Respectful Insolence

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 dingo199
    December 9, 2013

    Poor child. It sounds like the “natural” therapies (almost none of which sound natural to me) are as much of a burden as would be any chemo. And of course she is doomed. So sad.

  2. #2 Pris
    The Dark Side of the Force
    December 9, 2013

    That poor girl.

    I really hope her parents see reason in time.

    I don’t want to know what their life will be like after Sarah dies…

  3. #3 DrBollocks
    December 9, 2013

    If Sarah dies, the quacks will no doubt blame her death on a late complication of the chemotherapy. The parents will likely believe this explanation, as the alternative (but true) reason, that their choices doomed her, would be too appalling for them to contemplate.

  4. #4 Narad
    December 9, 2013

    If the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law is correct….

    There’s no need to dignify this dog-and-pony act with its grandiose title. It’s Maurice Thompson and his lackey Kelsey Hackem, who doesn’t even have an Ohio license.

  5. #5 Narad
    December 9, 2013

    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.

    They almost assuredly don’t have passports. It’s the Mexican border zone.

  6. #6 AnObservingParty
    December 9, 2013

    If Sarah dies, the quacks will no doubt blame her death on a late complication of the chemotherapy.

    Or that they didn’t do it right, or believe it enough, or whatever BS they pull out to explain why the masses don’t benefit from their treatments, or why they fail in clinical trials if they are tested. It’s never the therapy, it’s the ill person. Why not throw some personal guilt on a terminal illness?

    This is absolutely heartbreaking. While I’ll hope Sarah is that small minority, and they do exist, I know better. If it gets that far, and it will, I only hope they stop the chelation (when did chelation become “natural?”) and raw foods and laetrile and embrace modern palliative care. :/

  7. […] from the medical community are less optimistic about her […]

  8. […] Continue reading […]

  9. #9 The Smith of Lie
    December 9, 2013

    Or that they didn’t do it right, or believe it enough, or whatever BS they pull out to explain why the masses don’t benefit from their treatments, or why they fail in clinical trials if they are tested. It’s never the therapy, it’s the ill person. Why not throw some personal guilt on a terminal illness?

    Actually… Why does this even work as explanation? I mean, if I am faced with a choice between therapy that works 85% of time regardless of what I do or thererapy that works “100%” of time, except when i don’t belive strongly enough, am not trying enough, am not enlightened enough or whatever, I’ll pick the 85% one, at least the failure cause is established.

    But I guess that’s overthinking it (read: thinking about the matter at all).

  10. #10 DLC
    December 9, 2013

    Someone tell them to please, pretty please with cherries on top to STOP poisoning their child with bloody laetrile! please!
    How come nobody bothered telling them that one of the decomposition products of Laetrile is PRUSSIC ACID! hydrogen cyanide!
    Holy Crap what’s wrong with these idiots! And they were afraid of chemotherapy.
    I really do hope that the first go of chemo cleared her entirely, but I the odds are it didn’t. And if (when) the cancer comes back, it’ll be resistant, and harder to eliminate, and probably lethal.

  11. #11 Julian Frost
    December 9, 2013

    @DLC:

    one of the decomposition products of Laetrile is PRUSSIC ACID! hydrogen cyanide!

    *.*
    O.O
    I did not know that little fact.

  12. #12 Douglas
    Denton MD
    December 9, 2013

    Please tell me you are not serious with this article!!!!!You obviously have -0- knowledge about vitamin c therapy!! Go to Dr Saul’s site doctoryourself dot com and look at some actual factual research on vitamin c. Read Thomas E Levy’s research on vitamin c! Chemo has a 2.3% success rate. There are multiple cancer cures being suppressed by big pharma. your faith in the current medical establishment is disturbing. this is the real information on how to beat cancer. http://www.dailypaul.com/226732/alternative-cancer-therapies-gerson-kelly-etc-video-library#Beck_
    http://www.cancertutor.com/Other/Thyroid_Cancer.html
    We have the most expensive health care in the world but rank 4th in infant mortality. You must have ties with big pharma or your just plain misinformed and close minded. This combo will keep your children and family sick and continue the destruction of the future of our people. If you are just close minded and not on pharmas payroll than please do proper unbiased research before your opinions paint you in such an ugly color. I will pray for you to receive wisdom and light..

  13. #13 Krebiozen
    December 9, 2013

    Julian Frost,

    I did not know that little fact.

    IIRC it is supposed to work because the enzyme that breaks it down to release cyanide is only or mostly present in tumors, so only tumor cells get poisoned, but I believe we now know this not true. Also IIRC NIH trials of laetrile had to be terminated because too many patients showed signs of cyanide poisoning.

  14. #14 Krebiozen
    December 9, 2013

    pretty please with cherries on top

    Ironic, since cherry pits also release cyanide when ingested.

  15. #15 T.
    December 9, 2013

    Is Douglas for real?

  16. #16 AnObservingParty
    December 9, 2013

    Wow….I think Douglas just crammed every cancer-quack-stereotype there is into that comment.

  17. #17 Lawrence
    December 9, 2013

    @AOP – yes, Douglas wins the “Quack Bingo” card with that post……

  18. #18 lilady
    December 9, 2013

    Douglas is “for real” and so is the quack nutritionist Douglas is promoting:

    http://www.doctoryourself.com/

  19. #19 Chromesthesia
    December 9, 2013

    Have you heard about this mother trying to cure her son’s cancer with cannabis oil?

    I’m really sure this will not work. I had cancer from 2-5. Much of my family wanted to just bathe my hand in golden seal instead of using actual medicine. I’m glad my mother pushed for real medical treatment as I like not being dead.

  20. #20 Dorit Reiss
    December 9, 2013

    Heartbreaking.

  21. #21 Pareidolius
    Next . . .
    December 9, 2013

    Oh, Douglas, you provided us with such enlightenment. How could we (and most of the scientific community) have been so wrong for so long? “Thank you” seems so inadequate, such weak tea compared to The Gift™ that you have bestowed upon us. I think I speak for Orac and everyone of us in the commentariat, when I say that our lives are forever enhanced, most likely on a quantum level, thanks to the irrefutable proof that you have laid before our unworthy feet. I can’t keep typing, I’m too moved . . .

  22. #22 Skeptical_Canadian
    In a snowy part of Canada
    December 9, 2013

    I hope I don’t break any rules of netiquette here. It’s not my intention to.

    A fascinating response by Douglas. NOT. Sorry, I felt the urge to employ some e-sarcasm this afternoon. The response from Douglas and countless others I have seen are pretty much all similar, employing the same boring gambits and they all have the same diploma from Google University. (Although, I’m bitterly disappointed that he didn’t use ALL CAPS.) Sam Harris does this in polite circles, so I’m going to do it here. I hereby accuse these post-modernist “experts” of intellectual dishonesty. They hang around crank memes, surf the internet, read a few crank websites and PRESTO! – they’re experts on medicine (or science for that matter). Cognitive dissonance at its finest. They sadly fail to realize that years of study, hard work and real-world experience can’t be arrived at with a few hours of surfing the internet. How odd… I’ll go further and posit that they are indeed intellectually bankrupt. By extrapolation, I wonder if they think they employ the same methods (on subjects with no prior experience or knowhow) and ‘suddenly’ pilot a Boeing 777 or perform an open heart surgery or design a 100 story tower. What makes they think they know medicine at the level of Orac is simply beyond me.

  23. #23 Lawrence
    December 9, 2013

    @Skeptical – perhaps he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night……..

  24. #24 Skeptical_Canadian
    December 9, 2013

    @Lawrence

    LOL! I remember those commercials, thanks for adding some humour to my day.

  25. #25 JGC
    December 9, 2013

    Go to Dr Saul’s site doctoryourself dot com and look at some actual factual research on vitamin c. Read Thomas E Levy’s research on vitamin c!

    I‘d love to: please provide citations to articles published in first tier peer-reviewed journals where I can find that ‘actual factual research’ demonstrating vitamin C is effective at treating advanced cancers.

    Chemo has a 2.3% success rate.

    No, it doesn’t. See http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/09/16/two-percent-gambit-chemotherapy/ to find out why you’re wrong.

    There are multiple cancer cures being suppressed by big pharma.

    Clearly they’re not being suppressed very efectively, if you’re aware of them.

    this is the real information on how to beat cancer.

    The sites you linked provides no meaningful information, I’m afraid. They do make a great many claims, but offer no ‘actual factual evidence’ suggesting their recommended alt med protocols are safe or effective.

    We have the most expensive health care in the world but rank 4th in infant mortality.

    The comparison however isn’t valid, because of differences in the way the US and other nations monitor and report infant mortality.

    In the US babies who are not viable and die quickly after birth are more likley to be included in infant mortality statistics while in countries outside the United States (especially Japan, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, the Netherlands, and France) such non-viable births are more likely to recorded as stillbirths and excluded from infant mortality stats, making the US rate appear misleadingly high compared to those other nations. It’s been estimated that this inflates the US number by as much as 40% (see Eric Gibson et al., “Effect of Nonviable Infants on the Infant Mortality Rate in Philadelphia, 1992,” American Journal of Public Health 90, no. 8 (August 2000): 1303.)

    You must have ties with big pharma or your just plain misinformed and close minded.

    I’m not at all close minded—all anyone would have to do to convince me to revise my position is provide evidence that I’m wrong.
    Got any?

  26. #26 Narad
    December 9, 2013

    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

    They stopped during the second round. I’d have to go digging back in the court documents to figure out how far in, but I don’t think it was very far.

  27. #27 Calli Arcale
    December 9, 2013

    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.

    Isn’t vitamin C alleged to work because it’s an antioxidant? if so, how much mental gymnastics is required to think of administering both it and oxygen therapy, which is pretty much the opposite?

    And chelation therapy? At least there is the shred of an inkling of a reason why that gets used for atherosclerosis and autism. For the former, it’s the idea that since arterial plaques contain calcium, chelation might be able to remove the calcium. Unfortunately, it turns out not to be quite so easy; the calcium in the plaques isn’t available to the chelating agent, so it does absolutely no good. For the latter, it’s the idea that it’s really heavy metal poisoning, and well heck, at least chelation *does* treat heavy metal poisoning. So I can see where somebody might think that would make sense.

    But to treat cancer? How is that supposed to be at all helpful? Clearly, they’re just throwing the kitchen sink at this poor child. They have no idea how to help her, but they do know how to administer treatments for a fee, so they’re administering all the ones they can think of.

    How depressing. This family has been sorely abused, and the leeches will cause the death of their daughter.

  28. #28 JGC
    maybe off topic, but...
    December 9, 2013

    Two more reasons why infant mortality rate is a poor metric for comparing health care across nations:

    In the US precisely because we have access to top flight medical care doctors often expend great effort and resources during prenatal stages to maintain the preganancy of a baby with a poor chance of survival, increasing the number live births of babies less likely to survive–babies who would be carried to term in other nations.

    There’s also the question of who in which nations are having babies. Teenage mothers are more likely to have preterm, low-birth-weight babies and the infant mortality rate for infants born to teens is twice to 3 times as high as for infants born to mothers twenty-five to twenty-nine years old. And a lot of teenagers have babies in the US compared to other nations, about 3 times more than Canada and 7 times more than Sweden or Japan. More births to teeangers equals higher overall infant mortality compared to other nations but not as a function of any failure to deliver adequate healthcare.

  29. #29 Calli Arcale
    December 9, 2013

    There’s another very important thing to consider as well, JGC: the question of definitions. In the US, any child who draws breath outside the womb is considered live born. In most of the rest of the world, including Europe to which we are often unfavorably compared, an infant who perishes within 24 hours is listed instead as a stillbirth. It is impossible to accurately measure the impact this has on the statistics, since although infant deaths are very accurately recorded in both the US and Europe, stillbirths are not, because in the former case there is a birth certificate and a death certificate, while in the latter case there is neither.

