Respectful Insolence

The year 2013 finished with serious setbacks for Stanislaw Burzynski and his unproven cancer treatment that he dubbed “antineoplastons” (ANPs) way back in the early 1970s. As you might recall, in November, two things happened. First, the FDA released its initial reports on its inspection of the Burzynski Clinic and Burzynski Research Institute (BRI) carried out from January to March 2013. They were damning in the extreme, pointing out the shoddy operating methods of the institutional review board (IRB) used by the BRI to approve and oversee Burzynski’s “clinical trials” (and I use the term loosely) of ANPs. Violations included using expedited approvals to review single patient protocols, something so far outside the purview of what the expedited approval process was intended for, namely approving minor tweaks to human subjects research protocols without requiring a full meeting of the IRB, that the FDA called Burzynski out for it. Other violations included failure to report serious adverse events (SAEs) and adverse events (AEs) to the FDA and/or the IRB, failure to follow proper informed consent procedures, failure to determine that risks to subjects were minimized and that risks to subjects were reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits, if any, and a lot of other violations listed in my post on the subject.

Later in November, Liz Szabo of USA TODAY published a fantastic expose of Burzynski entitled Doctor accused of selling false hope to families, in which, in addition to many of the violations revealed by the FDA, it was further reported that the child whose death in the summer of 2012 triggered the FDA investigation was Josia Cotto, and that the child died of hypernatremia (elevated sodium levels in the blood) caused by ANP therapy. In response to the reports of shoddy record keeping, lack of ethics, and contributing to the death of a child, Burzynski was his characteristically cuddly self, referring to his critics as “hooligans” and “hired assassins,” while claiming that they “pretend they got sick and would like to extort money from us.” When last I wrote about Burzynski in November, his empire was struggling to strike back. Eric Merola, the film maker responsible for two pro-Burzynski propaganda movies Burzynski: Cancer Is A Serious Business and Burzynski: Cancer Is A Serious Business, Part 2, likened USA TODAY to everything from Nazi propaganda under Joseph Goebbels, to slave masters, and to the Westboro Baptist Church protesting at the funerals of gay soldiers killed in the line of duty. Meanwhile Burzynski himself tried to answer the FDA findings and failed miserably, nor did his poster presentation of singularly unimpressive results at the Society of Neuro-Oncology Meeting right before Thanksgiving help. The year ended with the Texas Medical Board using the FDA’s findings as part of the basis of charging Burzynski with false advertising, meaning that Burzynski will be spending a lot of time defending himself against the TMB in 2014.

Unfortunately, beginning in December, Burzynski and his allies decided to go back to the future, so to speak (or maybe just back to the 1990s) and resurrect the campaign that worked so well for them the last time Burzynski’s back was against the wall. Unfortunately, this strategy, rooted as it is in using cancer patients to lobby Congress to force the FDA to allow Burzynski to use antineoplastons, could work. Pro-Burzynski forces, in a nod to the past, have even hired the same lobbyist who, or so it is claimed by the pro-Burzynski forces, so brilliantly in the mid-1990s in persuading Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), then the chair of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, to “investigate” the FDA’s “harassment” of Burzynski.

If you want to understand Burzynski’s new strategy to keep using ANPs, you have but to go back and examine his previous strategy, which was to milk dying cancer patients for every bit of human sympathy they can evoke from lawmakers and the public. Everything old is new again, as Burzynski replays the same strategy with patients such as McKenzie Lowe, Liza Cozad, and Elisha Cohen.

Meanwhile those of us who stand up and say no, who try to point out that Burzynski can’t save these patients, that they are being used by him so that he can re-open his ANP clinical trials, are pummeled with arguments like the one by Randy Barnes that we should “respect the parents’ choice.” After pointing out that he is “not a fan” of the Burzynski Clinic, and “agrees with many of the criticisms leveled at Stanislaw Burzynski and his treatments,” he asserts that “Raphael Elisha’s parents are the only ones with the right and responsibility to make the best decisions they can in a horrible situation that no one who has not faced the loss of a child can possibly understand.” He then concludes:

If you choose not to sign the petition that is fine, but please, allow the Cohens the dignity they deserve by respecting their right to make the choices they deem fit for their child. Publicly fighting the Burzynski Clinic in Raphael Elisha’s name will only bring more pain to an already suffering family.

This is the argument we’re up against as well, an argument that is every bit as invalid as when it is used to defend, for example, the family of Sarah Hershberger for relying on quackery instead of chemotherapy to treat a deadly lymphoma. We can respect the parents’ decision, to the extent that they are the parents. We can try to understand the desperation that led them to it, even though they are aware of all the criticisms of Burzynski. Most parents can only imagine how they would react under similar circumstances. Even I couldn’t guarantee that I wouldn’t be tempted by the blandishments of Burzynski and his followers if I were in the same position as the Cohens. However, sympathy and respect do not equal agreement, nor do they require us to acquiesce and just “shut up” when the Cohen’s grief and desperation lead them to do something profoundly harmful to public health, to use the power of their story to persuade lawmakers to call off the FDA.

It’s not just sympathetic families being used by Burzynski to further his cause, however. Right after the holidays, one of the most prominent pro-quackery advocacy groups in the world, the Alliance for Natural Health USA, launched a series of attacks and posts urging its supporters to write to their legislators to put pressure on the FDA to allow compassionate use exemptions for antineoplastons (ANPs). Also included is a smear campaign against Liz Szabo, Burzynski “skeptics,” and, of course, USA TODAY, all of whom are portrayed as being in the thrall of big pharma. I do note, with some mild amusement, that here was one article posted on the ANH-USA website claiming that the FDA violated patient privacy by providing Szabo with medical records of a patient without the parents’ permission. If you click on the link now, there’s nothing there. The article has apparently been taken down. there are, however, multiple links to it elsewhere, for example, here, here, here (our old friend Merola) and here. The article still shows up on the ANH sitemap, but there’s nothing there. Apparently, the ANH took it down, which is probably because it was full of misinformation and lies. I only wish I had saved a screenshot or web archive of the article. My mistake.

Bringing it all together: The ANP Coalition

It’s taken nine months since Burzynski supporters revealed in a video of the panel discussion after a screening of Eric Merola’s movie that various Burzynski patient groups were planning to form an organization to lobby Congress for fast track approval of ANPs. Indeed, Merola and his merry band of Burzynski sycophants were quite open about wanting fast track approval for ANPs so that Burzynski could then prescribe them off label for virtually any cancer and presumably could also sell them to any doctor who wanted to use them for whatever purpose. Of course, advertising a drug for off label uses is against the law, which is why the FDA takes such a dim view of it, but “word of mouth” and ANP-friendly groups like the ANH would make sure that word got around fast. Unfortunately for Stash, with the deficiencies of the procedures of the Burzynski Clinic and BRI with respect to running clinical trials having been laid bare in Liz Szabo’s article in USA TODAY, fast track approval for ANPs for glioblastoma is, at best, highly unlikely. So Burzynski’s allies have fallen back on lobbying Congress to lean on the FDA to allow single patient protocols, sometimes called “compassionate use” protocols, to allow Burzynski to treat patients with ANPs even though his clinical trials are shut down. To do this, they have formed a group called the ANP Coalition:

It is our fundamental belief that the discovery of Antineoplastons (ANP) can and will herald a new age of medical science and subsequent advancements in the treatment of previously incurable diseases. This benign yet effective drug contradicts the paradigm that cancer treatments have to be harmful to be effective, and redirects modern medicine back to its salient principal Primum non nocere, “first, do no harm”.

How does the ANP Coalition intend to accomplish our mission?

We will accomplish our mission by focusing on four main goals:

  • To educate the public as to the importance and benefits of ANP.
  • To advocate for patients who need access to ANP for medical conditions.
  • To expedite regulatory approval for ANP thereby making it available to all.
  • To further research and development of ANP.

Consistent with a lot of the rhetoric used by Eric Merola and the Burzynski Patient Group, the rhetoric on the ANP Coalition site is apocalyptic, painting the battle as nothing less than one of good versus evil:

This is not a time for all good men to act; it is a time when all good people must act. We live in an age of awareness, where technology has become the great equalizer. With technology comes communication, and through communication we can educate! Once armed with education, propaganda withers and dies!

This website is designed with the sole purpose of educating the public and exposing the truth. The battle starts here in cyber space, but the war is won in the real world, by real people who participate in real ways. It will be won by you!

We are no longer an organization of patients connected by a cure; we are the collective who will not allow evil to triumph.

I can provide a hint of why the rhetoric is so amped up. One has only to look at who owns the ANPcoalition.org. The domain is registered through Domains By Proxy, which makes one wonder why the ANP Coalition would want to hide who owns the domain. First of all, the pictures on the Contact page reveal several old friends, including Ric Schiff, whose wife Laura, not coincidentally, owns a related domain, theotheranpcoalition.org, and registered it under her real name and also appears on the Contact page. (A screenshot has been saved, of course.) Also there is Mary Jo Siegel and her husband Steve. These are the people behind ANP Coalition, just as they are heavily involved in the Burzynski Patient Group. In fact, in July 2013, Ric Schiff was elected to the board of directors of the BRI, which makes his involvement in this effort a massive conflict of interest.

