners could learn more with a brief internet search where they wouldn’t be heartlessly subjected to braggadoccio beyond the control of higher cortical functioning.

    I have nothing to do with pharmaceuticals and don’t own enough stock in them ( via mutuals) to buy myself a decent silk scarf @ Burberry’s and I counsel people who are not in need of meds.
    HOWEVER I may actually be the first person to call Adams “Mikey” on the interent.

  96. #96 Mrs Woo
    December 21, 2013

    Hello David. Medicaid reimbursements, from what I understand, can often barely meet costs. Further, he is not a US citizen as of yet, and as a Chinese national in this state, might not be approved. So they are offering chemo as life-prolonging treatment (they have told him he might have a few years; we’re hoping they find something better in the years they give him) regardless of ability to pay.

    @Shay – thank you. It has been nice to receive the welcome I have.

  97. #97 Narad
    December 21, 2013

    And Narad, what in god’s name was THAT?

    Free association in a bad mood.

  98. #98 Rose Taberner
    Sydney, Australia
    December 21, 2013

    @ David

    I am not a doctor or associated in any medical field. I do have cancer. I also live where I have not had to pay 1 cent for my treatment in a large University Hospital and I see my Surgeon and 2 Oncologists regularly.

    Please answer this question. Its not too difficult!

    My type of(aggressive) cancer requires a very expensive targeted therapy. This will, at worst, prolong my life to welcome my first grandchild, and at best, it may even save my life – how awesome is that!

    Please know that NO amount of raw vegan, multi supplements or mis- directed coffee shots would have a hope in hell targeting my cancer. The catch cry of all Woo-meisters – ‘the body has an innate ability to cure itself” – ummmm – NO – that’s BS.

    No amount of money would ever be enough for the Doctor who helped develop this amazing drug, the Pharma company, my Hospital and my Medical Team.

    The question is….. if you were me, would you have this drug?

  99. #99 Narad
    December 21, 2013

    let’s reel this in a bit. Here’s a study that proves chemotherapy does not work.

    Oh, great, david is here citing something that he had to be spoon-fed in the first place and with which he almost certainly skipped the “actually reading” part.

    David, please explain how Morgan et al. demonstrates what you assert it does.

  100. #100 Shay
    where a freezing rain is going to take out my power, any moment now
    December 21, 2013

    “Medicaid loot.” Anyone who uses those two words together has serious reality issues.

  101. #101 Alain
    December 21, 2013

    Here’s a study that proves chemotherapy does not work

    The study doesn’t prove that at all. There is a large quantity of different cancer with some responding to chemotherapy and some not and you’d see them by examining the tables within the article. Furthermore, what isn’t indicated is the cure rate for other treatment modality such as radiotherapy and surgery. In these case, chemotherapy may only be used as adjuvant to finish a job well done.

    Did you find a similar study for alternative treatment?

    Alain

  102. #102 Shay
    December 21, 2013

    Poor david-who-has-a-small-d-again. He’s learning the hard way that if you post a link here, people will actually read it.

  103. #103 Alain
    December 21, 2013

    David,
    I’ve been very patient with you. Now, you get to answer why medical doctors in general do it for the money and not for patient care? If you don’t answer directly my question within 3 posts, I’ll have to assume you don’t have any answer and I’ll conclude, based on my assessment of my doctors as well as doctors I know that they are really in it for the patient care and not for the money.

    Alain

  104. #104 Dangerous Bacon
    December 21, 2013

    TBruce: “I guess that’s why they don’t throw a few loonies to the pathologist.”

    And that’s so unfair! Here we are churning out cancer diagnoses every day, and there’s no pharma truck throwing bags of cash off at our doors.

    Next time one of the oncologists comes by, I’m gonna demand a cut of his chemo loot. It’s about time we pathologists get our fair share. 🙁

  105. #105 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    December 21, 2013

    Next time one of the oncologists comes by, I’m gonna demand a cut of his chemo loot. It’s about time we pathologists get our fair share. 🙁

    Cripes, DB! Now you’ve written their next conspiracy theory for them!

    You get paid to tell the oncologist that somebody’s got cancer so they can can prescribe the eebul chemo and get their huge kickbacks.

    In fact, there’s no such thing as cancer, it’s just acidosis from the modern diet and lifestyle. After all, nobody ever got cancer before Big Pharma came along. Or Hiroshima. Or something.

  106. #106 Shay
    December 21, 2013

    GMO’s.

  107. #107 Dangerous Bacon
    December 21, 2013

    “GMO’s”

    Gotta have ’em.

  108. #108 TBruce
    December 21, 2013

    After all, nobody ever got cancer before Big Pharma came along. Or Hiroshima. Or something.

    Negativity. That’s what causes cancer. Everyone was positive and no one had cancer until the 1950s. Then everyone got disillusioned and cynical, and cancer swept through the population.

    I blame the Commies, the Beatniks, Elvis and Mad Magazine.

  109. #109 Narad
    December 21, 2013

    Negativity. That’s what causes cancer.

    Turns out that a GNM proponent has scuttled out of the woodwork over at Jake’s joint, now that you mention this. I sometimes wonder how he puts up with the caliber of the commenters he’s whomped up.