    This *alone* would be expected to greatly inflate the US infant mortality rate, since all those babies who fail to respond to lifesaving measures within the first day of life will be listed as deaths in the US but stillbirths elsewhere.

  30. #30 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    December 9, 2013

    At the risk of belaboring an old point, We have excellent science based medicine in the US when we manage to deliver it. The problem has been the large number of people who were left out of the system due to being refused the right to buy health insurance, and/or out of general poverty. For those people, access to something like the NHS would be a small miracle, and their overall average health and longevity would likely improve. The issue in question is not whether or not this young girl had access to care — obviously she has been offered care of a very high order — but the refusal to accept that care. Arguments about the overall cost of healthcare in the US or even infant mortality in the absence of prenatal care are not germane since state of the art diagnosis and treatment were provided to her until she was taken out of the country.

    There is another significant issue that is always around, but usually under the radar, and that is a significant level of anti-intellectualism in humans. We see it here in terms of the anti-vaccine people, the UFO cranks, the 911 nutjobs, and the run of the mill nutritional supplement takers. I think we see something similar in Europe in terms of the activist anti-GMO movement, the anti-vaccination trend (apparently at least as bad as our own), and the various extremist political parties. In each case, we have people who know nothing of biochemistry (it’s hard) or mathematical physics (it’s hard) or medicine (it’s hard, and they just won’t listen to the well intended advice of the best experts).

  31. #31 Narad
    December 9, 2013

    For those people, access to something like the NHS would be a small miracle

    I’m fortunate by virtue of location, but access to Medicaid has been rather more than a “small” miracle. I’m going to be absolutely screwed when the ACA, in a stroke of perversity, takes away what it provided in the first place.

    Arguments about the overall cost of healthcare in the US or even infant mortality in the absence of prenatal care are not germane since state of the art diagnosis and treatment were provided to her until she was taken out of the country.

    This isn’t necessarily entirely true. The Amish have a habit of refusing charity care and paying cash, if at a negotiated rate. Whether that was the case here is unknown, although IIRC there legally could not be a bill to the family for treatment under the guardianship.

  32. #32 Krebiozen
    December 9, 2013

    I have a few thoughts about vitamin C and oxygen therapies, since they have been mentioned again. The free radical hypothesis of aging and disease suggests that aging and most diseases are the result of free radicals damaging our tissues. This is clearly true to some extent, with hardening of arteries and loss of flexibility of skin etc. being due to free radical damage to collagen, causing cross-linkage analogous to rubber perishing.

    Vitamin C and other antioxidants are supposed to prevent this process and thus cure a range of diseases and delay aging. Sadly it seems that both reduction and oxidation damage tissues; our bodies do a balancing act between the two, and mostly do a very good job of it, given a reasonably good diet and lifestyle. Unbalancing this homeostasis with huge doses of antioxidants (vitamin C can also act as an oxidant in high doses) doesn’t seem very wise to me, though our bodies do appear to cope fairly well.

    I have seen some evidence that vitamin C may help in the later stages of cancer, when cachexia and catabolic tissue breakdown may flood the body with free radicals. There is also some evidence that it has an anti-tumor effect but in concentrations it is difficult to reach and maintain, even with IV ascorbate. I haven’t quite given up hope for high dose ascorbate in cancer, but I’m getting very close.

    As for oxygen therapies, the idea is that healthy, normal cells can tolerate higher oxygen concentrations than pathogens and cancer cells. There may be some truth to this, but oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and ozone can all damage normal cells in high concentrations.

    The idea that oxygen therapies can cure cancer largely comes from a misunderstanding of the Warburg Effect; since tumors often outgrow their blood supply, they adapt to grow in low oxygen concentrations, and often switch to glycolysis and lactic acid fermentation to produce energy, which is an anaerobic process. I see that Wikipedia states that this occurs in tumors that have plentiful oxygen as well. I’m not aware of any convincing evidence that oxygen therapies are of any use in cancer, though extravagant claims abound.

    I think this is interesting as it’s another misunderstanding based on the effects of disease (in this case low oxygen) being thought to be the cause, and reversal of this being used as a treatment (in this case oxygen therapies). We see the same thing with acidosis, which is the result, not a cause, of disease, and alkaline diets, ingestion of bicarbonate, alkaline water etc. used as treatments or prevention.

  33. #33 PhysicsPolice
    Reality-adjacent
    December 9, 2013

    The sickest part of this fiasco is the plea for donations:

    http://www.gofundme.com/sarahs-fund

    Over $15,000 have been raised by David Michael on Sara’s behalf for “… wholesome foods, food supplements and natural medicines and treatments to keep the cancer from returning.”

    The vultures have probably killed this 11 year old girl.

    Now they’re bleeding money from a sympathetic public.

    Disgusting.

  34. #34 Narad
    December 9, 2013

    There may be some truth to this, but oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and ozone can all damage normal cells in high concentrations.

    Rectal ozone (I can’t bring myself to admit dual senses of “insufflation”), which is among the “oxygen therapies” peddled in Tijuana, seems as though it fares poorly in this regard.

  35. #35 palindrom
    December 9, 2013

    Narad etc — time to remind folks of a relevant xkcd:

    http://xkcd.com/1217/

  36. #36 Narad
    December 9, 2013

    Is it just me, or shouldn’t Maurice have been trumpeting the glorious details of his court appearance today to formally accept the white flag by now?

  37. #37 Narad
    December 9, 2013

    Nothing from “Mr. Augie,” either, although his most recent FB comment is most excellently oblivious to the actual topic.

  38. #38 Young CC Prof
    December 9, 2013

    Regarding infant mortality: A better measure for international comparison among wealthier nations is the perinatal mortality rate, which includes both newborn deaths and stillbirths after 27 weeks.

    According to the WHO, the US is right in the middle of the wealthy nations on that measure, worse than Sweden and Norway, but better than Britain and the Netherlands.

  39. #39 Khani
    December 9, 2013

    Shooting stuff up your butt, whether it’s coffee or ozone, is *not* natural. It is going up the down staircase, bodily speaking, and that is exactly, literally the opposite of natural.

  40. #40 palindrom
    December 9, 2013

    Khani @39 — Suppositories are a great way of getting medication to someone who is suffering from severe nausea and will immediately barf back anything they take orally. Other than that, though, what’s the point?

  41. #41 Khani
    December 9, 2013

    Sure. I didn’t say it was bad in all or even most cases or in fact, any csaes. I said it wasn’t natural. It’s not natural.

    If they say they’re giving Sarah “natural” remedies, and giving that as an example, they are not being truthful.

  42. #42 Narad
    December 9, 2013

    If they say they’re giving Sarah “natural” remedies, and giving that as an example, they are not being truthful.

    The first thing to do, unfortunately, is to sort out who “they” are in this circus of opportunism.

  43. #43 dedicated lurker
    December 9, 2013

    I’ve been trying to raise money for some dental work, myself, and I even set up a fundraiser. I haven’t gotten nearly that much in eight months. Maybe I’m approaching it the wrong way.

    They sell a cherry concentrate at my local grocery store that costs twenty-three bucks. For something smaller than the containers of milk I buy. If for some reason I decided that cherries were something more than “tasty fruit” I’d just eat more of them. It’d be cheaper.

  44. #44 I. Rony Meter
    December 10, 2013

    “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’s cancer free but receiving all this “therapy”?

    Clearly her parents never believed she was really “cancer free”.

    The hospital is to be commended for taking this case on. The supposed heartlessbean counters would have strong reservations about putting their name on the line with a 15% chance that the full course of chemotherapy wouldn’t be enough. Why risk such a public case with a significant chance of failure? A truly heartless hospital administrator would never have gone after this family.

  45. #45 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    December 10, 2013

    Kreb @ 32:

    “I think this is interesting as it’s another misunderstanding based on the effects of disease (in this case low oxygen) being thought to be the cause, and reversal of this being used as a treatment (in this case oxygen therapies). We see the same thing with acidosis, which is the result, not a cause, of disease, and alkaline diets, ingestion of bicarbonate, alkaline water etc. used as treatments or prevention.”

    Sorry for not doing the quote in italics. Do you do it by standard html bracket coding? Anyway, this is the same argument I have been making about the antineoplaston drugs — there is an observable difference between cancer patients and controls (or so he says, anyway), so let’s put back some of those molecules and cure the patient. Maybe Stanislaw’s wild guess that he had (by dumb luck) isolated the causative substance for not having cancer was really just kind of dumb.

    Regarding antioxidant properties: I can remember the biochemistry textbook I was teaching saying that one of the strongest antioxidants is uric acid. It is interesting that our human longevity (compared to other mammals) is correlated with substantially higher levels of uric acid. In fact we seem to be right on the edge of toxicity and sometimes go over that edge into gout. It seems to me that we are also fairly well max’d out on immune function, with a couple of pounds of white cells and other immune tissue spread around, and lots of diseases caused by the immune system attacking the rest of the body.

  46. #46 Julian Frost
    December 10, 2013

    Sorry for not doing the quote in italics. Do you do it by standard html bracket coding?

    Yes. [i] text to be italicised [/i]
    [blockquote]

    text to be blockquoted

    [/blockquote]
    Replace the squre brackets with < and &rt;

  47. #47 Julian Frost
    December 10, 2013

    Please bring back preview or edit.

  48. #48 weirdnoise
    December 10, 2013

    Actually, there is evidence that at least some antioxidants may increase the incidence of cancer. In Dr Paul Offit’s book, Do You Believe In Magic?: The Sense And Nonsense Of Alternative Medicine, he lists trials of vitamin therapies that actually seemed to increase cancer incidence. One hypothesis is that, by inhibiting free radicals, the machinery the body uses to kill hostile cells is compromised by high doses of antioxidants.

  49. #49 herr doktor bimler
    December 10, 2013

    Over $15,000 have been raised by David Michael on Sara’s behalf

    For both the quantity of money, and its ultimate destination, we only have his word for it. A guy who uses multiple aliases, and has abrogated the right to speak for the Hershbergers without any indication of them appointing him to that role.

  50. #50 Krebiozen
    December 10, 2013

    Bob G,

    Regarding antioxidant properties: I can remember the biochemistry textbook I was teaching saying that one of the strongest antioxidants is uric acid. It is interesting that our human longevity (compared to other mammals) is correlated with substantially higher levels of uric acid. In fact we seem to be right on the edge of toxicity and sometimes go over that edge into gout.

    I’ve seen it argued that uric acid has replaced the functions of ascorbate in descendants of one of our ancestors that lost the ability to make it some millions of years ago. Since uric acid is barely soluble in physiological fluids, and sometimes crystallizes out, causing gout, renal calculi and tophi, there has to be some good reason we don’t convert it to allantoin, which is extremely soluble, as other animals (and birds) do.

    It seems to me that we are also fairly well max’d out on immune function, with a couple of pounds of white cells and other immune tissue spread around, and lots of diseases caused by the immune system attacking the rest of the body.

    This is another area where our bodies are in a state of balance, in this case between susceptibility to infection on the one hand and inflammation, autoimmune diseases and allergies on the other. ‘Boosting the immune system’, even assuming this is possible, would not necessarily be a good thing.

    Science tells us that human bodies are in an exquisitely controlled state of homeostasis. CAM seems to think human bodies are like buckets that we throw stuff into and that overflows as urine (hence using urine pH tests to test ‘body pH’).

  51. #51 Narad
    December 10, 2013

    Well, Olberholtzer has moved to withdraw from the case. Apparently, the Hershbergers prefer Maurice.