Predictably, Elisha Cohen, Liza Cozad, and Mackenzie Lowe are featured as the stories used to drive petitions to lawmakers and the FDA to allow compassionate use of ANPs. In addition, there are two new patients, of whom I haven’t heard before, Laura Nowosad, a 7 year old girl from Canada with a DIPG whose story is sadly familiar to anyone who covers Burzynski:

Her parents, Janusz and Mira, are an amazing couple whose lives got shattered in an instant. Laura is their only child and their whole world. They couldn’t believe that this is happening to their little girl; they were hopeful that the doctors made a wrong diagnosis and went for a second opinion. Unfortunately, this diagnosis was confirmed. Words cannot explain the feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and terror they felt when they had to be faced with the truth.

Janusz and Mira are not giving up hope! They have taken Laura to The Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas. This clinic has seen significant improvement in patients facing similar diagnosis as Laura, using alternative therapies not available in Canada. However, the treatment is very expensive. The initial visit costs $25,000 and each month after is $30,000.

On the same page is yet another desperate family being used by Burzynski’s minions as well, that of Isaac DeHerrera, a five year old boy whose tale is presumably so new that there isn’t yet a fundraising website that I could find or a petition to let Burzynski treat Isaac with ANPs on a compassionate use protocol. I’m sure there will be more families added as soon as Burzynski and his minions can find them. Clearly Ric and Laura Schiff and Steve and Mary Jo Siegel believe that they can duplicate the success Burzynski patients had in the 1990s, which was the last time Burzynski was in a comparable amount of trouble, with demonstrations featuring patients chanting, “FDA go away! Let me live another day!” and the intense political pressure brought to bear by a compliant Senator or Representative, the way they persuaded Joe Barton to drag then-FDA director David Kessler in front of his committee four times over two years to explain why the FDA was “harassing” Burzynski. Only this time, they have the Internet, which was only in its infancy as an organizing tool back in 1995, which allows them to produce a “Meet the Miracles” section, which, presumably, will be full of glowing testimonials of Burzynski Patient Group patients. So far, there is only Jessica Ressel, who was featured in the first Burzynski movie and whose testimonial is not convincing, as I described in detail in my review. No doubt she believes Burzynski saved her, but it is almost certainly the case that he did not, which is the only reason I can forgive her regurgitating Burzynski Clinic talking points.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the ANP Coalition is that it’s hired a lobbyist named Antonio C. Martinez II:

His experience with ANP extends more than 18 years back when he represented the Burzynski Patient Group in 1995 and 1996, organizing numerous patient demonstrations and a Congressional Hearing on February 29, 1996 before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations. These efforts helped Burzynski patients obtain access to ANP through Phase II clinical studies.

This isn’t cheap. Unless Martinez is serving pro bono, his hourly rates are $250 to $400. I have no reason to doubt the claim that he worked on organizing the Congressional Hearing in 1996 at which Burzynski patients vented at the FDA, but I wonder. I’ve read both Richard Jaffe‘s Galileo’s Lawyer: Courtroom Battles in Alternative Health, Complementary Medicine and Experimental Treatments and Thomas D. Elias’ The Burzynski Breakthrough: The Most Promising Cancer Treatment and the Government’s Campaign to Squelch It. Both books describe the Congressional hearings in which Burzynski patients testified from a very pro-Burzynski standpoint. I don’t recall seeing Mr. Martinez’s name being mentioned even once, and a quick flip through the indices and relevant sections of these books did not change that assessment for me. If Martinez were so important to the 1996 hearings, one would think that Jaffe and/or Elias would mention him and at least briefly describe his role in their books. They didn’t, as far as I can tell.

So what does the ANP Coalition want to accomplish? Its list of demands is long and some are completely unrealistic. For example, on its page where it tells people how they can help, it asks people to write to Wikipedia to:

…demand removal of the “Burzynski Clinic” webpage, since it has been high jacked by a paid group who identify themselves as “The Skeptics”, and is no longer open for public contribution. The Wikipedia page on “Burzynski Clinic” is filled with untrue statements, statements taken entirely out of context, cherry-picked information, sources that do not qualify as sources under Wikipedia rules, fake sources—you name it.

The Wikipedia team has already noticed the ANP Coalition’s attempts to astroturf its article on the Burzynski Clinic.

Others, however, are not unachievable. Certainly organizing petitions and getting people to write to their lawmakers are achievable aims, and that’s what concerns me: How do we respond? In the absence of sound scientific information showing that ANPs almost certainly don’t work and are very toxic, Burzynski’s claims notwithstanding, legislators and politicians are going to go with the sympathetic story; i.e., the stories told by Burzynski supporters of children with deadly brain tumors who will die soon if they aren’t allowed to have ANP therapy. That’s why it infuriates me to see how Burzynski so cynically uses patients with deadly cancers in his battle with the FDA. Make no mistake, that is exactly what he is doing here. He dangles false hope in front of patients like Eliza Cozad, Raphael Elisha Meir ben Devorah Cohen, and McKenzie Lowe, and their families do the rest for him Even in the case that a legislator understands the lack of evidence, he might well go with a “What’s the harm?” attitude, not appreciating that the harm can be appreciable given how toxic ANPs are, not to mention the financial harm done to the family raising tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for an ineffective treatment. That’s why information to show why, as much as we sympathize with the plight of these patients and their families, legislators should not overrule the FDA’s decision regarding antineoplastons. Indeed, the real investigation should be into why the FDA has allowed Burzynski to get away with what he’s gotten away with all these years.

I also appeal to you, our readers, for help and ideas. Visit Bob Blaskiewicz’s appeal and take action. In the meantime, let’s hear ideas for how to counter this latest initiative.

Comments

  1. #1 Andreas Johansson
    January 21, 2014

    Her parents, Janusz and Mira, are an amazing couple

    Isn’t it odd how it’s always the children of wonderful people who get cancer? Apparently, being mean or boring is the best thing you could do for your kids’ health.

    This benign yet effective drug contradicts the paradigm that cancer treatments have to be harmful to be effective

    By, I take it, being harmful and ineffective.

  2. #2 Sarah A
    January 21, 2014

    If terminal patients with no science-based treatment options are bound and determined to try ANPs, would it be possible to find someone willing to set up a real clinical trial for them to participate in? One where they’re not charged thousands of dollars up front and there’s someone competent monitoring side effects, etc?

  3. #3 AnObservingParty
    January 21, 2014

    where technology has become the great equalizer

    No. NO. Just because someone has internet access to read something–sciencey or otherwise–does not mean they have the capacity to understand it.

  4. #4 Eric Lund
    January 21, 2014

    Sarah: There would be, if there were any research physicians outside of Burzynski’s inner circle who thought that ANPs might help. And if Burzynski himself were willing to provide either the ANPs directly or the recipe for making them. The closest thing I’ve heard of to the first point is the Japanese doctor (mentioned in some of Orac’s earlier posts on Burzynski) who has been working with ANPs, though I’m not sure how independent he is of Burzynski. I haven’t heard about any others. As for the second, if Burzynski actually did provide ANPs to a fully independent research group without charging the patients, it would go a long way toward dispelling the impression that he is a scam artist. But it means that he wouldn’t be earning the money from selling the ANPs to desperate patients or their parents.

  5. #5 lilady
    January 21, 2014

    There is an appeal for donation on the internet for Isaac DeHerrera, to help defray “medical costs”. At the present time, Isaac’s mother needs only $5,000. I suspect she is clueless about Burzynski’s fees to begin treatment and to continue chemotherapy treatments at the Burzynski Clinic.

    http://www.gofundme.com/Isaacs-cancer

  6. #6 JGC
    January 21, 2014

    Two thoughts:

    I think we should insist that Burzyski apply for fast track approval. it wouldn’t exempt him from demonstrating ANP’s safety and efficacy, or the necessity to conduct and submit for review results from Phase I, II and III clinical trialsdemonstrating safety and efficacy.

    From the FDA website:

    If there are available therapies, a fast track drug must show some advantage over available therapy, such as:
    Showing superior effectiveness, effect on serious outcomes or improved effect on serious outcomes
    Avoiding serious side effects of an available therapy
    Improving the diagnosis of a serious condition where early diagnosis results in an improved outcome
    Decreasing a clinically significant toxicity of an available therapy that is common and causes discontinuation of treatment
    Ability to address emerging or anticipated public health need

    As far as I can see ANP’s only meet the last criteria, meeting an unmet medical need.

    And once it’s accepted Burzynski would receive some or all of the following (again, from the FDA website):

    A drug that receives Fast Track designation is eligible for some or all of the following:
    More frequent meetings with FDA to discuss the drug’s development plan and ensure collection of appropriate data needed to support drug approval
    More frequent written correspondence from FDA about such things as the design of the proposed clinical trials and use of biomarkers
    Eligibility for Accelerated Approval and Priority Review, if relevant criteria are met
    Rolling Review, which means that a drug company can submit completed sections of its Biological License Application (BLA) or New Drug Application (NDA) for review by FDA, rather than waiting until every section of the application is completed before the entire application can be reviewed. BLA or NDA review usually does not begin until the drug company has submitted the entire application to the FDA

    So once he’s demonstrated ANP’s meets the criteria fpr FTA by producing actual evidence they’re acceptably safe and are actually effeicacious, he’d get closer FDA surveillance through the remainder of the process–those frequent face to face and written communications. The FDA would essentially be in a position to define how he conducted further trials if any.

    Doesn’t seem like a winning strategy for Burzynski.

    With respect to Randy Barnes suggestion we “respect the parent’s choices”, if we accept the argument as valid with respect to ANP’s don’t we logically have to accept it’s valid with respect to any and all unproven or alternative medical interventions?

    Would he really argue we should respect the choice of those parents who are giving their autistic children bleach enemas? If not, what criteria would he propose by which we can pick and choose when we must respect the parent’s choice, that would rule in favor of ANP’s while ruling against MMS?