  110. #110 Stu
    December 22, 2013

    @Johanna: belated admiration for your restraint in these threads.

    I would just like to say that David is essentially saying that every doctor, nurse and pharmacist in the entire world working in the field of oncology is corrupt, in it for the money, receiving kickbacks, intentionally killing patients and willing to sacrifice their own lives and that of their loved ones to keep the truth from coming out.

    So this is RICO, conspiracy to commit murder, murder in the first degree, mail fraud, conspiracy to defraud, price fixing and obstruction of justice. I’m sure a creative DA could come up with a half-dozen more, but essentially David is saying that they’re all at least up for life without parole.

    Every doctor, every nurse and every pharmacist.

    I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that someone so clinically and provably delusional is allowed to walk around spewing bilge, or just how f*cking offensive it is to health care professionals. No, I’m not one, but holy sh*t it is just so fundamentally asinine.

  111. #111 Narad
    December 22, 2013

    Impressively, Jake’s “moderation” appears to include rejecting comments that set forth what Ryke Geerd Hamer is all about.

  112. #112 TBruce
    December 22, 2013

    Stu:
    I challenged D*ckhead David to contact the FBI about this criminal conspiracy. Haven’t heard back from him how that went. Somehow, I don’t expect to.

  113. #113 Johanna
    December 22, 2013

    @Stu

    Thankee, although my Swain would probably like to point out that I was anything BUT serene when this all blew up earlier in the week.

    But the great English panacea (tea) and quality time with quality human beings (the aforementioned Swain, who has learned how to make PROPER tea) took care of that. 😉

  114. #114 Militant Agnostic
    December 23, 2013

    @Narad

    Free association in a bad mood.

    And all this time I thought it was a self portrait.

    Has there in the history of RI ever been an instance of a troll having actually read a paper that they so confidently linked to?

  115. #115 herr doktor bimler
    December 23, 2013

    “Not reading the paper” is part of the definition. The whole point of trolling is to provoke other people in wasting as much of their time as possible, for the minimum amount of one’s own effort and time.

  116. #116 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    in a way-too-warm Finland ....
    December 24, 2013

    She is doomed. Sadly.

  117. #117 Narad
    December 25, 2013

    And all this time I thought it was a self portrait.

    In some sense, it was. David just happened to lose the attempt at a belly-bumping contest of his own devising.

  118. […] tutora legal anunció que no demandaría a la familia para forzar el cumplimiento de la sentencia, abandonando a Sarah a su suerte, probablemente, un cóctel de “terapias naturales” que, según algunas de las organizaciones […]

  119. […] tutora legal anunció que no demandaría a la familia para forzar el cumplimiento de la sentencia, abandonando a Sarah a su suerte, probablemente, un cóctel de “terapias naturales” que, según algunas de las organizaciones […]

  120. #120 Leroy
    March 5, 2014

    A 10 year-old Amish girl, Sarah Hershberger, is being forced to receive chemotherapy against her parent and

    grandparents wishes. A court order was issued October 7, 2013 at the request of attorneys representing Akron

    Children’s Hospital (ACH) to continue chemotherapy for more than two years. Open the link below to read the full

    story.

    https://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/10-year-old-amish-girl-declared-cancer-free-/145672

    The above link will direct you to a fundraiser website where you can read the full story and also watch the news about Sarah Hershberger.

    Amshprotect.

  121. #121 Chris,
    March 5, 2014

    Leroy, you sound like a blood sucker. How much of that money were you planing on keeping for yourself.

  122. #122 Narad
    March 5, 2014

    The above link will direct you to a fundraiser website where you can read the full story and also watch the news about Sarah Hershberger.

    What happened to the $20k+ from “Mr. Augie”?

  123. #123 Narad
    March 5, 2014

    BTW, Leroy, could you elaborate on this “third time” business? The same probate case as before is still open, and Sarah has never stopped being a ward.

  124. #124 herr doktor bimler
    March 5, 2014

    What happened to the $20k+ from “Mr. Augie”?
    Augie is currently reporting $21773, which should easily cover Leroy’s stated goal of $10,338.
    Oh look, Leroy has multiple fundraising sites.

  125. #125 herr doktor bimler
    March 5, 2014

    Second link swallowed.
    https://pledgie.com/campaigns/22540

  126. #126 lilady
    March 5, 2014

    @ Uncle Leroy: Look at this; an entire blog posting devoted to you:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/11/06/sarah-hershberger-and-zija-mlm/

  127. #127 herr doktor bimler
    March 5, 2014

    Leroy’s Pledgie fundraiser cites Augie’s “Journal of Natural Food & Health”, and links to alt-reality websites which in turn pimp Augie’s various fundraising schemes, so I have to conclude that he endorses them.

  128. #128 Narad
    March 5, 2014

    Oh look, Leroy has multiple fundraising sites.

    That second one confirms that the money goes straight into Leroy’s pocket. Given the complete lack of transparency, this makes Augenstein’s scam look preferable.

  129. #129 Narad
    March 8, 2014

    BTW, earlier reports notwithstanding, Schimer’s resignation was only approved by the probate court on March 4. The guardian is now Judge Dunn.

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