  52. #52 Angel
    December 10, 2013

    LeRoy Keim’s status.
    2 hours ago
    “Had an awesome night last night after getting the news that the guardian agrees to step down from trying to snatch Sarah Hershberger away in a conversation she was having with the new lead lawyer that has a hugh interest in this case from a constitution standpoint, there will still have to be a legal process take place before they can actually feel safe and protected ,which is in process I want to give a big Kudos to some people that got involved and took action and of their time to make a difference in this case to bring hope to a family that went through turmoil because of a corrupt medical industry that hopefully will have learned that you dont say ” don’t worry about the amish they wont sue” David Michael Amanda Marie Jon McDonald The Ohio Constitution Center Wunderbar Gute Gesundheit Chris Beat Cancer I Beat Cancer Some of you Dont know but by making your info available it made all the difference in the world and some as drivers , as well as all you who donated and kept praying for Sarah and her Family !! Any way our awesome night was going to the Life Unlimited Tour and got to talk one on one with Russ Bianchi the formulator for Zija !! All toped off with a steak dinner at out back steakhouse with my Spouse and a few others !!” And yet another get’s on the let’s take advantage of this chance to make more money train!All about the profit’s!

  53. #53 David N. Brown
    December 10, 2013

    I have been checking on the updates on this case. What I find especially interesting is the cultural implications of an Amish family turning to “alternative” cancer care. Given the self-isolation characteristic of the Amish population, it would be expected that they would be about as hostile to mass-marketed alternative medicine as they would be to mainstream conventional medicine. It could also be expected that the Amish would be easily alienated by the strong influence of Eastern religion on alternative medicine. The Hershberger family’s decision to seek alternative medicine would suggest either that the “alt med” practitioners have made impressive inroads in the traditional Amish communities, or that “progressive” developments in those communities have made them more open to outside influences in general.

  54. #54 JustNuts
    December 10, 2013

    @Douglas: Medical practice is certainly not adverse to the use of vitamins – if a need is established. Both vitamins K and B12 have well established rationales for administration. Vitamin C, however, when examined in a credible scientific manner, has never been validated to be of much benefit to anyone, Especially in the typical high dosages recommended by alt-med purveyors.

  55. #55 Narad
    December 10, 2013

    The Hershberger family’s decision to seek alternative medicine would suggest either that the “alt med” practitioners have made impressive inroads in the traditional Amish communities, or that “progressive” developments in those communities have made them more open to outside influences in general.

    My understanding is that the Swartzentrubers are conservative to the point that the Old Order may be considered only “technically ‘Amish’.” I’m not really seeing any occultism in what they’ve been pursuing, just standard nonmystical hogwash.

  56. #56 Angel
    December 10, 2013

    David,It’s all about Grandpa’s influence.Not only is he Sarah’s mother’s father he is the main Bishop of the ten churches in the community.Doesn’t hurt that both he and his ex- Amish son happen to sell Zija.Mr.Bianchi is sure to make a killing off of this endeavor!

  57. #57 Narad
    December 10, 2013

    Medical practice is certainly not adverse to the use of vitamins

    Supplements are quite popular among the Amish, according to this.

  58. #58 Lawrence
    December 10, 2013

    The Amish have been predisposed towards Modern Medicine in recent decades, since the various genetic issues afflicting them (due to the limited gene pool) have become more evident – many Amish cemeteries look very much like ones out of the 19th Century – with more than 50% of the markers being children that died from various genetic afflictions….

    It really gives lie to all of that anti-vax nonsense that the Amish are some paragons of health….

  59. #59 herr doktor bimler
    December 10, 2013

    it would be expected that [the Amish] would be about as hostile to mass-marketed alternative medicine as they would be to mainstream conventional medicine.

    As Angel says, “mass-marketed alternative medicine” in the form of Zija MLM is the family’s business model.

  60. #60 David N. Brown
    December 10, 2013

    @Narad: Are you saying that the family the Hershbergers are from would regard the rest of the Old Order as too “liberal”? An absence of open occult/ religious claims would make sense as a way to avoid offending the Amish religious sensibilities.

    @Lawrence: By all indications, the principle source of the “Amish anomaly” idea were alternative medical practitioners active in the Amish community. I believe it is possible to take some of their claims at face value as plausible ethnographic data. Much has also been written about the Amish seeking social services. In my opinion, one thing the government should do is add the Amish to recognized ethnic/ racial categories. If that step were taken, it would not be surprising if reporting of public services went up.

  61. #61 Angel
    December 10, 2013

    What you don’t understand is that they have their own medical practitioners that they use.Some may be Amish but they will go to Chiropractors as well as holistic clinics as well.Again I believe that most are quacks but just like the Hershberger’s if you want it to work bad enough,it just might.Even if for a little while.

  62. #62 Angel
    December 10, 2013

    ttention: NE Ohioans.
    “‘Wednesday, December 18th.2013 1:00 – 3:30 PM Homerville Community Center, Route 301, just North of State route 224, Homerville Ohio; Hear the full story about Sarah! Learn about your legal rights and about FREEDOM of choice. Tips to protect your family from medical abuse! Spread the word please! Information 330-875-1208 or 440 371-0555 God Bless everyone and hope to see you there!!”
    Be there or be square!!Via RMG Let the fun begin.

  63. #63 MadisonMD
    December 11, 2013

    Well, well, vitamin C… AGAIN?

    Here’s what good ol’ Alex Solzhenitsyn said about Vitamin C (AKA ascorbic acid) in his 1968 novel Cancer Ward:

    So it had not been very difficult to work out Proshka’s diagnosis: ‘Tumor of the heart, case inoperable.’ Not only inoperable, but untreatable, too if they were prescribing ascorbic acid.

    and

    ‘We’re going to discharge you today.’
    Proshka was thrilled to bits. His black eyebrows shot up to the ceiling.
    ‘What? You mean there won’t be an operation?’
    She shook her head and gave him a faint smile. …
    ‘So I’m healthy, am I?’
    ‘Not completely.’ …
    She turned to the nurse. ‘Ascorbic acid.’
    Maria bowed her head severely and noted it down in her book.

    Of course, Proshka was sent home to die, vitamin C in hand.

    So it turns out that Vitamin C therapy was an obvious humbug to a patient in a Stalin-era Siberian Cancer Ward. But somehow its not obvious to these Ohioans in 2013?

    PS. Alex was cured of lymphoma by the 1950′s standard of care–radiation– which was actually available in the Stalin-era Siberian cancer ward. He lived another whopping 54 years after his treatment and died at age 89 of heart failure.

  64. #64 Narad
    December 11, 2013

    I’m having perfectly sensible comments FB-whine deleted over here, if anybody feels like throwing in.

  65. #65 herr doktor bimler
    December 11, 2013

    Shooting stuff up your butt, whether it’s coffee or ozone, is *not* natural.

    In the penultimate chapter of Huysmans’ “Against Nature” (a.k.a. “Against the grain”), the protagonist has a physical collapse from his extreme life-style — these days he’d be affiliated to the post-human body-hacking philosophy — and since any food taken by mouth comes straight back up again, the doctor prescribes a nourishing enema three times daily.

    Des Esseintes could not help secretly congratulating himself on this experience which was, so to speak, the crowning achievement of the life he had planned for himself; his taste for the artificial had now, without even the slightest effort on his part, attained its supreme fulfilment. No one, he thought, would ever go any further; taking nourishment in this way was undoubtedly the ultimate deviation from the norm.

  66. #66 Narad
    December 11, 2013

    @Narad: Are you saying that the family the Hershbergers are from would regard the rest of the Old Order as too “liberal”?

    That’s my understanding of the relationship between the Swartzentrubers and the Old Order, yes. No intermarriage, won’t fellowship with each other in regions where that’s a possibility, etc. (Of course, the same goes among different sects within the Swartzentrubers.)

    This plays out most obviously from the outside, from what I’ve seen and noted somewhere, in the orange-triangle routine on the buggies. Old Order, yes; Swartzentruber, no.

    Isaac Keim, Sarah’s grandfather, is prominently part of a subsplit (the spacing is likely to be totally screwed up):

    Swartzentruber → Joe Troyer (more liberal)
       ↘
        Moses Miller et al. (less)
    &nsbp;   ↙&nsbp;   ↘
    Miller/Isaac Keim    Andy Weaver

  67. #67 Narad
    December 11, 2013

    Close enough, I suppose.

  68. #68 herr doktor bimler
    December 11, 2013

    Isaac Keim, Sarah’s grandfather, is prominently part of a subsplit

    Any idea how the family got hooked up with a Tea-Party anti-Health-Care loon like Maurice? Apart from shared authoritarianism, and a desire to be free from onerous consumer-protection anti-scam regulations?

  69. #69 Narad
    December 11, 2013

    Any idea how the family got hooked up with a Tea-Party anti-Health-Care loon like Maurice?

    Maurice was slow to identify the presence of a bandwagon, now, wasn’t he? And certainly hasty in cranking out that embarrassment to amicus briefs everywhere three days on the heels of Olberholtzer’s surreal but actual memorandum brief.

    Perhasp someone reminded him of his valiant civil rights testimony (PDF) or something.

    We would also be remiss if we did not mention the effect of raw milk prohibition and “retail food establishment” licensing laws on rural and Appalachian Ohioans, and particularly Amish and Mennonite sects. My firm has represented rural small business owners shut down for running such businesses from their rural home properties, businesses that are not just shut down, but even raided by SWAT teams for a licensing infraction even though their customers are private members who voluntarily choose to transact with them.

    This tour de force of disjointedness is more than I can fully take in at the moment.

  70. #70 Narad
    December 11, 2013

    But…

    even though their customers are private members

    Pick one, Maurice. Lady Justice is blindfolded, not suffering an autoimmune attack on here exocrine glands.

  71. #71 Narad
    December 11, 2013

    ^ Sorry about the sustained typos.

  72. #72 Francesca Thomas
    December 11, 2013

    …in place of treatment with proven efficacy.
    Can someone please show me the data and the proof that says that chemotherapy and radiation both have a 50 percent or higher success rate for patients with the same type of “Aggressive” cancer that Sarah has? That at least 50% of patients with this type of cancer survive the chemo and LIVE for 5 years after? Coz I bet there is no such thing. I will bet that the survival rate of patients with this type of “aggressive” cancer, most of them (I’m guessing at least 80% – thats 8 out of every 10 patients) die and those that do survive, dont make it to 5 years post treatment – because the poisonous chemo and the radiation KILLS them!!!

  73. #73 Krebiozen
    December 11, 2013

    JustNuts,

    Vitamin C, however, when examined in a credible scientific manner, has never been validated to be of much benefit to anyone, Especially in the typical high dosages recommended by alt-med purveyors.

    I think we should be wary of throwing out the baby with the bathwater because of hyperbolic claims by woomeisters. Very sick people are often deficient in vitamin C, through poor diet and increased utilization, sometimes with undetectable levels. We do have very efficient mechanisms for conserving ascorbate, but in very sick people these may be impaired.

    Large quantities of ascorbate, (3g/day in parenteral fluids is suggested in this paper) may be required to replenish body pools in very unwell patients. As I mentioned above, high dose IV ascorbate also shows promise in treating end-stage cancer patients with cachexia and sepsis.

    A few years ago an ITU nurse told me they routinely give very sick patients gram quantities of ascorbate in IV fluids, and that it is standard treatment in burns patients. There is a lot of literature supporting this if you dig around PubMed.

  74. #74 Krebiozen
    December 11, 2013

    Francesa Thomas,

    I will bet that the survival rate of patients with this type of “aggressive” cancer, most of them (I’m guessing at least 80% – thats 8 out of every 10 patients) die and those that do survive, dont make it to 5 years post treatment – because the poisonous chemo and the radiation KILLS them!!!

    You would lose that bet (please read the page linked to). Treatment for acute lymphoblastic lymphoma has been steadily improving for several decades. A child given the full treatment has an 85% chance of being alive after 5 years and a very good chance of living a normal life after that.