  7. #7 Dangerous Bacon
    January 21, 2014

    On the bright side for Stan Burzynski – he’s received a coveted award from the Millenium Project:

    He’s the winner of the top prize, the 2013 Anus Maximus award.

    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/history/2013/2013awards.htm

  8. #8 Calli Arcale
    January 21, 2014

    Publicly fighting the Burzynski Clinic in Raphael Elisha’s name will only bring more pain to an already suffering family.

    Oh, that is *rich*. Don’t attack Burzynski! It might hurt the Cohen family’s feelings! Not a word about whether or not inaction would hurt other *children*. Are we supposed to stand idly by while Burzynski kills patients just because one family might be offended that we think they are making a poor choice?

    Do we let pedophile rapists babysit their nieces and nephews, just so their siblings in denial don’t have to face the truth? Of course not. And even if *this* family is too far gone to save, there are other families who can be spared worse horror. And if the Cohens’ *feelings* are still of paramount importance, how do they think the family of Josia Cotto feels right now?

    Are the feelings of these parents really more important than human lives? Apparently so, as long as it feeds Burzynski’s propaganda machine.

    What a stupendous ass he is.

    It is our fundamental belief that the discovery of Antineoplastons (ANP) can and will herald a new age of medical science and subsequent advancements in the treatment of previously incurable diseases.

    A new age? How come that new age didn’t come thirty years ago when this whole farce started? How come Burzynski still won’t share his wonderful evidence so that others might use it? How could a “new age” come? Even if Burzynski’s ANPs really were all that he claims, he’s a monster for monopolizing them. There is absolutely no way you can look at all Burzynski has done and *not* realize that he’s a monster out to get rich off of terminally ill patients, who will conveniently die, taking the evidence of his incompetence with them.

  9. #9 lsm
    January 21, 2014

    It would be interesting to know what the physicians who actually monitered Burzynski’s patients in their home towns really think about ANP treatment.

  10. #10 Chris HIckie
    January 21, 2014

    RE #9 (Ism’s comment) Orac (and Bob B)–how many physicians whose patients have been hurt by Burzynski have stepped forward to complain to the TMB and other authorities who could shut him down? Presumably their input would be the strongest testimony.

  11. #11 Chris,
    January 21, 2014

    Ism, BBC did exactly that with a program that is discussed on this blog elsewhere, and with video elsewhere. At one point the UK doctor’s jaw drops when he is told of his little patient’s sodium level.

  12. #12 Mrs Woo
    In the freezer. With the chickens.
    January 21, 2014

    Sarah that would be wonderful, wouldn’t it? There was a trial done early on by an independent group that failed miserably and Burzynski blamed the group for not following his protocols and setting him up for failure because he is such a victim, rather than admitting that he relied on glowing testimonials instead of unbiased research.

  13. #13 Politicalguineapig
    January 21, 2014

    How about just barring Burzynski from taking out of state or international patients? That way, the ‘good folks’ of Texas won’t have their right to be duped taken away from them.

  14. #14 Vasha
    January 21, 2014

    @Sarah, in order for a clinical trial to get ethical approval there has to be a reasonable expectation of benefits to outweigh risks. Given the demonatrated toxicity of ANP, and given that year after year signs of efficacy keep failing to appear, I don’t think at this point any competent researcher or IRB thinks it’s acceptable to run a clinical trial on the stuff, it’s just expising patients to risks without a reasonable expectation of benefits.

  15. #15 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 21, 2014

    If terminal patients with no science-based treatment options are bound and determined to try ANPs, would it be possible to find someone willing to set up a real clinical trial for them to participate in? One where they’re not charged thousands of dollars up front and there’s someone competent monitoring side effects, etc?

    This was tried back in the early 90s. The trials were cancelled due to the toxic side-effects of ANP (the independent trials did not even reach therapeutic doses before the toxic side-effects became apparent). Burzynski flipped his lid when they announced they were ending the independent trials.

  16. #16 Bronze Dog
    January 21, 2014

    A quack using his victims as his shield and his weapon. No matter how often I see it, it’s disgusting.

    It can’t be said often enough that if anyone’s suppressing Burzynski, it’s Burzynski. Real treatments jump through the hoops to prove they work and become widely available if they do. Burzynski, however, has been dragging his heels for decades and keeps asking for ridiculous amounts of money. If his treatment works, he’s exactly the sort of villain these people love to paint pharmaceutical companies as; he’s monopolizing a treatment for his personal benefit and preventing the world from curing numerous cancers because he wants the whole pie, not just a slice. That’s arguably the best picture of Burzynski fans could paint if they showed us conclusive peer-reviewed studies right here and now.

    All of the shameless gymnastics Burzynski does to avoid going through the hoops has led us to believe the treatment doesn’t work and that he likely knows it. It’s textbook quackery tactics taken to extremes I couldn’t imagine before learning about him. If our pattern-recognition abilities are correct, and the treatment doesn’t work, he’s an even bigger monster than the greedy monopolist his idolators have been praising.

  17. #17 Bob Blaskiewicz
    thehoustoncancerquack.com
    January 21, 2014

    Now that you have shown that you feel strongly about this, folks, please follow through and take it to your representatives. This is the only way that we can end this. Go to thehoustoncancerquack.com and print off the documents that you need to educate your lawmaker so they don’t do the boneheaded thing that Sen Ayoette did and support the Burzynski cause.

  18. […] realize that I just wrote about infamous cancer doctor Stanislaw Burzynski yesterday. (Note how I refuse to call him an “oncologist,” mainly because his isn’t one, […]

  19. #19 Beth
    Plano, Texas
    January 22, 2014

    @Politicalguineapig, that was uncalled for. Notice the offensive is also against the TX Medical Board. Not sure what planet you’re from, but this seventh generation Texan is not a gullible, stupid, “good folk.” Ignorance is all over the world, and by your comment you reveal yours.

  20. #20 Orac
    January 22, 2014

    He’s probably referring to this sort of thing:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/09/20/patients-endangered-by-failure-of-medical-boards/

    The Texas Medical Board is known to be spectacularly underfunded and overmatched, while Texas law hugely favors the physician. There are numerous examples of this, including the case above and that of a doctor named Rolando Arafiles.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/07/20/the-texas-medical-board-finally-gets-off/

    That’s one reason why it has been so hard to get rid of Burzynski. The combination of overly physician-friendly law that views medical licenses as a right rather than a privilege plus a massively inadequate state medical board plus really tight malpractice caps on pain and suffering damages make Texas a heaven for quacks and incompetent doctors.

  21. #21 Orac
    January 22, 2014

    Oh, and here’s an update with more thoughts on Stanislaw Burzynski and how he takes advantage of patients.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/01/22/stanislaw-burzynski-and-the-cynical-use-of-cancer-patients-as-shields-and-weapons-against-the-fda/

  22. #22 Beth
    January 22, 2014

    Thanks, Orac, that makes sense, although I still take offense to the comment.

  23. #23 Johanna
    January 22, 2014

    @Beth

    PGP is kind of known around here for making sweeping statements that rub folks the wrong way – alas.

  24. #24 Scott
    Boston
    January 22, 2014

    First off it is thoroughly documented that his treatment has had close to a 30% success rate for people with stage 4 cancer. If this was snake oil he would be in prison. this battle with the FDA has been going on for 30 years. He is in the last phase of clinical trials and would not have made it past the first if there was nothing of validity here. He is the sole owner of the patent for this treatment. This fight has always been about money.

  25. #25 Lawrence
    January 22, 2014

    @Scott – then please post that documentation….because we certainly haven’t seen it (and it hasn’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal).

    And no, he isn’t in the last stage of any sort of clinical trial…..

  26. #26 JGC
    January 22, 2014

    First off it is thoroughly documented that his treatment has had close to a 30% success rate for people with stage 4 cancer.

    Details, please. Where has this been documented, and by whom? What criteria were used to distinguish success treatment from failed treatment? How was it factually established that the successes claimed were actually a result of being treated by ANP’s?

    be as specific as possible in responding to these posts–it would be best if you could provide citations to the clinical trial results themselves that demonstrate the purported “30% success rate”.

  27. #27 JGC
    January 22, 2014

    Sorry–as specific as possible in responding to these questions, not posts.

  28. #28 lsm
    January 22, 2014

    @24: Always been about money? Understand that Burzynski would be a very wealthy man (even more than he is now) if he were to show the world that his research actually works. Where is this data that has been so elusive for 30+ years? The data that the FDA found he “lost”, or changed?

  29. #29 JGC
    One more thing
    January 22, 2014

    This fight has always been about money.

    I beleive that from Burzynski’s perspective you’re correct, and taht for him it has always been about the money and not the science or the patients–specifically how much can he rake in from desparate cancer victims and their families).

    For the rest of us, however, it’s been about the fact that he’s exploiting cancer patients and their families by peddling false hope at exorbitant prices, charging them for a treatment for which he’s offered absolutely no scientific evidence of efficacy and which is known to induce serious harmful side effects, and to have caused the death of at least one child as teh result of ANP induced hyponatremia.

  30. #30 Interrobang
    January 23, 2014

    If this was snake oil he would be in prison.

    Yeah, I don’t seem to recall any famous cancer quack ever going to prison; usually they go to Tijuana or someplace. Anyway, it’s not snake oil, it’s more like snake urine.