    Do you really think it is helpful making up lies making wildly inaccurate guesses about the success rate for conventional treatment of this type of cancer? Haven’t you noticed that this blog discusses the real success rate in detail, with links to evidence to support it?

  75. #75 Agashem
    Under arrested development
    December 11, 2013

    Nice try, Francesca, however, if chemo, etc were really bad and too expensive, don’t you think my government (Canada) would opt for vitamin C and coffee up my butt? My government pays for all that stuff, so trust me, if it was cheaper, they would make us have those treatments. BTW, where did you study medicine/physiology/anatomy?

  76. #76 Krebiozen
    December 11, 2013

    I should also add that the survival rate for this type of cancer when treated with CAM without treatment, is essentially zero. Maybe chemotherapy isn’t as deadly as you have been told, Francesca.

  77. #77 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 11, 2013

    Narad –

    if you put a block of formatted text between [pre] [/pre] text (angle brackets instead of square, of course) it should work.

    Francesca -

    Why are you setting the goalposts as “must save at least 50% of patients”? You quoted the phrase “a treatment of proven efficacy”, so it sounds like you’re trying to imply something there, but what relevance does the figure of 50% have to do with that? Are you saying that if chemo and radiation give five-year survival to “only” 45% of patients with ALL, that’s the same as nothing?

  78. #78 Krebiozen
    December 11, 2013

    I’m amused recently by the weird reversals I see in some of the comments here. A crank accuses those who support science based medicine of being cranks. Someone who makes up survival rates for a cancer, and supports treatments that have no evidence for them at all claims to be, “in place of treatment with proven efficacy”. My newly calibrated irony meter (with polarity reversal protection) is humming with pleasure.

  79. #79 Dangerous Bacon
    December 11, 2013

    “I’m amused recently by the weird reversals I see in some of the comments here. A crank accuses those who support science based medicine of being cranks.”

    Lack of self-awareness and projection are defining features of wooists. “Your science is just like a religion!” is one of my favorites, coming as it does from people who take most of their beliefs on the basis of faith and witnessing.

  80. #80 Angel
    December 11, 2013

    I was just informed by someone involved in Sarah’s cause that she was checked out by Saint Jude Hospital and declared cancer free.I am hoping that this info is true and they continue an ongoing relationship with this hospital.In the end it is about this little girl who deserves every chance at beating this disease.And it is my understanding that it was “Raw Milk Guy” that contacted the parents and it was him who got everyone else involved.

  81. #81 Lawrence
    December 11, 2013

    @Angel – the girl went through at least some Chemo, so any likelihood that she is doing better today is a result of that treatment – what she is faced with now is a very substantial chance that Cancer is going to come “roaring back” and there won’t be time or the means to treat her at that point…..very sad.

  82. #82 Angel
    December 11, 2013

    @Lawrence,I’m aware of her chances of the cancer coming back.I am just hoping that when it does come back that the parents will consider letting Saint Jude help them.Although it will be a slim chance of a cure at least it will be a chance!

  83. #83 Narad
    December 11, 2013

    Schimer filed a response memo with the Ohio supreme court today. Scan’s not up yet.

  84. #84 Narad
    December 11, 2013

    It’s up.

    S.H. completed the induction phase. Unfortunately, while the visible tumors were reduced in size, the cancer was not in remission. She received one treatment of the next phase, consolidation. Following that one treatment, at the end of June 2013, her parents told Dr. Prasad Bodas, S.H.’s treating physician, that they were not going to allow her to receive any further chemotherapy. They said that, in lieu of chemotherapy, they were going to treat her with homeopathic products.

    I guess I shouldn’t have wasted time last night arguing that last point.

  85. #85 herr doktor bimler
    December 11, 2013

    I was just informed by someone involved in Sarah’s cause that she was checked out by Saint Jude Hospital and declared cancer free

    My experience of oncologists is that they’re loath to declare anyone “cancer free”. “In remission” is the nearest they come.

    There seems to be some form of quantum duality going on in the various public announcements. The poor girl is (a) desperately ill and needs treatment with expensive stuff in Mexico (so please give lots of money to Augenstein); AND (b) completely cured so the hospital can butt out now.

  86. #86 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    December 11, 2013

    @palindrom #40:

    Yes, suppositories can be used like that. Been there, done that. However, it’s an absolute last resort, as you probably know. It’s really not fun at all.

  87. #87 Angel
    December 11, 2013

    @Herr doktor bimler,Let’s just hope that she is in remission & realize that if the parents thought that she was truly cancer free they probably wouldn’t be seeking help from South American doctors.Like Orac stated she is probably doomed,but one can still hope!

  88. #88 Buffo Sprinkle
    Earth
    December 17, 2013

    Your absolute belief in the value of chemotherapy is interesting. None of us knows how we would deal with a situation such as this, but I’m 100% certain I wouldn’t let doctors poison my entire body in the hope that the cancer cells would succomb before my other organs failed. There is absolutely no data which proves that a person lives longer with chemo than hewould have without it, but we do know that person’t quality of life goes straight down the crapper on chemotherapy. It is likely that many forms of cancer are simply a death sentence, no matter what we do in response.

  89. #89 Lawrence
    December 17, 2013

    @Buffo – I seriously doubt you reside on Earth….and you probably are oblivious to the fact you are commenting on a blog run by a Cancer Surgeon & Researcher, right?

  90. #90 Julian Frost
    December 17, 2013

    **fires up the popcorn maker and hopes Buffo Sprinkle isn’t a Brave Sir Robin**

  91. #91 Shay
    December 17, 2013

    It is likely that many forms of cancer are simply a death sentence, no matter what we do in response.

    No it is not likely. Perhaps before posting your virtually fact-free comments, you might have done some research on cancer survival rates over the last 30 years, and also on quality of life issues among cancer survivors.

  92. #92 Calli Arcale
    December 17, 2013

    A friend of mine had leukemia at age 5. She underwent several treatments, including chemo. That was over 30 years ago, and she’s now married to the man of her dreams. So there, Buffo Sprinkle. ;-)

  93. #93 Shay
    December 17, 2013

    Calli, I was going to add that I recently completed a research project with a faculty member from one of our local universities. Had she not made a passing reference to it, I would not have known she is currently in remission for breast cancer.

    Poor ol’ Buff probably numbers a handful of cancer patients/survivors among her/his circle of friends and acquaintances and is completely unaware of it.

  94. #94 joycoach
    December 18, 2013

    It’s about choice, not forcing families to go against their honest judgement of what is best for a child or any family member. Who are any of us to say “she would live longer and have a wonderful life if only…”

  95. #95 Lawrence
    December 18, 2013

    @Joy – because the evidence has shown that without treatment, she will die – probably awfully (in a lot of pain).

    How is that different than child abuse?

  96. #96 Renate
    December 18, 2013

    So if a family choose to let their child die, it’s allright?
    Killing the child is murder.
    Not feeding the child, is child abuse.
    Not giving the child proper medical care is?

  97. #97 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 18, 2013

    Who are any of us to say “she would live longer and have a wonderful life if only…”

    Why shouldn’t people be willing or able to say that?

    Some people who comment here are doctors who have treated cancer, read the relevant research, and have data to say that “the probability of someone with condition x living longer are higher if she does y”. If we go to the general case, you only need to be aware of the general research to know that she would likely live longer and have a higher quality of life if only …
    - she ate a balanced diet with sufficient nutrients for good health.
    - she didn’t smoke.
    - she looked both ways before crossing the road.
    - she didn’t have bats in her room.
    - she didn’t pet rabid raccoons.
    - she got vaccinated for certain common and dangerous diseases.

    Who are you to ask who am i?

  98. #98 Sarah A
    December 18, 2013

    @joycoach – No one contests a parent’s right to make decisions for their child – within reason. That last part is, of course, the kicker – who gets to decide what constitutes reason?

    I don’t know if you are aware, but there is a group of people called “breatharians” who truly, sincerely believe that human beings can live without food (no joke – wiki it.) Why don’t they all die less than a month after coming to this realization? The leaders and gurus are probably flat-out frauds. The followers still eat, but justify it as they simply haven’t given up the food habit yet – if they had enough faith, they could go without eating.

    Lets say one of these breatharians has a baby and decides she’s going to do it a favor by never letting it get into the food habit to begin with. In other words, from a rational point of view, she is going to starve the baby to death due to her firmly held but entirely wrong-headed beliefs. Is that her right? Is the baby her property to do with whatever she wishes?

    I’m guessing that in this scenario, you’d have no problem with CPS taking custody of the baby so it can be fed, even though it means “forcing the family to go against their honest judgement of what is best for the child.” Sarah Hershberger’s parents don’t believe that she needs chemo to live, just as breatharians don’t believe that humans need food to live. The empirical evidence shows otherwise, in both cases. So if its justified to go against the parent’s wishes to prevent a child from starving to death, why wouldn’t it be justified to go against a parent’s wishes to prevent a child from dying of a treatable illness?

  99. #99 david
    December 19, 2013

    Dear misinformed writer and readers;

    Did you know that every cancer patient who is administered chemo is worth $300,000.00 on average to the big pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and doctors?

    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.

    Did you know that hospitals are “for profit” organizations who make large sums of money from chemotherapy treatment?

    Did you know that the big pharmaceutical companies who make chemotherapy practically fund and control governmental policy, FDA, NCI, NIH and yes, even the beloved American Cancer Society?

    Did you know the big pharmaceutical companies have created a multi-trillion dollar business from chemotherapy drugs?

    What I’m trying to say here is, many of us in the US accept chemo as the responsible’ treatment because we are told it works by an unprecedented spiderweb of communication all derived from the same source powered by money, trillions of dollars. There is a great deal of corruption behind this treatment. I don’t say that lightly, big pharma can and does get any law passed they want to lock people in to the system that makes them a lot of money. For example, the only legal treatments for cancer allowed to be practiced in the US are chemo, surgery and radiation and it’s NOT because those treatments work, they don’t. There have been many success treatments for cancer, but they have been shunned by big pharma and the institutionalized machine they keep oiled so well in the US. Alternative treatments will never pass the tests controlled by big pharma or get passed by the governments big pharma fund regardless of how effective they are. But why? I’ll tell you why, big pharma can’t patent alternative treatments that don’t use synthetic drugs. Big pharma can’t patent nature, so they don’t like it plain and simple. This, my friends, is why nutrition based therapy is quacked at by the institutional spider web of deception.

    Chemotherapy is toxic, it actually causes cancer but they will not tell you that. Chemotherapy is a carcinogenic. When they prescribe chemotherapy and put on their sales hat to hopefully get you to sign on the dotted line, they’ll share success rates and statistics but they won’t tell you things like our success rates are only based on six months of survival. Many natural alternative therapies guarantee success after 5 years or 10 years. When doctors prescribe chemotherapy, they won’t tell you that after your child beats cancer with chemotherapy they could be a vegetable, retarded, deformed and highly likely to get cancer again. When doctors prescribe chemotherapy they won’t tell you any of that but they will, I promise you, get a huge commission check for selling you the drug and they will, I promise you, ask you to sign a waiver relieving themselves and the hospital from any harm caused to you by the chemotherapy drug.

    Time to wake up people.

  100. #100 david
    December 19, 2013

    hmmm I wonder if my previous comment will even be allowed on here since it is an opposing view…

  101. #101 Orac
    December 19, 2013

    First time commenters are automatically placed in the moderation queue and you happened to comment after 1 AM, which meant that I was asleep.

    Fear not. I enjoy seeing such misinformed drivel as your comment; so I approved your comment as soon as I got up.

    BTW, chemotherapy does work.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/10/30/so-chemotherapy-does-work-after-all-revisited/

  102. #102 herr doktor bimler
    December 19, 2013

    they won’t tell you that after your child beats cancer with chemotherapy they could be a vegetable, retarded, deformed

    Any particular vegetable? Dibs on salsify.

  103. #103 Helianthus
    December 19, 2013

    @joycoach

    Who are any of us to say “she would live longer and have a wonderful life if only…”

    Yes, it’s just people’s opinions. It’s not as if any of us wanted to bring facts into the discussion.
    Oh, wait. That’s what science is for.

    Actually, in a way, you are right. That we could say is: “she would be more likely to live longer and have a more decent chance to have a life she could enjoy if only…”

  104. #104 AnObservingParty
    December 19, 2013

    Oh david…. [citation needed], especially if you’re going to list claims that make your shadow group sound so evil they could be voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Back them up!

    Many natural alternative therapies guarantee success after 5 years or 10 years.

    1) You know many chemos are derived from “nature” right? Vincristine? Taxol? Nature does not equal “safe.” 2) “Guarantee?” Well, that’s one point for modern oncology…nobody “guarantees” anything. Because nothing can be guaranteed.

  105. #105 DrBollocks
    December 19, 2013

    @david

    You forgot to call us “sheeple.” I’m very disappointed. The quality of cranks has gone right down.

  106. #106 Dangerous Bacon
    December 19, 2013

    “the only legal treatments for cancer allowed to be practiced in the US are chemo, surgery and radiation”

    Except for targeted therapies and immunotherapy. Oops.

    Why is it that alties are trapped in a weird 1960s time warp and can only babble “chemotherapy, radiation, surgery”, while being unaware of the many advances in cancer treatment in recent decades?

    I really would like a list of those alt med cancer therapists who guarantee patients will be cancer-free 5 or 10 years down the line. I suspect members of the tort bar would like to see it too.

  107. #107 Krebiozen
    December 19, 2013

    David,
    Why do you believe what you wrote? Almost all of it is simply untrue. Many alternative cancer treatments have been tested, and none of them work. Look at OCCAM which has spent billions on research into alternative cancer treatments with practically nothing to show for it.

    I live in the UK, where none of what you have written about doctors profiting from chemotherapy applies. Hospitals have a limited budget and have every motivation to use the most cost effective treatments available. We treat cancer here the same as you do in the US, because it is the most effective treatment available.

    Also, Big Pharma is composed of thousands of separate companies competing with each other. If any of them found a cure for cancer, it would make billions and would put its competitors out of business.

    “Natural” treatments can be patented by the way, it’s a common myth that they cannot. Taxol comes from yew trees, statins are made by fungi, antibiotics too. If a “natural” treatment was effective, its active ingredient could be isolated and patented.

    I could go on, but you should really get your facts right before telling other people to wake up.

  108. #108 LW
    December 19, 2013

    For example, the only legal treatments for cancer allowed to be practiced in the US are chemo, surgery and radiation and it’s NOT because those treatments work, they don’t. There have been many success treatments for cancer, but they have been shunned by big pharma and the institutionalized machine they keep oiled so well in the US.

    It may have escaped your notice, david, but the US is not the world. There are lots of other countries with their own laws, their own industries, their own doctors. Many of them would love to show up the US by producing a working natural cancer cure. All countries could really use the money that would flow in from desperate cancer patients from all over the world coming to them for treatment. 

    And yet, somehow, none of those other countries have produced a working cheap natural cancer cure. Funny, that.  

  109. #109 Lawrence
    December 19, 2013

    @LW – heck, Cuba – which has a really good reputation for providing a variety of medical services around the world would be a perfect example of a country (not beholden to any major corporations) that would be the perfect place for these “natural” cures to be investigated and practiced….funny though, they’ve also jumped on the Conventional Medical bandwagon….wonder why?

    Maybe because it is what works?

  110. #110 Lawrence
    December 19, 2013

    Actually, for that matter – why didn’t we see this come out of the old Soviet Union or from behind the Iron Curtain? Don’t you think, during the height of the Cold War, that the Soviet Union would have loved to have shown up the United States by curing Cancer?

    Use the brain you were given….it isn’t all that hard.

  111. #111 Calli Arcale
    December 19, 2013

    david:
    Did you know that every cancer patient who is administered chemo is worth $300,000.00 on average to the big pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and doctors?

    Did you know that 82.94% of all statistics are made up on the spot? Even if true (and given the quality of your other claims, I’d want a citation), what difference does it make? Heart patients are worth a huge amount of money, and orthopedic patients — holy cow, orthopedics is big money. Why pick on cancer patients, david?

    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.

    No, I did not know that, because it’s not true. Firstly, because pharmaceutical company shenanigans are hardly limited to chemotherapy, and secondly because the REALLY big money-makers that they push are stuff that people would take for decades. Things like statins, osteoporosis drugs, acid reflux treatments, blood pressure treatments, etc.

    Did you know that hospitals are “for profit” organizations who make large sums of money from chemotherapy treatment?

    Some are, not all. A lot of hospitals are actually non-profits.

    Did you know that the big pharmaceutical companies who make chemotherapy practically fund and control governmental policy, FDA, NCI, NIH and yes, even the beloved American Cancer Society?

    If that were true, they’d have removed the FDA years ago. It costs them a huge amount of money. Pharmaceutical companies don’t like the FDA, any more than government contractors like the GAO. It’s just something you gotta work with if you want to play in this market. (Mind you, you are correct that political corruption did lead to some substantial loopholes. The biggest is the loophole that largely bars the FDA from regulating homeopathic remedies.)

    Did you know the big pharmaceutical companies have created a multi-trillion dollar business from chemotherapy drugs?

    The total of healthcare spending in the US — *all* healthcare, mind you, and this is expenditures, not profit — was $2.7 trillion in 2011, 10% of which was spent on prescription drugs. (ref. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/hexpense.htm ) So how do you figure there’s a multi-trillion industry in chemotherapy drugs? Or did you just pull that out of thin air?

    For example, the only legal treatments for cancer allowed to be practiced in the US are chemo, surgery and radiation and it’s NOT because those treatments work, they don’t.

    So, I guess the immune therapies being developed for cancer are all illegal, even though the FDA approved the trials? Huh. Who’d've thunk.

    Big pharma can’t patent nature, so they don’t like it plain and simple.

    Baloney. You can *most certainly* patent natural treatments. It just has to be novel. You can’t go and patent something the guy down the street has been selling for a decade (or at least, you’re not supposed to be able to; there’s a very seedy business in patenting other people’s works and then trying to sue them for infringing). And you can make boatloads of money off of stuff that isn’t patented. Just look at vitamins. That’s huge business these days, and it’s all unpatented. They just plaster it with trademarks instead and market the hell out of it.

    Time to wake up people.

    Yes. I think your toast is burning.

  112. #112 Calli Arcale
    December 19, 2013

    BTW, I’d like to expand on the bit about for-profit hospitals who make a lot of money on cancer patients. I can think of two great examples right off the top of my head:

    Cancer Treatment Centers of America

    And, though, it’s really an outpatient clinic and not a proper hospital,

    The Burzynski Clinic

    Both have, of course, come under criticism on this blog.

  113. #113 david
    December 19, 2013

    Can any doctors on this thread debunk this comment, I notice it has been skimmed over?

    “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.”

    Did I get this wrong? It seems so corrupt to me. Why would doctors need to receive such big monetary gains for prescribing chemo drugs? If it’s the best treatment, why isn’t that a good enough reason to prescribe chemo?

  114. #114 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    Did you know that hospitals are “for profit” organizations who make large sums of money from chemotherapy treatment?

    You’d better get on the blower and let Akron Children’s Hospital, which netted the whopping sum of $23,599 in 2012, that.

  115. #115 LW
    December 19, 2013

    @david, “Let me say that again, doctors receive a huge commission check for prescribing chemo.”

    What is the basis for your saying this? There’s not much point in anyone arguing with what the voices in your head tell you.

    Also, Calli Arcale answered your false statement.

  116. #116 david
    December 19, 2013

    @Narad

    Good job for finding a non-profit hospital. The point was that most hospitals in the US are for-profit and most people in the US aren’t aware of it. People should be aware of it just like people should be aware that Doctor’s make a lot of commission for prescribing chemo.

  117. #117 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    ^ “know that”

  118. #118 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    Good job for finding a non-profit hospital.

    It’s the only hospital that’s of any relevance in the Hershberger case. Do you think the quack clinic in Tijuana or wherever her parents hauled her was a nonprofit?

  119. #119 david
    December 19, 2013

    @LW you’re doing the same dance doctors always do, i wonder if you are one. You didn’t debunk the statement and neither did Calli. Calli simply pointed out that the problem is much worse than what I thought. Calli pointed out that doctors receive perks for prescribing a ton of other long term drugs. Just horrible.

    Are you suggesting that doctors don’t receive commission or money for prescribing chemo? This is the core of the statement and believe me, I want to be wrong on this one. Am I?

  120. #120 Sarah A
    December 19, 2013

    @david

    Its hard to debunk an unsubstantiated assertion except by pointing out that it is, in fact, unsubstantiated. I remember there being a big stink a few years back when it was discovered that some doctors were prescribing treatments they owned stock in (might have been on 60 Minutes?), so I can’t imagine that they are getting big fat checks from chemo providers without anyone noticing or caring.

  121. #121 AnObservingParty
    December 19, 2013

    Good job for finding a non-profit hospital. The point was that most hospitals in the US are for-profit and most people in the US aren’t aware of it. People should be aware of it just like people should be aware that Doctor’s make a lot of commission for prescribing chemo.

    I can list several represented in just my APIC chapter alone. In fact, I’m personally sitting in one. If you are going to make a spurious claim, you need to cite your source.

    Are you suggesting that doctors don’t receive commission or money for prescribing chemo?

    You are wrong. Especially since it’s usually not a single doctor, but a team that makes the determination. And if it’s a trial drug, there actual laws with jail time about kick-backs, etc. See, there are regulations for that. And, you are making the gross general statement that every doctor who provides chemo is an evil, greedy, money-grubber with no sense for the science or the benefit of mankind. We are under NO obligation to debunk you, as you did not cite a source. The onus is on you. You make the statement thinking you are right…where did you acquire such information?

  122. #122 Johanna
    December 19, 2013

    @David – fortunately, it’s not difficult to find a not-for-profit HMO in the continental US, such as Kaiser Permanente.

    (Mind you, I ain’t saying they’re perfect…)

  123. #123 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    Are you suggesting that doctors don’t receive commission or money for prescribing chemo?

    Are you unable to wrap your head around the notion that hospital physicians generally receive flat salaries? It’s true that chemotherapy could be a high-margin Medicare reimbursement for private practitioners before the Medicare Modernization Act, but that appears to be because the reimbursements were calculated on an average wholesale basis (PDF).

    Why on Earth would manufacturers offer secret “commissions” when they could just build it into the price? The only plausible explanation for what you’re advancing is (e.g.) this.

  124. #124 Dangerous Bacon
    December 19, 2013

    “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?”

    This claim will come as a shock to all the alties who are convinced that doctors commonly get kickbacks for prescribing _all_ pharma drugs.
    Why don’t you tell us the source for your allegation that all chemo prescriptions result in drug company kickbacks?

    The reality is far different, as indicated by news stories earlier this year indicating the cancer clinics were turning away Medicare patients due to cuts in reimbursement for cancer treatments:

    “Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients, blaming the sequester budget cuts.

    “Oncologists say the reduced funding, which took effect for Medicare on April 1, makes it impossible to administer expensive chemotherapy drugs while staying afloat financially.”

    “Patients at these clinics would need to seek treatment elsewhere, such as at hospitals that might not have the capacity to accommodate them.”.