  31. #31 Narad
    January 23, 2014

    Yeah, I don’t seem to recall any famous cancer quack ever going to prison

    Simoncini received a three-year sentence for the involuntary manslaughter of Massimo Civetta but didn’t have to serve it by virtue of* the sentence’s falling within the scope of a mass clemency, which seems to be fairly routine in Italy.

    * There may also be an issue of the sentence’s never reaching the point of being confirmed by the supreme court, but I haven’t dug that out yet.

  32. […] Up next was Ric Schiff, who told his story yet again. I do feel obligated to mention here that what Schiff is doing is a massive conflict of interest that was undisclosed. Nowhere was it mentioned in the interview that in July 2013 Schiff was elected to the board of directors of the Burzynski Research Institute. So not only is there an undisclosed conflict of interest here, but one wonders how legal his involvement with the lobbying organization he appears to be heading up, the ANP Coalition, which I discussed last week. […]

  33. #33 Sam Adams
    USA
    February 1, 2014

    You—Orac—don’t believe in freedom of choice in these United States, do you? You don’t believe that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…” If you did, you would not be in favor of blocking nearly-terminal cancer patients from access to any treatment they choose, would you?

    Notice please, the Declaration of Independence does not say that we are endowed by FDA whenever FDA wants (or not) but ENDOWED BY OUR CREATOR!

    How would you like it if you or a member of your family were the one(s) being blocked from access to the only drug that could save your life?

  34. #34 Lawrence
    February 1, 2014

    @Sam – so much wrong with your rant, up to and including that we don’t know if Count Stan’s treatment works….

  35. #35 lilady
    February 1, 2014
  36. #36 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 1, 2014

    Sam,

    Yes, the Declaration of Independence is the supreme law in the United States! All of our government is defined by that one document, enumerating our grievances with the King of Great Britain and explaining how we can no longer tolerate his rule!

    Wait, what’s this Constitution thing? Hmm…establishes branches of government, gives the authority to pass laws, checks and balances, executive departments, regulations….

    Never mind, the Declaration of Independence is not the supreme law of the land after all. In fact, it has no force of law whatsoever.

  37. #37 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 1, 2014

    So, Sam Adams, you believe that anyone should be able to pass anything they want off as a cure as long as it’s provided to the terminally ill?

  38. #38 novalox
    February 1, 2014

    @sam

    So, where’s the proof that burzynski’s treatment works? He’s had over 30+ years to show efficacy, yet has not produced anything scientifically viable. All that has been shown is that the treatments has fattened up burzynski’s wallet and that he has committed fraud by destroying patient records.

    Again, why should anyone believe that ANPs can do anything positive for a patient except drain money?

  39. #39 Sam Adams
    USA
    February 2, 2014

    Hi Lawrence, Mephistopheles, & Novalox:

    Thank you for your notes.

    Interesting that Lawrence should label quotation from the Declaration of Independence “a rant”. Jefferson’s ranting was thought admirable at the time, but apparently not by
    you, now.

    Just as interesting that Mephistopheles would have us ignore the basic principles of the Declaration.

    And that Novalox is focusing on what he or she thinks of Burzynski’s therapy, which wasn’t at all the point of my comments. But at least there was no insult to the Declaration of Independence in his or her remarks.

    You’re all ignoring or deliberately missing my two points, one of which is freedom of choice! Which includes the freedom to make bad choices, doesn’t it?

    Does an adult has the right to choose to drink as much
    alcohol as he or she wants–even if it’s not good for
    him or her, and he or she dies of it–in his or her own
    home? (if not, shouldn’t you be campaigning to bring
    back the 18th Amendment, aka “Prohibition”?)

    What about the the right to repeatedly drink “Big Gulps”
    –which are of course is very bad for one’s health– if one
    wants to do so? (If you don’t believe in that right, why not
    campaign to have FDA outlaw Coke and Pepsi?)

    You’re all also avoiding addressing the right to own one’s own body:

    Don’t you believe that a woman owns her own body and
    has a right to an abortion if she wants, even though a few
    women have been known to die of abortions? (If not, you
    should be campaigning to take away the right for an
    adult woman to own and take care of her own body.

    But–come to think of it–you are doing just that by
    arguing to prevent Liza Cozad–whose brain cancer is
    inoperable and who has been told there is no known
    FDA-”approved” treatment–from being able to take
    care of her own body by any other means.

    You’re insisting the point be whether Burzynski’s treatment
    works or not, but in doing that, you’re trampling on freedom of choice to take care (or not, see above) one’s body in any way one chooses, even if the choice is not a good one.

    Apparently you all believe all the rest of us should have no right take care of ourselves, but must instead must take care of ourselves only in the way someone else–you, the FDA, whomever–chooses.

    Free country, anyone?

  40. #40 Shay
    February 2, 2014

    Right. Because informing people of quackery so they can learn from others’ mistakes is tyranny, pure and simple.

    And because countering the misinformation campaign of a charlatan with several deaths on his conscience is an clear violation of our civil liberties.

    Strawman, anyone?

  41. #41 Shay
    February 2, 2014

    Btw, Sam, I’ve got a mint-condition Corvair out here that I’m going to sell your teenager. I’m sure you don’t mind.

    (Right after I sell your wife the Pinto. She’s free to make bad choices, right?)

  42. #42 LW
    February 2, 2014

    “a charlatan with several deaths on his conscience”

    Assuming facts not in evidence. What makes you think he has a conscience?

  43. #43 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2014

    Sam Adams – I notice you have no actual argument to show that the Declaration trumps the Constitution, which is the ultimate authority behind the FDA.

    Your right to make bad decisions is not unfettered. Do you have the right to be falling down drunk in public? Not most places. Can a chiropractor legally perform abortions?

    Regardless, the limitation is not on the patient, it is on the provider. After all, even a bartender can be charged for serving drinks to someone who is intoxicated.

    What kind of monster are you to want to sell ineffective treatments to dying people who are desperate for a cure?

  44. #44 Spectator
    February 2, 2014

    @Sam

    Let’s say that people should be free to choose fake cancer cures, such as laetrile. Do you believe the law should allow the fakes to be advertised as proven to work?

  45. #45 Shay
    February 3, 2014

    LW — point taken.

  46. #46 Narad
    February 3, 2014

    But–come to think of it–you are doing just that by arguing to prevent Liza Cozad–whose brain cancer is inoperable and who has been told there is no known FDA-”approved” treatment–from being able to take care of her own body by any other means.

    You may recall that Sam Adams didn’t think that women should be allowed to vote, as well as being an author of the Riot Act.

  47. #47 novalox
    February 3, 2014

    @sam

    Again, why should burzynski, who has had plenty of time to show evidence that his protocol should work, but steadfastly refuses to do so, as well as actually committing research fraud, be believed?

    Do you think that a person like that should be allowed to sell something so unproven to others?

    Sure, you have to right to free speech, but that also means others have the right to criticize and show the flaws of your comments.

  48. #48 dingo199
    February 3, 2014

    The short form/nickname for Stanislaus is “Stash”

    Quite appropriate, considering the accounts bulging with victims’ payments, and the multimillion dollar house and lifestyle.

  49. #49 Sam Adams
    USA
    February 3, 2014

    Hello All:

    Welcome!

    Certainly more interest in (lack of) freedom than one would have thought in these United States.Perhaps that explains tolerance–in fact encouragement–for FDA’s total lack of what present law clearly “allows”: Compassionate Use!

    Oh well:

    Death comes with certainty to
    Lisa, McKenzie
    Denied the right to a choice.

    Go peacefully our sisters
    Your time here is done
    F D A, no compassion

    Lawrence, Mesphistopheles
    Would rather they die
    Than allow them to be free.

    A grim fate for those who wish
    To deviate from
    The dictates of F D A

    Novalox and Spectator
    Have no pity for
    Dying women such as these

    Jefferson, Madison would
    Agree that Liza
    Should have liberty to choose

    All together now:

    My country ’tis of thee
    Sweet land of liberty
    Not for McKenzie and Liza
    Land where they will die soon
    Dancing to government’s tune
    And from every mountainside
    Great sorrow will ring!

  50. #50 Narad
    February 3, 2014

    I see that you have completely failed to grasp that the actual Samuel Adams would have considered you to be full of shıt, atrocious haiku notwithstanding.

  51. #51 Johanna
    February 3, 2014

    Still, at least he shows more imagination than some of the trolls, hereabouts.

  52. #52 Lawrence
    February 3, 2014

    Compassionate use of Count Stan’s treatment? That’s an oxymoron….all you have to do is look at the dozens of stories of patients who suffered severe side effects & ultimately died with no signs of any actual improvement in their conditions (but only after signing away all of or the best portion of available funds they had to Count Stan) to see that there is no compassionate use of something that has never been proven, in even a single case, to help.

    So, go to hell Sam.

  53. #53 novalox
    February 3, 2014

    @sam

    One final time, where is the evidence that burzynski’s treatment works? Why should someone waste their money and time for a treatment that hasn’t been proven to work?

    If you don’t answer, we can assume that you admit that you have no evidence that his treatment works.

    Also, I see that you have resorted to insults instead of answering the questions, so thanks for admitting your moral bankruptcy and that you would rather cheat desperate patients of their money.

    Thanks for admitting your cruelty.

  54. #54 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 3, 2014

    So it’s not enough that she die, which based on all evidence Dr. Burzynski can only hasten. You also want her family to spend hundreds of thousands on what are (by all current evidence) worthless treatments. You might as well send her on a pilgrimage to Lourdes or to Hot Springs to take the waters – those would have nicer scenery.