    “If we treated the patients receiving the most expensive drugs, we’d be out of business in six months to a year,” said Jeff Vacirca, chief executive of North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates in New York. “The drugs we’re going to lose money on we’re not going to administer right now.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/03/cancer-clinics-are-turning-away-thousands-of-medicare-patients-blame-the-sequester/

    If there were huge kickbacks from drug companies every time an oncologist prescribed chemo, why on earth would cancer clinics care about a relatively small drop in government reimbursement and turn away patients? You’d expect them to see every cancer patient possible to maximize that pharma loot.

    I don’t expect you to comprehend this logic, because frankly, I think you’re an idiot.

  125. #125 LW
    December 19, 2013

    @david, here’s a point for you to consider:

    Doctors die of cancer. Doctors’ loved ones die of cancer. Oncologists die of cancer. Oncologists’ loved ones die of cancer.

    Do you really believe that doctors go to their early graves smiling, because at least their friends are still getting that yummy pharma lucre? Do you think they smile while they bury their parents, spouses, children, because at least they didn’t give away the secret by saving their loved ones? Do you think this conspiracy has held together for decades?

    Really?

  126. #126 Shay
    December 19, 2013

    People should be aware of it just like people should be aware that Doctor’s make a lot of commission for prescribing chemo.

    You made the statement, david with a small d, now you back it up. What is your source? If you spent any time at all on this blog, you’d notice that accusations tossed out with no supporting documentation are sent howling back into the black hole of ignorance when they came.

  127. #127 Bill Price
    December 19, 2013

    Good job for finding a non-profit hospital. The point was that most hospitals in the US are for-profit and most people in the US aren’t aware of it.

    In the state of Utah, there is a big chain of health-care facilities. including multiple hospitals, Intermountain Health Care. It started life as the LDS hospital system, but was separated from the church some years ago. It is non-profit: it files IRS the paperwork to prove. The big hospital in Salt Lake City is the University of Utah Med Center: obviously non-profit. There are Catholic hospitals, which may be non-profit, but since they are religious facilities, they don’t have to file the IRS paperwork that allows one to verify whether or not the archdiocese or the vatican gets a profit from them.
    Then there’s the four or so small for-profit hospitals belonging to HCA. You have to look really hard to find a hospital that’s a recognizable for-profit operation.
    At least in Southern California, also, one must look hard to find for-profit hospitals. (I can’t speak for the rest of the sate, nor for other states, but my partial report illustrates that your assertion does not hold much water.)

  128. #128 TBruce
    December 19, 2013

    Calli pointed out that doctors receive perks for prescribing a ton of other long term drugs. Just horrible.

    No, he didn’t, you idiot. Here’s a tip: When you read, comprehend.

    Are you suggesting that doctors don’t receive commission or money for prescribing chemo? This is the core of the statement and believe me, I want to be wrong on this one. Am I?

    Yes, you are wrong. Your unsupported statement has been countered by my unsupported statement.
    Provide support or GTFO.

  129. #129 herr doktor bimler
    December 19, 2013

    Many natural alternative therapies guarantee success after 5 years or 10 years.

    The catch is that the guarantee doesn’t apply to those people who stopped the therapy before the 5 or 10 years was up (on account of being dead).

  130. #130 TBruce
    December 19, 2013

    More for dimwit david:

    In Canada, all acute care hospitals are non-profit. Most oncologists work for academic instituions and provincial cancer agencies on a salaried basis. No one gets kickbacks for prescribing chemotherapy. Yet they STILL prescibe chemotherapy, just like they do in the USA.

    I repeat, support your assertions or GTFO.

  131. #131 herr doktor bimler
    December 19, 2013

    Can any doctors on this thread debunk this comment, I notice it has been skimmed over?

    Sounds like david is just another bored troll trying to make the monkeys dance.

  132. #132 Khani
    December 19, 2013

    Almost all the hospitals in the upper Midwest are nonprofits too–generally Sanford Health, Avera or Mayo affiliates.

  133. #133 Angel
    December 19, 2013

    David,Have you considered what your world would be like without the Doctors,researchers,hospitals,drug companies etc.I think you get where I am going with this.I can’t thank these people enough for their contribution to my well being.They make this world a better place.If they profit for it,more power to them.Think back just twenty years ago and how far the medical industry has come.I’ll take my world with all these great people in it,thank you very much.And if you prefer them not to be in your world,then excuse me but you are an idiot!

  134. #134 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Angel

    I do appreciate doctors, very much so. However, my issue is specifically relating to the money and corruption involved in prescribing, purchasing, administering and lying about the efficacy of chemotherapy. This is the issue and I welcome any thought that doesn’t use “spin” tactics are dance around the issue.

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

  135. #135 AnObservingParty
    December 19, 2013

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

    We are saying you are obligated to provide supporting evidence that what you are saying is true. That is not spinning anything. We’re saying you have no evidence for something. We can’t provide an answer to a question without merit; the simple answer is that there isn’t one, because we can’t attest “why” when something isn’t happening.

    Cite your source, or GTFO.

  136. #136 Lawrence
    December 19, 2013

    @David – yes, please provide proof that is, in fact, the case.

    Recent changes in the law make it illegal for medical professionals to accept gifts of almost any kind (including coffee mugs and the such), so the kind of stuff you are asserting sounds like BS, unless you can provide actual sources.

  137. #137 TBruce
    December 19, 2013

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

    Why do Altie Advocate’s get paid huge commission checks for writing ignorant screeds to science blogs? This is ludicrous and criminal.

    See, I can do that too!

  138. #138 LW
    December 19, 2013

    @david, let me help you out on what constitutes proof: a malpractice suit where a doctor is found to have prescribed an ineffective treatment because he was bribed; criminal conviction of a doctor or Big Pharma executive for defrauding Medicare or Medicaid through such a scheme; successful stockholder suit against Big Pharma company for spending company profits on kickbacks. All of these would be cases where the evidence was fully presented and considered, and would be acceptable proof.

    The proclamations of the voices in your head are not proof, no matter how often they tell you that they are.

  139. #139 David
    December 19, 2013

    @TBruce

    Hospitals prescribe chemotherapy because there entire system is setup for it, trained for it. Are they set up for natural therapeutic treatments that push, let’s say, nutrition to the same extreme levels as chemotherapy. No. Atleast not in the US. The body has an amazing ability to heal itself yet Doctors are uneducated in nutrition and I’m speaking mostly from the US stand point. This is highly concerning to me. I’m highly concerned that the majority of doctors aren’t innovating, they are writing prescriptions. They look at a test result and write a prescription for chemotherapy. Not impressed. All that education but no innovation. All that education on how to heal the human body but completely ignorant about nutrition, powerful nutrition. This is the majority I’m speaking of because obviously there are smaller growing percentages of doctors who do believe in nutrition. I commend any doctor who innovates, researches, considers with an open mind alternative ideas, goes back to the drawing board again and again. But I simply do not see that here, I do not hear about it and believe me I look for it. Instead I see profit taking institutions all plugged in to the same money machine. Just about any source that advocates chemotherapy is plugged in to big pharma one way or another.

    Seriously though, writing prescriptions for chemotherapy and cashing in on it at the same time? Doesn’t this make doctors drug pushers instead of healers. If chemotherapy did not come with commission checks would doctors really be pushing this awful drug over the past 50 or so years?

  140. #140 David
    December 19, 2013

    @LW

    Instead of spinning, let’s be clear. Are you saying doctors don’t receive money for prescribing chemotherapy?

    Proof is a manipulated concept in the US. First you’d have to agree as to what constitutes proof. Institutionalized tests that are designed to fail everything but what big pharma, doctors, hospitals, FDA wants to fail does not work.

    But again, are you suggesting that doctors do not receive money from prescribing chemotherapy? If a chemo prescription costs $20,000, how much of that goes into the doctor’s pockets?

  141. #141 AnObservingParty
    December 19, 2013

    @ David

    This is pure conjecture. Either provide the evidence that what you’re saying is happening–not because that’s what you think, evidence of what you are stating as fact is happening–or tighten your tin-foil hat and be on your way. Also, re: nutrition: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/an-apple-a-day/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=an-apple-a-day one of many posts on a site consisting mostly of your evil doctors about the importance of nutrition.

    You’re changing your argument. Or rather, word-salad.

    I mean, Christ, even Greg makes an effort to sometimes link to something that might be construed as a source if you close one eye and squint with the other and had knocked back half a bottle of tequila. This guy can’t even do that.

  142. #142 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Lawrence

    That’s good news and the way I understood this as well. But from what I understand, chemotherapy is the exception and one of the only drugs that doctors cash out on legally. Drug companies and doctors do navigate illegally by accepting under the table perks, conferences, vacations and gifts that are more difficult to track and there are tons of testimonials from doctors who have gone on record with this.

    Never the less, i’m going to look into the new laws you mention as it would be a great step forward in stopping the corruption and bias if doctors were not able to legally accept monetary commissions for prescribing chemotherapy.

  143. #143 Johanna
    December 19, 2013

    But again, are you suggesting that doctors do not receive money from prescribing chemotherapy?

    Wow, that goalpost shift was so obvious, even I noticed it*.

    I can’t go into specifics without violating a hairy NDA, so file this under anecdata but, having sat in on multiple contract negotiations for a large, not-for-profit HMO, I can assure you that the aren’t marking any pharma treatment up by very much at all. Of course, some revenue has to be generated because, gosh, everyone from the head of surgery to the lowliest janitor likes getting a paycheck on a regular basis, so markup *does* occur.

    Is it “thousands of dollars per treatment”? No. Not, at least, in the case of one large non-profit HMO of my acquaintance. I can’t speak for any other org, of course…

    Sigh.

    *I ain’t the swiftest bunny in the bunch and I’d be, oh, the fifty or sixth to admit that, when pressed.

  144. #144 AnObservingParty
    December 19, 2013

    Instead of spinning, let’s be clear. Are you saying doctors don’t receive money for prescribing chemotherapy?

    What we are saying, and in fact there are laws, and doctors along with many others have to declare themselves every where. I’m not a doctor and I have to declare myself to the feds, internally, and to NYS to ensure I’m not doing what you say. If I don’t respond, I’m investigated. So are others. http://oig.hhs.gov/compliance/physician-education/01laws.asp.

    An argument that everything is made up and skewed just so that you can justify your pre-conceived notion is, well….like I said, tighten your tinfoil hat.

  145. #145 AnObservingParty
    December 19, 2013

    But from what I understand, chemotherapy is the exception and one of the only drugs that doctors cash out on legally. Drug companies and doctors do navigate illegally by accepting under the table perks, conferences, vacations and gifts that are more difficult to track and there are tons of testimonials from doctors who have gone on record with this.

    The laws are not new. What you don’t understand could fill a barn.

  146. #146 David
    December 19, 2013

    @AnObservingParty

    Do you guys ever research anything outside of your domain? Man this stuff is everywhere, i mean everywhere! All you have to do is open your mind. In almost any other industry, people learn about the world of possibilities, expand on ideas, consider them, debate them, but in the drug centered medical community you guys are the worse, lol. You want to hold the torch so strongly and you have the least exposure to alternative treatments. I urge you to watch the documentary “Cancer the forbidden cures” to get a little history lesson.

    Rather than getting into a lengthy debate about proof validation, why don’t you just tell me the truth, from your perspective, I might even believe you.

    Do doctors make money (aka commissions) for prescribing chemotherapy?

  147. #147 David
    December 19, 2013

    @AnObservingParty

    I’m here because I’m want to understand. Believe me if you were able to change my understanding of chemotherapy, I can’t tell you how happy I’d be. So far, you’ve only confirmed my thoughts on the opposition.

  148. #148 Johanna
    December 19, 2013

    Bingo!

    *ahem* Sorry, was that out loud?

  149. #149 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Johanna

    I appreciate your thought there, but I’m not challenging the not-for-profit hospitals and I’m largely focused on the doctors who receive large sums of money for prescribing chemotherapy drugs. Do you have direct knowledge that doctors do NOT receive commission or money for prescribing chemo drugs? This is at the heart of the issue.

  150. #150 David
    December 19, 2013

    I’m guessing the NDA’s are how doctors get around not lying to patients who are putting their lives in the doctor’s hands? Maybe doctors sign NDA’s that say they are legally bound and not allowed to discuss their big commission checks?

  151. #151 Johanna
    December 19, 2013

    Oh for heaven’s sake.

    Do you have direct knowledge that doctors do NOT receive commission or money for prescribing chemo drugs?

    No. I don’t. Do you? You posited it as a given, the burden of proof is on you. But I don’t see why you’ll listen to me when you’re clearly not listening to anyone else.

    NDAs wouldn’t have a damn thing to do with “how doctors get around no lying to patients who are putting their lives in the doctor’s hands”. Do you even understand what an NDA *is*?

  152. #152 AdamG
    December 19, 2013

    I’m largely focused on the doctors who receive large sums of money for prescribing chemotherapy drugs.

    Where is your proof that such doctors exist?

    So far you’ve marched in here, claimed you’re deeply concerned about the widespread existence of unicorns, then asked us to disprove the existence of unicorns. First YOU have to prove to us that unicorns exist.

  153. #153 David
    December 19, 2013

    Has anyone here heard about that 12 year study done on a plethora of chemotherapy patients that was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology? The study revealed a 97% failure rate on chemotherapy treatment.

    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.

    I’m just curious if anyone here would consider this study as evidence since it was apparently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. I believe it was published somewhere around 1994 but I can’t be sure.

  154. #154 AdamG
    December 19, 2013

    David, that study does not say what you think it says. Orac has previously written about it here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/09/16/two-percent-gambit-chemotherapy/

  155. #155 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Joanna

    woah! easy there. It was just a question. Yes I’m well aware of NDA’s, signed many in my life. You mentioned you couldn’t talk about things because you were under NDA. I asked the question because I think it’s a simple question. Any doctor here who may have administered chemo could speak up and say yes or no. And yes, I do have direct knowledge but I’d like to get a better feel for how widely the corruption goes with doctors accepting money for prescribing chemo drugs to dying patients.

    Apparently the average chemo patient is worth $300k in treatment. That’s a hefty price tag. I’m curious how much of that purse doctors get for prescribing the poison.

  156. #156 David
    December 19, 2013

    @AdamG

    You referred a link sourced from this blog, which is obviously bias, considering this is largely a pro-chemo forum.

    I’d love to get my hands on the publication it was originally printed or even the actual report if anyone has any ideas.

  157. #157 Lawrence
    December 19, 2013

    @David – again, you need to clarify exactly what you are asking…are you asking whether or not “MDs” are paid commissions or kickbacks based on their prescriptions of chemo drugs?

    And David, do you realize this blog is run by a Cancer Researcher and Surgeon?

  158. #158 AnObservingParty
    December 19, 2013

    @ David

    Do you guys ever research anything outside of your domain?

    My domain is an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center that specializes in research and evidence-based treatment. We are a non-profit teaching hospital under the doman of the state. Our doctors DO NOT make money from chemo. They are researchers, professors, and attendings, and are salaried. Any outside money–even from a parttime holiday job if taken–that is not part of said salary is required to be declared, with an audit following. There.

  159. #159 Johanna
    December 19, 2013

    @David

    My husband died of colon cancer four years ago. You’re hitting a button of mine. Granted, you didn’t know it was there so, whatever, I’ll get over it.

    Coincidentally enough, the purveyor of my late husband’s health care was the same not-for-profit HMO engaged in the contract negotiations in which I sat (my gig was to transcribe relevant meetings – dull, but it granted me flexible hours to look after family).

    So I was in a rather unique position to actually go through my husband’s paperwork and compare it to information gleaned from my prior job.

    Unfortunately, I can’t produce those numbers – even if I still had them – as doing so would violate various things I’ve signed and HIPAA, to boot… *shrug* but it’s a non-profit institution and you state you have no beef with ‘em.

  160. #160 Vicki
    December 19, 2013

    David,

    What you’re basically saying is you have no idea what the report is, haven’t read it, but are sure that Orac is lying about it. If you had bothered following the link, you would see that he points to the study in question as well as explaining that it doesn’t say what you were told it says, and wasn’t published in the journal you were told it’s from.

    You don’t have to take my word for any of this: but if you’re going to assume that Orac is not a reliable source, to the extent that you won’t even look at what he writes in order to either learn from or actually refute it, you’re wasting your time here, and everyone else’s.

    You know, it’s a sunny day, and we don’t get a lot of those in the Pacific NW in December. I’m going to go out and play.

  161. #161 Johanna
    December 19, 2013

    And virtual hugs and an Internet to AnObservingParty. :)

  162. #162 AdamG
    December 19, 2013

    You referred a link sourced from this blog,which is obviously bias,

    You referred us to a documentary made by a conspiracy theorist and 9/11 truther. Why is it ok for you to use biased sources?

    Why don’t you read the post I linked and tell us what’s biased about it? It discusses the actual facts reported in the studies you’re interested in, as well as links to the studies themselves. If in fact it’s as biased as you think, it should be very obvious to point out.

  163. #163 David
    December 19, 2013

    @AnObservingParty

    I’m very glad to hear your doctors don’t accept money from chemo, i have to ask though, are the doctors you’re referring to researching, teaching or prescribing. Prescribing chemo and accepting monetary gains is unacceptable.

    More importantly, have you read this book “Cancer-Gate”, the forward below mentions the NCI and I’m curious what you think since you’re a part of the NCI? Below is the forward.

    “Award-winning author, Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., whose 1978 book The Politics of Cancer shook the political establishment by showing how the federal government had been corrupted by industrial polluters, has written a book that is sure to be of equal consequence. Cancer-Gate: How to Win The Losing Cancer War is a groundbreaking new book. It warns that, contrary to three decades of promises, we are losing the winnable war against cancer, and that the hand-in-glove generals of the federal National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the private nonprofit American Cancer Society (ACS) have betrayed us. These institutions, Epstein alleges, have spent tens of billions of taxpayer and charity dollars primarily targeting silver-bullet cures, strategies that have largely failed, while virtually ignoring strategies for preventing cancer in the first place. As a result, cancer rates have escalated to epidemic proportions, now striking nearly one in every two men, and more than one in every three women. This translates into approximately 50 percent more cancer in men, and 20 percent more cancer in women over the course of just one generation.”

  164. #164 AnObservingParty
    December 19, 2013

    Johanna,

    I’m sorry about your husband. And I’m sorry you have to see nonsense that implies your husband’s treatment was worth no more than a couple grand to an entire profession.

  165. #165 AnObservingParty
    December 19, 2013

    I’m very glad to hear your doctors don’t accept money from chemo, i have to ask though, are the doctors you’re referring to researching, teaching or prescribing. Prescribing chemo and accepting monetary gains is unacceptable.

    They’re practicing medicine at a research institution. They’re required to do all three, as part of their job description, to receive their FLAT SALARY.

    You really, really, really have NO idea how medicine works, do you?

    And no, but I do know of Epstein. Pray tell, WHAT preventative measures does the NCI keep under wraps? Not smoking? Eating well? Preventing HPV? BRCA screening for those with family history? Colonoscopies?

    1978 is before I was born. Try again with relevant information.

  166. #166 AnObservingParty
    December 19, 2013

    Although, from the way you feel, apparently everyone in medicine should just do it on a volunteer basis.

  167. #167 Lawrence
    December 19, 2013

    David – is getting paid a salary while one is prescribing chemo bad? Because I can no longer tell what you are talking about….

  168. #168 Johanna
    December 19, 2013

    @AOP

    Meh, it’s okay. I should know better than to wade into threads that hit me on a sore spot.

  169. #169 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Lawrence

    “@David – again, you need to clarify exactly what you are asking…are you asking whether or not “MDs” are paid commissions or kickbacks based on their prescriptions of chemo drugs?”

    Lawrence – yes, I’m asking if MDs are paid commissions or kickbacks based on their prescriptions of chemo drugs.

  170. #170 David
    December 19, 2013

    not salaries.

  171. #171 David
    December 19, 2013

    @AnObservingParty

    I don’t think it should be volunteer and I believe people should get paid their salaries. I’m trying to understand if MDs get paid kickbacks or commissions specifically for prescribing chemotherapy.

  172. #172 AnObservingParty
    December 19, 2013

    Lawrence – yes, I’m asking if MDs are paid commissions or kickbacks based on their prescriptions of chemo drugs.

    And we have answered, NO!!!! Can you read?!?

  173. #173 Johanna
    December 19, 2013

    I believe David wants us to prove the non-existence of chemo kickbacks to prescribing MDs.

    Proving the non-existence of a thing. Hmmmyep, that’s impossible.

  174. #174 Michael W
    Los Angeles
    December 19, 2013

    Doctors generally don’t make money off of their prescribed chemo treatments. The doctor gets paid for seeing the patient, evaluating their condition, and writing the prescription for the therapy. The pharmacist gets paid for interpreting the doctor’s terrible, hieroglyphic handwriting (they all have it), preparing the dose (generally involving diluting the drug into some diluent for IV delivery in a sterile manner), and packaging up the whole thing for administration to the patient. The infusion center gets paid for taking what the pharmacist supplied and caring for the patient during and immediately after infusion of the treatment. The pharmacists are not allowed to give doctors a kick-back on prescriptions, if they did it would be viewed as misconduct. The infusion center is not allowed to give the pharmacist a kick-back on what they mixed up. Orders flow down the chain, money does not flow back up. If you are dealing with a major university or teaching hospital, you may find that the doctor, the pharmacist, and the infusions are all under one roof. In that case, the institution will get some money at every step, but still the orders flow downstream and money does not flow back up it. Doctors, pharmacists, and infusion center employees are all earning a pretty fixed amount. If the doctor is getting anything extra, it’s for dealing with a large number of cases, regardless of how they are treated.
    Pharmaceutical sales reps have historically tried to influence doctors’ prescribing habits through either promoting the safety and efficacy of their product or offering incentives to doctors (lunches, paid “conferences” in desirable locations, and various goodies including drug-branded pens, note pads, staplers, memory sticks, etc.). The incentives have mostly been cut off (many states don’t allow anything more expensive than $5 to be given, some states disallow anything of value, including pens) with some institutions going even further and disallowing pharma sales reps from visiting doctors on their property.
    The ONLY way I know of that doctors are allowed to potentially make money from their selection of chemotherapeutics is the rare case where the doctor holds a patent on the therapy and gets a percentage of that. Those cases are, however, exceedingly rare, and are closely monitored by an independent oversight committee to ensure that there is no conflict of interest in prescribing practices (as doctors who invent new therapies are almost exclusively working out of university hospitals, these committees are run by the universities and staffed by individuals with no financial interest in the treatments).
    Now, the question is if you believe this, or if you believe that I’m just part of the vast conspiracy to cover up the kick-backs.

  175. #175 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Johanna

    I have an opportunity, one that gives me a short window to understand things better.

    I’m curious what your honest take is on this testimonial.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tai7oMXw-nY

  176. #176 Michael W
    Los Angeles
    December 19, 2013

    TL;DR version
    Kickbacks: could you probably find cases where this happened throughout history? Yes, probably. Could you find a case or two in recent times where this happened? Most likely, and it was a major scandal when reported. Are these sorts of kickbacks the norm now? No, not at all.
    Because these sorts of kickbacks are not allowed and take two partners, and because nobody likes to cheat when they are relying on someone else to keep a secret, they are exceedingly rare. More common are cases of a pharmacist over-diluting the medications to make money. I am familiar with those sorts of things.