  55. #55 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 3, 2014

    Oh, and Tom Jefferson wants his words back, because they don’t mean what you think they mean.

  56. #56 PG
    February 5, 2014

    The doctor or organization who is actually winning the war on cancer should throw the first stone.

    People gladly trust chemo and other forms of conventional treatment that have abysmal prognosis and are carcinogenic in themselves because the FDA “approves” it. How were we treating cancer 30 years ago? Chemo, radiation, surgery. How are we treating it today? Have you ever wondered why no big breakthrough has emerged over that period? We need more pioneers like him trying to solve this epidemic… and let’s not squelch them when they think outside the box.

  57. #57 Chris,
    February 5, 2014

    “We need more pioneers like him trying to solve this epidemic… and let’s not squelch them when they think outside the box.”

    They do exist, and actually make sure people get to live much longer lives. They are why leukemia is no longer an automatic death sentence for children. You can read about them in the book The Emperor of All Maladies.

    Burzynski is not a pioneer, he is a con-man. There is a distinct difference.

  58. #58 Shay
    February 5, 2014

    PG — the issue here is that there is no evidence to suggest that Burzynski is winning the war on anything but poverty. His.

  59. #59 Sam Adams
    USA
    February 7, 2014

    Some rays of hope from Johanna & PG!

    For all others: Peace! And also for you, in the spirit of:
    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

    May you all develop life-threatening diseases for which
    there is no known “approved” conventional treatment.
    May you then be denied a “Compassionate Use”
    exception for any other treatment you may want.

    Perhaps then you will understand.

  60. #60 Lawrence
    February 7, 2014

    @PG – you obviously haven’t kept up with the legitimate Cancer research, have you? Life expectancy for Cancer patients is up and so are overall survival rates….are we still using the same treatments as 30 years ago? Of course not, they’ve improved a lot since then (and we have the evidence in published clinical trials to prove it).

    Why is Dr. B still pushing the same crap from 35 years ago? Where are his results & where are his improvements?

  61. #61 Calli Arcale
    February 7, 2014

    Sam, that’s about the most backhanded “peace” imaginable. And you still haven’t addressed the questions about why you think people should be allowed compassionate use exemptions for something that *doesn’t* *work*, offered by a man who charges vastly more than he should, who has killed at least one patient directly with it, and who has deliberately obstructed any attempts to seriously study it for the past *thirty years*.

  62. #62 Shay
    February 7, 2014

    If I were the clueless arschloch that Sam is, I might make the following wish:

    May he develop a life-threatening disease for which there is no known “approved” conventional treatment. May he then be granted a “compassionate use” exception for an unproven therapy with an unbroken 30 year track record of failure and fraud, resulting in the destruction of not only what remains of his health, his quality of life, and his family’s peace of mind and financial assets.

    But I’m a reasonable human being and so I won’t wish that on anyone. I mean, that’s the entire point.

  63. #63 novalox
    February 7, 2014

    @sam

    Thanks again for proving your cruelty to everyone else here.

  64. #64 JGC
    February 7, 2014

    The doctor or organization who is actually winning the war on cancer should throw the first stone.

    That would be any oncologist providing current standard of care treatments to cancer patients, wouldn’t it, PG? Orac qualifies.

    People gladly trust chemo and other forms of conventional treatment that have abysmal prognosis and are carcinogenic in themselves because the FDA “approves” it.

    Conventional (i.e. standard of care) surgery, chemo and radiation theerapy hardly offer abysmal prognoses, Standard of care offers the possibility of a total cure for many cancers (childhood leukemias, testicular cancer, PG. Diffuse large B cell lymphoma, the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is curable with chemothearpy and fatal if untreated. Lymphoblastic lyphoma, the cancer that Sarah Hershberger has, has an 85% chance of long term survival with standard of care chemotherapy and essentially zero chance without. Testicular cancer–cureable. Childhood leukemias–curable. ,

    How were we treating cancer 30 years ago? Chemo, radiation, surgery. How are we treating it today?

    With very different and more effective chemo, radiation and surgery protocols. Radical mastectomies have gone the way of the dodo. new chemotherapeutics and combination therapies have been developed. radiation protocols more highly refined. Just look at the increased survival times following diagnosis (correcting for earlier detection, of course).

    Have you ever wondered why no big breakthrough has emerged over that period?

    No, since I’m aware breakthroughs have been made since then.

    You’re asking the equivalent of “How did we get arund 30 years ago? Cars planes and ships. How do we get around now? Why have no breakthroughs been made?” and ignoring the fact that very different cars planes and ships are in use today to argue that Stan should be allowed to peddle teleportation devices he has not proven actually do anything.

    We need more pioneers like him trying to solve this epidemic… and let’s not squelch them when they think outside the box.

    More “pioneers” like Stan–with no understanding of or training in oncology, who shoose to conduct research unethically, incapable of designing, adequately documenting or publishing results from valid clinical studies demonstrating efficacy or the lack thereof, despite three decades spent and 60+ trials initiated–is the last thing we or cancer patients need.

  65. #65 herr doktor bimler
    February 7, 2014

    the way of the dodo
    Worst martial-arts movie ever.

  66. […] of this is likely why a group known as the ANP Coalition was founded by a man, Ric Schiff, who is on the board of directors of the Burzynski Research […]

  67. […] most tragic story is that of Rafael Elisha Cohen, a six-year-old child with medullablastoma who is not doing well and whose parents have been at the forefront of pressuring the FDA. As horrible as the […]

  68. #68 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    @sam, you are right! People should have the freedom to choose whatever treatment (or lack therof) especially terminal patients. Whether his mean traditional chemo, antineoplastons, radiation, experimental drugs, physician assisted suicide, DNR, hospice, herbs, going to an ashram, doing nothing at all. No one lives forever and those passing deserve to be treated with dignity & respect.

    Unfortunately for Orac and his merry gestapo, it is not about choice but POWER. He thinks that what Scientists agree are ‘good treatments’ should be used by process of consensus. All others are heretics.

    Orac is the type who wouldnt even question bloodletting and leeches since he’s such a pansy who only respects treatments by majority rule.

    The problem with Dr Burzinsky is that if even ONE patient is helped, that would legitimize the treatment and put the entire chemo/radiation oligopoly at risk! Billions are at stake!

    Therefore discredit Burzinsky thru any means necessary, including

    DELAY, DELAY, DELAY

    1. USE ROADBLOCKS TO PREVENT AS MANY PATIENTS FROM USING THE TREATMENT AS POSSIBLE

    2. THEN CLAIM THE TREATMENT DOES NOT WORK SINCE THE SAMPLE SIZE IS MUCH TOO SMALL

    3.ANY PATIENTS WHO MANAGE TO GET TREATMENT AND ARE CURED ARE DISMISSED AS YOUTUBE QUACKS, PLANTS, NEVER REALLY HAD CANCER ETC.ETC.

  69. #69 lilady
    Here, trying to decipher a troll's rant.
    March 25, 2014

    OIAA: Have you got any comments that are on topic?

    Whose sock puppet are you?

  70. #70 Shay
    March 25, 2014

    The problem with Dr Burzinsky is that if even ONE patient is helped, that would legitimize the treatment and put the entire chemo/radiation oligopoly at risk! Billions are at stake!

    Since ‘Ski refuses to publish anything that shows his scam has helped even one patient, there is no problem.

  71. #71 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    Conventional (i.e. standard of care) surgery, chemo and radiation theerapy hardly offer abysmal prognoses, Standard of care offers the possibility of a total cure for many cancers (childhood leukemias, testicular cancer, PG. Diffuse large B cell lymphoma, the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is curable with chemothearpy and fatal if untreated. Lymphoblastic lyphoma, the cancer that Sarah Hershberger has, has an 85% chance of long term survival with standard of care chemotherapy and essentially zero chance without. Testicular cancer–cureable. Childhood leukemias–curable. ,
    ——————————–

    Notice you left BRAIN TUMORS conspicuously absent from your chemo “cure” list (which BTW ‘cure’ in oncology definition means 5 years not lifetime).

    Tell me, would you use penicillin to treat MRSA? If not, why not since penicillin is the historical “standard of care” for bacterial infections.

    Perhaps you would agree that not all bacterial infections respond to the same antibiotic. Some respond to No antibiotic. A new novel, experimental drug would need to be pursued.

    Likewise agressive brain tumors (the kind Dr Burzinski treatment specifically focus on) would not respond to traditional chemo used for slower, less aggressive cancers. In fact, they do not respond to chemo AT ALL which is why oncologists give these patients a death sentence.

    Then these imbiciles have the arrogance to proclaim that these patients should not pursue alternative therapies for their “own good”. Yeah, right!

  72. #72 AdamG
    March 25, 2014

    In fact, they do not respond to chemo AT ALL which is why oncologists give these patients a death sentence.

    I’ll let you in on a secret, OIAA….Burzynski’s treatment is chemotherapy.

  73. #73 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @OIAA – so what exactly is novel about Burzynski’s treatment? It is over 35 years old & doesn’t seem to have changed a whit….

  74. #74 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    @lawrence. Your question is irrelevant.

    Novel or not, effective or not, patients have the right to choose whatever treatment appeals to them.

    Is chemo 100% effective? What about 50%?

    If a treatment is effective for 10% should it be banned? What is the threshold?

    Imo, if even if a treament is 1% effective patients should have a right to try it if the alternative is 100% mortality.

  75. #75 Orac
    March 25, 2014

    Good thing that there’s no evidence that Burzynski’s treatment is even 1% effective, then.