  177. #177 herr doktor bimler
    December 19, 2013

    And we have answered, NO!!!! Can you read?!?

    Do not attribute to stupidity, behaviour which can adequately be explained by trollish arsery.

  178. #178 Shay
    December 19, 2013

    I’m largely focused on the doctors who receive large sums of money for prescribing chemotherapy drugs. Do you have direct knowledge that doctors do NOT receive commission or money for prescribing chemo drugs? This is at the heart of the issue.

    We don’t have any direct knowledge that you don’t beat your children, either, David.

  179. #179 Lawrence
    December 19, 2013

    Guys – we actually know of an instance where what David claims is happening & has been happening for decades – a true abuse of the system….perhaps David would be an eager recruit to put an end to this mad practice…….

    One Dr. Burnzynski has been receiving massive kickbacks from his clinic by prescribing his ineffective Cancer treatment, to children no less.

    David, would you like to join the movement against this particular doctor?

  180. #180 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Lawrence

    I think you and I both know the truth about MDs and their commissions for administering the drugs.

    But since you mention Burnzynski, what are your thoughts on this testimonial?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tai7oMXw-nY

  181. #181 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Shay

    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.

    One person on here said this is not the norm at all, but again wasn’t even that clear as he/she focused only on the idea of “kickbacks”.

  182. #182 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    I do appreciate doctors, very much so. However, my issue is specifically relating to the money and corruption involved in prescribing, purchasing, administering and lying about the efficacy of chemotherapy.

    The word you are looking for is “effectiveness.” “Efficacy” refers to idealized situations.

    I think you and I both know the truth about MDs and their commissions for administering the drugs.

    No, I’m pretty sure you’re the only one around here who can decipher the cuneiform of your bowels.

  183. #183 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Michael W

    Will get back to you later. Thanks for the information.

  184. #184 Vicki
    December 19, 2013

    No, David, it is not “widely believed.” You and a few people you know either believe this, or find it amusing to pretend you do.

    Furthermore, you have been told this is false. The appropriate responses are to thank people for the information, or to doubt everyone and look for actual evidence supporting your claim. “Lots of people believe it” is not evidence. It was once widely believed that Jupiter revolved around the Earth.

  185. #185 MI Dawn
    December 19, 2013

    @David: and how much money did Burzynski get out of that poor man? Outside of vultures like him, you would be hard pressed in the US to find ANY doctor who “makes money” out of prescribing chemotherapy.

    As for your OMG this drug costs $20,000 – well, most, if not all of that money goes right to the drug company that invented the drug. Doctors get nothing for prescribing chemotherapy. Infusion centers get paid for giving the drug and monitoring the patient. But no, doctors don’t make money off of it.

    Fellow Minions: can we have a variant on Scopie’s Law that says anyone who posts a link to The Burzynski Commercial automatically loses the argument and gets laughed out of the room? We could call it the Orac Codicil (yeah, I know it’s not a codicil, I just think it sounds cool)

  186. #186 MI Dawn
    December 19, 2013

    Wait…David thinks that doctors get COMMISSION PAY for prescribing chemotherapy? Let me guess. He’s never talked to an oncologist and spends all his time reading Mikey.

    David: if you can give me 1 example of an honest doctor who gets commissions for chemotherapy, I’ll publicly apologize to you. But vultures like Burzynski and quacks like Gerson et al don’t count.

    As for diet – I’ve worked with oncology patients. Good diet, eating healthy food and sufficient calories is always stressed. Ways to increase protein, etc are discussed if the patient is losing weight, nauseated, or can’t eat for other reasons. It may not be the MD doing in depth discussions, but they sure are referring the patients to dieticians and encouraging them to eat healthy foods.

  187. #187 Lawrence
    December 19, 2013

    I find it interesting that David complains about a practice that is widely known (as is, it is a fact) that Dr. B is guilty of it, while we can say that no, it is not the norm, standard practice or acceptable to any medical institution or individual legitimate medical professional, to receive compensation directly from a drug manufacturer for prescribing chemotherapy drugs…..

    And yet, he points us back to Dr. B’s commercial….reality disconnect there.

  188. #188 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    If a chemo prescription costs $20,000, how much of that goes into the doctor’s pockets?

    Under Medicare Part B? About $800. Note that this also has to cover inventory, staff, and disposal.

    I should, however, note that I likely erred in claiming that hospital physicians “generally” receive flat salaries. I did receive separate bills from the university system that I formerly patronized.

  189. #189 MI Dawn
    December 19, 2013

    @Narad: and note that’s only if the doctor is giving the medication in his office, or giving it to the patient to have infused elsewhere, rather than sending the patient to an infusion center or home (many home infusion companies do chemotherapy). Many doctors refuse to keep chemo drugs on hand due to their cost and lack of shelf life and many insurance companies discourage this – preferring the member get the expensive medications through a specialty pharmacy they’ve negotiated a better price with.

  190. #190 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    Do you guys ever research anything outside of your domain? Man this stuff is everywhere, i mean everywhere! All you have to do is open your mind.

    Indeed.

  191. #191 lilady
    December 19, 2013

    “Do you guys ever research anything outside of your domain? Man this stuff is everywhere, i mean everywhere! All you have to do is open your mind.”

    (Translation) Do you guys ever research outside of your domain? Man this bullsh!t is everywhere, i mean everywhere! All you have to do is read this quack chiropractor’s cancer primer:

    http://drkevinconners.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/A_Cancer_Primer.pdf

    FTFY David:

  192. #192 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    One person on here said this is not the norm at all, but again wasn’t even that clear as he/she focused only on the idea of “kickbacks”.

    Why are you now putting this in scare quotes? Need I refer you to practically the first thing out of your keyboard?

    Dear misinformed writer and readers…. 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?

  193. #193 TBruce
    December 19, 2013

    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

    It’s also widely believed that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, that the Moon landing occured on a soundstage in Nevada, 9/11 was an inside job and that the righteous will be Raptured to Heaven any day now.
    Of course, I haven’t taken into account the likelihood that david (or David) believes all this too.

  194. #194 Narad
    December 19, 2013

    David, that study does not say what you think it says. Orac has previously written about it here

    I suspect that what David has inexplicably been unable to find is actually this (PDF). Of course, it might help to know the difference between The Journal of Clinical Oncology and the journal Clinical Oncology.

  195. #195 David
    December 19, 2013

    Why are so many MDs against Gerson? It has come up all through this thread, and not by me I might add. Gerson produces many living breathing testimonies of people 10-20 years later who were diagnosed as terminal by MDs but are now healthy and alive I might add. These people and their records are accessible, they have been for years.

  196. #196 David
    December 19, 2013

    I’m not trying to be a pain, i’m genuinely looking for insight. I just came across this, the longest living lung cancer survivor refused chemotherapy drugs in 1975 after Doctor’s told him he had 6 months to live! What do you say to stuff like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cvwUpr-smM

  197. #197 Sarah A
    December 19, 2013

    I say: you need to get your information from peer-reviewed science and not YouTube videos. If you’re genuinely looking for insight, why don’t you try actually reading some of the articles that have been linked to on this thread, or some of Orac’s other posts about chemotherapy (all of which include links to peer-reviewed sources)?

  198. #198 Johanna
    December 19, 2013

    This is starting to look a lot like JAQing off…

  199. #199 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Narad

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

  200. #200 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Johanna

    I never heard what you thought of the info i posted and I’m not sure why you are being insulting. I’m simply an opposing view and there’s no reason to be hostile. I’m also dealing with a cancer issue.

    May I ask if your late husband used chemotherapy?

  201. #201 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.

  202. #202 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?

  203. #203 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.”

  204. #204 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.

  205. #205 David
    December 19, 2013

    @Narad

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

  206. #206 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.

  207. #207 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?

  208. #208 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.

  209. #209 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.

  210. #210 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.

  211. #211 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.

  212. #212 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?

  213. #213 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.

  214. #214 LW
    December 19, 2013

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

  215. #215 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?

  216. #216 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.”

  217. #217 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?

  218. #218 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!

  219. #219 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.

  220. #220 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.

  221. #221 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.

  222. #222 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?

  223. #223 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.

  224. #224 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.

  225. #225 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.

  226. #226 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.

  227. #227 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.

  228. #228 Johanna
    December 20, 2013

    Jane – have you never heard of operating expenses?

  229. #229 Shay
    December 20, 2013

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

  230. #230 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

  231. #231 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.

  232. #232 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!

  233. #233 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.

  234. #234 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.

  235. #235 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?

  236. #236 David
    December 20, 2013

    @Narad

    What’s your profession?

  237. #237 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.

  238. #238 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?

  239. #239 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.

  240. #240 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.

  241. #241 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?)

  242. #242 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.

  243. #243 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.

  244. #244 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?

  245. #245 LW
    December 20, 2013

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

  246. #246 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

  247. #247 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.

  248. #248 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.

  249. #249 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.

  250. #250 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.

  251. #251 Denice Walter
    December 20, 2013

    @ david:

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

  252. #252 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?

  253. #253 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?

  254. #254 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

  255. #255 Narad
    December 20, 2013

    Is this loon calling himself a movement now?

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

  256. #256 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.

  257. #257 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

  258. #258 Shay
    December 20, 2013

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

  259. #259 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.

  260. #260 Alain
    December 20, 2013

    @David,

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

    Alain

  261. #261 Shay
    December 20, 2013

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

  262. #262 david
    December 20, 2013

    Alain, please enlighten me.

  263. #263 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

  264. #264 david
    December 20, 2013

    I don’t know what to say.

  265. #265 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

  266. #266 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.

  267. #267 david
    December 20, 2013

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

  268. #268 david
    December 20, 2013

    Narad, did you say something?

  269. #269 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.

  270. #270 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

  271. #271 herr doktor bimler
    December 21, 2013

    what grass-roots movement?

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

  272. #272 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.

  273. #273 Shay
    December 21, 2013

    he who posts and runs away….

  274. #274 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.

  275. #275 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…

  276. #276 Shay
    December 21, 2013

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

  277. #277 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!

  278. #278 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.

  279. #279 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

  280. #280 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.

  281. #281 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.

  282. #282 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

  283. #283 TBruce
    December 21, 2013

    David:
    Natural News as a reference?

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

  284. #284 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.

  285. #285 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.

  286. #286 Narad
    December 21, 2013

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

  287. #287 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.

  288. #288 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?

  289. #289 Narad
    December 21, 2013

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

  290. #290 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]

  291. #291 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.

  292. #292 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.

  293. #293 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?

  294. #294 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.)

  295. #295 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.

  296. #296 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.

  297. #297 Narad
    December 21, 2013

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

    Free association in a bad mood.

  298. #298 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?

  299. #299 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.

  300. #300 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.

  301. #301 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

  302. #302 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.

  303. #303 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

  304. #304 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. :(

  305. #305 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.

  306. #306 Shay
    December 21, 2013

    GMO’s.

  307. #307 Dangerous Bacon
    December 21, 2013

    “GMO’s”

    Gotta have ‘em.

  308. #308 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.

  309. #309 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.

  310. #310 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.

  311. #311 Narad
    December 22, 2013

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

  312. #312 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.

  313. #313 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. ;)

  314. #314 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?

  315. #315 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.

  316. #316 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    in a way-too-warm Finland ....
    December 24, 2013

    She is doomed. Sadly.

  317. #317 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.

  318. […] 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 […]

  319. […] 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 […]

  320. #320 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.

  321. #321 Chris,
    March 5, 2014

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

  322. #322 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”?

  323. #323 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.

  324. #324 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.

  325. #325 herr doktor bimler
    March 5, 2014

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

  326. #326 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/

  327. #327 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.

  328. #328 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.

  329. #329 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.