  76. #76 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @OIAA – actually, my question is completely relevant. It is illegal in this country for people to commit suicide, regardless of their medical condition (except for a few assisted-suicide laws, which have quite onerous requirements)….unless there is some evidence that Burzynski’s treatments are effective at all – and since he refuses to publish his results, then allowing people to take this treatment is akin to allowing them to commit suicide – which is against the law.

    Just putting that out there for ya….

  77. #77 AdamG
    March 25, 2014

    If a treatment is effective for 10% should it be banned? What is the threshold?

    Even if you were to pick a threshold, how would we know where Burzynski’s treatment falls on this spectrum?

    Can you find anywhere where he states exactly how effective his treatment is, and presents evidence to support this conclusion?

  78. #78 Narad
    March 25, 2014

    The problem with Dr Burzinsky is that if even ONE patient is helped, that would legitimize the treatment and put the entire chemo/radiation oligopoly at risk! Billions are at stake!

    Strange that one doesn’t see insurance companies leaping on Scamislaw’s bandwagon.

  79. #79 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    It is illegal in this country for people to commit suicide, regardless of their medical condition…
    ———————-

    LMAO!

    There is the written law, and then there is enforcement of the law. Laws which cannot be enforced are stuipd, ineffectual wastes of paper and thus must be overturned (which is why the ban on contraception was overturned by the Supreme Court…you see it didnt matter how many dope politicians passed anti-contraception laws, there was no way to enforce them short of putting state survelliance in every bedroom and backseat in the nation)

    Likewise your suicide is illegal law is just as bogus! What is the penalty for breaking the suicide law other than death?

  80. #80 Narad
    March 25, 2014

    Likewise agressive brain tumors (the kind Dr Burzinski treatment specifically focus on) would not respond to traditional chemo used for slower, less aggressive cancers.

    I take it that you don’t realize that this directly contradicts the claim that “if even ONE patient is helped” it would jeopardize the entirety of genuine cancer treatment.

    Let’s look at the <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3107566/table/tbl4/. Scamley charges, what, $30,000 to walk in the door and $7000 to $9000 a month? Tried to get $30,000 a month out of Wayne Merritt? People routinely try to raise in excess of $100,000 to provide for his lawn care?

    Doesn’t seem like much of a bargain in comparison.

  81. #81 Narad
    March 25, 2014

    ^ “at the actual costs”

  82. #82 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @OIAA – when, technically, we should be able to have Burzynski arrested for assisted suicide, since he’s doing nothing but hastening the death of his patients…..

  83. #83 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2014

    The problem with Dr Burzinsky is that if even ONE patient is helped, that would legitimize the treatment and put the entire chemo/radiation oligopoly at risk!

    Consider a corollary of this statement: it follows, from the lack of legitimacy and the untoppled state of the “chemo/radiation oligopoly”, that so far not one patient has been helped. But this time it’s going to work for sure, right Bullwinkle?

  84. #84 Dangerous Bacon
    March 25, 2014

    “Tell me, would you use penicillin to treat MRSA? If not, why not since penicillin is the historical “standard of care” for bacterial infections.”

    Mainstream medicine has a microbial susceptibility tool in which isolates are tested for resistance. An antibiotic is only “standard of care” for an infection while it is susceptible to that antibiotic. You should read up on the subject.

    “oncologists give these patients a death sentence.”

    Oncologists do no such thing. I believe you’re thinking of Burzynski, who according to a pediatric physician in the recent USA Today story never bothers to see his pediatric cancer patients once his therapy has failed and they wind up as terminal hospital cases.

    “those passing deserve to be treated with dignity & respect.”

    Yes. They don’t deserve being abandoned by their doctor.

    “BTW ‘cure’ in oncology definition means 5 years not lifetime”

    Nope. Oncologists who cite 5-year survival statistics do not proclaim the patients “cured”. This is a standard altie falsehood.

    “Then these _imbiciles_ have the arrogance to proclaim”

    I saw what you did there.

  85. #85 TBruce
    March 25, 2014

    If a treatment is effective for 10% should it be banned? What is the threshold?

    Imo, if even if a treament is 1% effective patients should have a right to try it if the alternative is 100% mortality.

    A small percentage of investors make money from pyramid schemes. If they are effective for those on the “ground floor”, should they be banned? Where is the threshold?

  86. #86 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2014

    those passing deserve to be treated with dignity & respect.

    In contrast to Burzynski’s approach: “Give me all your money. Oops, not enough. But never mind, here’s how you can appeal for money from friends & relatives & strangers and give all that to me too.”

    By the time the FDA put the kibosh on signing up new “experimental patients”, Burzynski had simplified his operation to a four-step operation:
    1. Pay a real doctor to equip the patient with a Hickman catheter.
    2. Buy chemicals of-the-shelf from a pharmaceutical supplier; on-sell to patient at a huge mark-up.
    3. Send patient home again with instructions for administering the chemicals and to go to a real hospital if their side-effects become unbearable.
    4. Clean out patient’s bank accounts.

    “Treated with dignity & respect.”

  87. #87 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    March 25, 2014

    @OIAA

    patients have the right to choose whatever treatment appeals to them.

    I agree. However, I think where we disagree is that I think that doctors should not be able to prescribe whatever treatment they want. Nor should they be able to market drugs for whatever they want. Treatments must be supported by adequate evidence that they work, that their benefits outweigh their risks, and that whatever effect they have is clinically significant. Likewise, marketing a drug for a specific indication must be supported by evidence that the drug is safe and effective when used for the indication claimed.

    Luckily, there are (legitimate and enforceable) laws that address that. Burzynski, however, seems to think that those laws do not (or should not) apply to him.

  88. #88 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    so far not one patient has been helped. But this time it’s going to work for sure, right Bullwinkle?
    ———-

    Yes, I’m sure the dozens of patients testifying in Congress on Dr Burzynskis behalf are phoney paid actors…..not a SINGLE patient cured among them…….no, no…. even better, he scammed these gullible people out of thousands of dollars and instead of being mad, they testified on his behalf so even more people could be scammed! Its a pyramid scheme… Lmao!

  89. #89 novalox
    March 25, 2014

    @oiaa

    [citation needed] within 3 posts, or we can all assume that you are lying.

  90. #90 AdamG
    March 25, 2014

    dozens of patients

    I’ll throw your own question back at you, OIAA.

    Is Burzynski’s treatment 100% effective? What about 50%?

  91. #91 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2014

    Make up your mind, dude. You are the one claiming that if Burzynski helps just one patient then he’ll be legitimate and the establishment will crumble, which plainly hasn’t happened yet. It’s your syllogism, I’m just pointing it out.

  92. #92 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    @adam, effectiveness was claimed to be around 25% or so . Nowhere near 100% but still impressive compared to traditional chemo 0.001%

  93. #93 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    OMG! Even Sherriffs are being scammed…and he doesnt even know it. He tells Congress Burzynski HELPED!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Bv-UxhKdg4

  94. #94 AdamG
    March 25, 2014

    effectiveness was claimed to be around 25% or so

    Ok, show me where this was claimed, and how he arrived at this number.

  95. #95 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @OIAA – so where did that number come from? Because Burzynski has never published the full results from his clinical trials…..do you just take his word for it?

  96. #96 novalox
    March 25, 2014

    @oiaa

    Strike 1 and 2, you still haven’t posted evidence.

  97. #97 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    Where is your evidence that its 0% effective? You dont just take Oracs word for it, do you?

  98. #98 Narad
    March 25, 2014

    Ok, show me where this was claimed, and how he arrived at this number.

    Oh, I’m pretty sure what it is, but I’m not going to do Mr. Ass’s homework for him.

  99. #99 AdamG
    March 25, 2014

    Where is your evidence that its 0% effective?

    Any treatment is 0% effective until proven otherwise. This concept is called the Null Hypothesis.

    But really, you just dodged the question. You said it was claimed to be 25%. All we’re asking is for you to tell us how you arrived at that number.

  100. #100 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @OIAA – I’d prefer that Burzynski actually release the results of his 70+ clinic trials, so we’d know for sure whether or not his treatment is effective….at this point, all anyone has is conjecture (even Burzynski himself).

  101. #101 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2014

    effectiveness … traditional chemo 0.001%

    I would like to know where this value was pulled from, and whether I should wash my hands Semmelweiss-style after handling it.
    I don’t just take OIAA’s word for it, do I?

  102. #102 Politicalguineapig
    March 25, 2014

    Beth: I didn’t mean to insult you personally. But given that your fellow citizens welcome quacks of all stripes with open arms, what is one supposed to think of Texans? Sure, ignorance is all over the world, but there are places that try to stomp it out, and places that actively encourage it. I won’t even mention your school boards.

  103. #103 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    @adam, it is you who dodged the question. My premise was that patients have a divine right to self govern and be in control of whatever treatment they so choose.

    You require proof before embarking on treatment (or so you say since I highly doubt you have *ever* had the ca hones to demand proof & held your own physician to the same standard of credibility you demand of Dr Burzynski before gulping down whatever pills prescribed for you -in which case that would make you a hypocrite but I digress) , though not every patient requires clinical efficacy trials prior to embarking on treatment.

    You demand control of your medical decisions yet would deny others that same right because you dont approve of the Dr and/or methods.

    Who appointed you master of the universe?!

    The arrogance here is astounding….

  104. #104 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @OIAA – the arrogance is thinking that a doctor, who isn’t even an oncologist, can operate for more than 35 years, charging patients hundreds of thousands of dollars each (resulting in millions upon millions of dollars in profit), boasting that he can cure very aggressive cancers without providing even a single shred of verified evidence that his treatments are safe or effective.

    Every other legitimate Cancer researcher is held to a higher standard & is required to prove their their treatments are effective – why do you give Burzynski a pass? Seriously, I’d like to know why you are defending him.

  105. #105 AdamG
    March 25, 2014

    You demand control of your medical decisions yet would deny others that same right because you dont approve of the Dr and/or methods.

    I believe people have a right to make their own informed decisions. I have a problem when a doctor takes advantage of this right by providing patients with misinformation.

    Why do I think Burzynski’s patients are misinformed? Well, the very fact that you can’t seem to produce the source of your 25% value seems to indicate that Burzynski is not exactly open about the results of his failed trials.

  106. #106 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    Actually, I believe the stories of Burzynski’s patients speak for themselves:

    http://theotherburzynskipatientgroup.wordpress.com/

  107. #107 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    Because I believe in a patients divine right to choose! Do you even understand what that means?

    If someone thinks smoking camel dung while chanting Hari Krishna 10x per day will cure them, so be it. If they choose to pay $$$$$$$ for treatment, so be it.

    A fool and their money is easily parted and neither the state nor their docotrs have any authority to stand in the way!

    Dr Burzynski a scam artist? Instead of fighting, blocking, arguing just let him be. Let his patients be. Let anyone who wants to see him, spend money on his treatments do so. Eventually, market forces will decide his fate. Either he gelps thousands and wins the Nobel Peace prize, or patients will lose faith, spread the word and he will hoist himself on his own petard.

  108. #108 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @OIAA- LOL, there is no “divine right” to anything….we, as a society, have deemed that medical treatments are required to prove their efficacy and safety before they can be available to the general public.

    Perhaps you would be more comfortable living in a theocracy – where the cardinals, mullahs, etc. tell you what your God believes you can and cannot have.

    Luckily for the rest of us, we value human life and don’t want quacks to go around killing people for money.

    You’ve proven who the real ass is here…..thanks for playing.

  109. #109 AdamG
    March 25, 2014

    Either he gelps thousands and wins the Nobel Peace prize, or patients will lose faith, spread the word and he will hoist himself on his own petard.

    He’s been doing this for 35 years. When is enough enough? See Lawrence’s link above for plenty of patients who have ‘lost faith’ and are spreading the word.

    I guess Madoff shouldn’t have been investigated either, because ‘market forces’ would’ve just put him out of business, right?

  110. #110 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    Actually, I believe the stories of Burzynski’s patients speak for themselves:

    http://theotherburzynskipatientgroup.wordpress.com/

    ——————————
    Brilliant! The Invisible Hand already at work.

    Burzynski didnt work for them. Now they are sorry they spent the money. Boo-hoo!

    No one starts chemo failed me websites because the money didnt come out of their own pockets. Insurance did. If people had to pay for chemo bags $100000 and died, you’d see chemo websites too!

  111. #111 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    I guess Madoff shouldn’t have been investigated either, because ‘market forces’ would’ve just put him out of business, right?
    ————–

    Absolutely!

    Do you believe the law should be applied equally?

    Please tell me how many Goldman, JP Morgan execs went to jail for the subprime fiasco? Libor manipulation? No, they got bailed out with TARP, QE 1,2,3,4 – wall street scamming America too big to fail.

  112. #112 AdamG
    March 25, 2014

    Do you believe the law should be applied equally?

    Yes, I do. Just like I think the law should come down on Burzynski, too. Is that your point?

  113. #113 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @OIAA – thanks for confirming your position as the biggest ASS on this website. Those patients are dead (most of them kids), you idiot, and we still have no proof that his treatment did anything except causing them to die in extreme misery.

    You are a complete asshat, you douchebag. Take your divine rights and shove them up your ass.

  114. #114 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    Perhaps you would be more comfortable living in a theocracy – where the cardinals, mullahs, etc. tell you what your God believes you can and cannot have.

    ——————-

    Take some tap water, bless it by a priest = Holy water

    Now we have Lawrence insulting a billion Catholics and insisting the Pope be put out of business for scamming people with holy blessings! Yes, thank you Lawrence for dictating the conscience of the world.

  115. #115 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    Again, my previous statement stands.

  116. #116 ann
    March 25, 2014

    Because I believe in a patients divine right to choose! Do you even understand what that means?

    I’m not certain.

    Do you mean their right to choose is God-given?

    Or do you mean that they themselves are divinities?

    I’m assuming the former. But in either case:

    In this country, religious freedom is respected to the full extent of the law, but not beyond it. Therefore, in this country, no such right exists.

    I’m sure that if you consider that for a moment, you’ll see the wisdom of it. (As in: If people were free to mandate their own treatment on religious grounds without any restrictions at all, there would be nothing to stop someone from claiming that God told him or her that having sex with five-year-olds was medically necessary, etc.)

    Of course, you might have meant something else entirely.

    If so, please elucidate.

  117. #117 ann
    March 25, 2014

    Come to think of it, I’m not aware of any creed that includes any kind of divine right to choice wrt healthcare.

    What do you mean, precisely? “Sovereign” rather than “divine,” maybe?

  118. #118 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    Take your divine rights and shove them up your ass.
    —————-

    Ah! Finally get to the root of your problem.

    You have no respect for the divine rights of others yet sport a malignant dose of god-complex.

    SELF DETERMINATION FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE – Is that it?

  119. #119 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    Actually no, thank goodness we live in a nation of laws & not one ruled by anachronistic religious dogma…..

  120. #120 AdamG
    March 25, 2014

    SELF DETERMINATION FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE – Is that it?

    What about Kyla F.’s ‘divine right of self determination?’

    Do you believe parents have the right to withhold effective treatment from their children?

  121. #121 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    @ann

    Please think back 200 years where the law said a slave had no rights. Abolitionists broke the law of the land. Now which was supreme?

    Gods law or the sovereign law of the United States?

    Gods law never changes. Mans laws change on a whichever direction the wind blows.

    If the right to self determination of my own body begins and ends with the State, who owns my body? Am I really free?

    You really would approve of being forced to medical treatment without your consent because the “State” says so? Really? Just ponder for a moment before replying.

    Even jehovahs witness can refuse medical treatment on religious grounds. For children the laws are blurred, but for adults crystal clear. All medical treatment can be refused on religious grounds.

  122. #122 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @OIAA – you really want to go down that particular road?

    god’s law has never been god’s law – just a bunch of men claiming divinity to empower themselves & subjugate the masses.

    If Burzynski can prove his treatment works, then more power to him, until he does, we have a responsibility to hold him to the same standard as anyone else.

    Again, we value human life – you don’t. Asshat.

  123. #123 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    Not to mention the fact that slavery, was in fact, held up as a biblical institution…it was Man’s law that changed that.

    You asshat.

  124. #124 ann
    March 25, 2014

    Perhaps you would be more comfortable living in a theocracy – where the cardinals, mullahs, etc. tell you what your God believes you can and cannot have.

    Okay.

    I’m stumped. What divine right of patients are you referring to?

    And I have a follow-up. Let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that (for some and/or any reason), patients have an absolute right to choice that it’s absolutely wrong to regulate in any way, shape or form.

    How about treatment providers? Should there be any limits on what they’re allowed to do?

  125. #125 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    God’s law was also the reasoning behind not allowing an interracial couple to marry – again, not a road that you want to go down to defend your “argument.”

  126. #126 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2014

    divine right
    A combination of words traditionally used to justify absolute monarchy.

    Gods law never changes
    Sadly, we don’t know what “God’s law” actually is.
    Fortunately, there is always someone who wants to act as God’s spokesman.

  127. #127 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @Ann – I believe he is saying that I should have the ability to make whatever claims I want about cures for disease & swindle whomever I’d like, since they should have the right to choose me over more effective treatments (I guess because I have a good message & make outlandish promises with no evidence)….and that once the bodies are stacked so high that they can no longer be ignored (or I can’t spin enough lies to cover them) that maybe people would stop paying me….sounds like a pretty hellish system to me.

  128. #128 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @Ann – perhaps I should be allowed to promise that thalidomide would be the greatest thing for pregnant women to take for morning sickness…get that one back on the market, right?

    I mean, it is their right to choose right?

  129. #129 AdamG
    March 25, 2014

    You really would approve of being forced to medical treatment without your consent because the “State” says so?

    Who the hell here is saying this?

  130. #130 Chris,
    March 25, 2014

    “God’s law”

    By the Hammer of Thor, which “god”?

    Is it the one that con men like Burzynski hide behind?

  131. #131 Lawrence
    March 25, 2014

    @Chris – gosh darn it, my divine right to swindle people out of their money & watch them die horrible, miserable deaths…..

  132. #132 Orac
    March 25, 2014

    OMG! Even Sherriffs are being scammed…and he doesnt even know it. He tells Congress Burzynski HELPED!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Bv-UxhKdg4

    Mr. Schiff, sadly, is not particularly good at determining whether a medical treatment worked or not.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/03/11/ric-schiff-attacks-the-fda-on-mercola-com/

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/05/08/eric-merola-and-stanislaw-burzynskis-secret-weapon-against-the-skeptics-fabio-lanzoni-part-2/

  133. #133 ann
    March 25, 2014

    Please think back 200 years where the law said a slave had no rights. Abolitionists broke the law of the land. Now which was supreme?

    I don’t know which law you have in mind. There was nothing illegal about opposing slavery, per se. And I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t categorically against the law of the land to aid or harbor escaped slaves, although it probably was in slave states.

    So I’m confused. But if you’re asking me whether I’m with Team Abolitionist or Team Slavery in spirit, the answer is the former.

    Gods law or the sovereign law of the United States?

    In the abstract and very generally speaking, they can’t be compared, because — to paraphrase Pulp Fiction — different ballpark, league and sport.

    But if the FDA has brought them into opposition by regulating Burzynski, I’ll do my best. Just tell me how or in what way.
    .

    Gods law never changes. Mans laws change on a whichever direction the wind blows.

    Again: Confused.

    People make laws for themselves and/or others. It’s a dynamic rather than static process. That seems like a good thing to me. The wind has nothing to do with it. And per the bible, for example, God’s law sometimes changes. Does so right out of the box, in fact. (In The Book of Genesis, repeatedly.)

    What’s your source?

    If the right to self determination of my own body begins and ends with the State, who owns my body?

    We-e-ell…,

    If the right to self-determination of your own body began and ended with the state, you’d have to get its permission to eat, sleep, shave, shower, and pee.

    But none of those things is at issue. So: If you’re not a slave, nobody owns your body, properly speaking. And apart from that, I guess I don’t understand your question.

    Could you rephrase?

    More in a moment.

  134. #134 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    Those patients are dead (most of them kids), you idiot, and we still have no proof that his treatment did anything except causing them to die in extreme misery.
    —————————-

    Yup! Kids died. Your point? Facts conveniently omitted:

    1. These kids had inoperable aggressive brain tumors.
    2.Parents took the kids to Burzynski after conventional treatments failed.

    But according to you its Dr Burzynski who killed these kids because….???????? What? They would have lived without the treatment? Are you really that obtuse or do you enjoy acting like an imbecile?

    How about this:

    Kid has aggressive brain tumor, gets chemo/radiation and still dies! Who killed the kid?

    A) the oncologist
    B) the chemo/radiation
    C) the parents for taking the kid to the oncologist
    D) the cancer

  135. #135 ann
    March 25, 2014

    Am I really free?

    That’s a deep question.

    I don’t know.

    But we’ve already established that the the state doesn’t tell people when to sleep, eat, shower, shave, or pee.

    It also doesn’t tell them what to think, or say, or do with their time and energy, or with whom to associate, or where to live.

    And on average, to the extent that it does tell them how to live — ie, by prohibiting and/or requiring them to do this or that under the law of the land — it doesn’t impose greater limits on them than a completely ungoverned society would be likely to do. (All things being equal — ie, presuming the same resources and number of human beings.)

    So I’d say you live in a free country, in the sense of the usual meaning of the phrase.

    You really would approve of being forced to medical treatment without your consent because the “State” says so? Really? Just ponder for a moment before replying.

    I’m happy to say that’s a moot point where I live, which is in the United States.

    I mean, involuntary commitment is a thing. But that takes a lot more than the state’s say so. In the great state of New York, at least.

    Why do you ask?

    Even jehovahs witness can refuse medical treatment on religious grounds. For children the laws are blurred, but for adults crystal clear. All medical treatment can be refused on religious grounds.

    My point, exactly. Barring the part about children’s rights.

    The right to refuse treatment on religious grounds is not the same thing as an unlimited right to the treatment of one’s choice, however.

    At all.

    So. Back to topic.

  136. #136 Narad
    March 25, 2014

    Even jehovahs witness can refuse medical treatment on religious grounds. For children the laws are blurred, but for adults crystal clear. All medical treatment can be refused on religious grounds.

    You are babbling incoherently, Mr. Ass. Refusing medical treatment has nothing to do with “religious grounds”: this is, e.g., Cruzan v. Director, Mo. Dep’t of Health, 497 U.S. 261 (1990).

    Now, I can’t help but notice that you seem to have a rather severe problem answering questions. You said this:

    The problem with Dr Burzinsky is that if even ONE patient is helped, that would legitimize the treatment and put the entire chemo/radiation oligopoly at risk! Billions are at stake!

    It has been pointed out that this contradicts another of your comments, appears to be factually ungrounded, and demands an explanation for why those who would stand to benefit financially, such as, say, the federal government, aren’t pursuing Count Scamula’s antineoplastinoids. So please put down the airplane glue and get to it.

  137. #137 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t categorically against the law of the land to aid or harbor escaped slaves, although it probably was in slave states.
    ——–

    Wrong! Please look up the Fugitive Slave Act circa 1850

    ” any person aiding a runaway slave by providing food or shelter was subject to six months’ imprisonment and a $1,000 fine”

  138. #138 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2014

    Mr. Schiff, sadly, is not particularly good at determining whether a medical treatment worked or not.

    Mr Schiff’s testimony seems to be as follows:
    (1) He is such an infallible judge of character that he would know if Burzynski were scamming him for all that money and so little treatment;* and
    (2) He is such a poor judge of character that he let conventional oncologists treat his daughter, therefore it’s their fault that Burzynski’s treatment didn’t save her.

    * After all, the police would never have hired him if he wasn’t a mentalist, would they?

  139. #139 Narad
    March 25, 2014

    OMG! Even Sherriffs are being scammed…

    Ric Schiff isn’t a “sheriff,” genius. Did you even look at your own link?

  140. #140 ann
    March 25, 2014

    Take your divine rights and shove them up your ass.
    —————-

    Ah! Finally get to the root of your problem.

    You have no respect for the divine rights of others yet sport a malignant dose of god-complex.

    SELF DETERMINATION FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE – Is that it?

    Are you addressing me?

    Because if so, I’m now MAD confused.

    I didn’t say anything about divine rights. I’m strongly in favor of religious freedom for people of all faiths, on equal terms and without regard for the religion.

    Apart from that, I think a person’s religious beliefs, habits and practices are neither the state’s nor anybody else’s business to regulate.

    People can criticize the religious beliefs of others, if they feel so moved, of course. Or oppose them, even. That’s an important freedom. Flip side of the same coin.

    Where did you get the me-ing and thee-ing?

  141. #141 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    But we’ve already established that the the state doesn’t tell people when to sleep, eat, shower, shave, or pee.

    It also doesn’t tell them what to think, or say, or do with their time and energy, or with whom to associate, or where to live.

    And on average, to the extent that it does tell them how to live — ie, by prohibiting and/or requiring them to do this or that under the law of the land — it doesn’t impose greater limits on them than a completely ungoverned society would be likely to do. (All things being equal — ie, presuming the same resources and number of human beings.)

    So I’d say you live in a free country, in the sense of the usual meaning of the phrase.
    —————-

    You live in New york and dare to say the State doesnt dictate what you can eat!? LMAO! Mayor Bloomberg & his soda ban anyone? Banning Vending machines in schools ring a bell? How about banning the consumption of raw milk (yes millions of humans drink milk right from a gaots teat but in the USSA that will get you prison time)

    As for what you think, and do, none of that is private either or does Edward Snowden not familiar?

    Where to live? Guess you missed the news of the homelessman in Arizona murdered by police for camping out in the wrong spot.

    Or how about the IRS seizing your passport if they think you owe too much?

    Even better, you *can* leave New Jersey but only if you pay an ‘Exit tax’ !

    We’re free alright Ann….Gee, really like to visit in the land of rainbows and unicorns that occupies your mind.

  142. #142 OracIsAnAss
    March 25, 2014

    Ann the me-thee was in response to Lawrence further up the thread.

  143. #143 Narad
    March 25, 2014

    Please think back 200 years where the law said a slave had no rights. Abolitionists broke the law of the land. Now which was supreme?

    [G-ds] law or the sovereign law of the United States?

    [G-ds] law never changes. Mans laws change on a whichever direction the wind blows.

    The gods of the valley are not the gods of the hills.

    “It is to be hoped, that on a question of such vital importance as this to the peace and safety of our common country, as well as to the welfare of the church, we shall be seen cleaving to the Bible, and taking all our decisions about this matter, from its inspired pages. With men from the North, I have observed for many years a palpable ignorance of the divine will, in reference to the institution of slavery. I have seen but a few, who made the Bible their study, that had obtained a knowledge of what it did reveal on this subject. Of late, their denunciation of slavery as a sin, is loud and long.

    “I propose, therefore, to examine the sacred volume briefly, and if I am not greatly mistaken, I shall be able to make it appear that the institution of slavery has received, in the first place,

    “1st. The sanction of the Almighty in the Patriarchal age.

    “2d. That it was incorporated into the only National Constitution which ever emanated from [G-d].

    “3d. That its legality was recognized, and its relative duties regulated, by Jesus Christ in his kingdom; and

    “4th. That it is full of mercy.”

    Seems to me that Stringfellow did a much better job than you are.

  144. #144 ann
    March 25, 2014

    Wrong! Please look up the Fugitive Slave Act circa 1850

    ” any person aiding a runaway slave by providing food or shelter was subject to six months’ imprisonment and a $1,000 fine

    D’Oh!

    How could I have forgotten that? I ask, as if I didn’t know that the answer was:

    That prong of the law — ie, the part about aiding fugitives — was largely a symbolic concession to the South. It’s not like Johnny Law was rounding up abolitionists and carting them off to prison. Turned out to be a pyrrhic victory, too.

    That’s no excuse though. You’re right. And I was very wrong.

    Despite which:

    Many of the people who aided fugitive slaves were abolitionists, no doubt. But that wasn’t a huge number of people, relative to the number of abolitionists. And when the abolition of slavery did occur, it wasn’t the result of their having broken the law.

    So I still don’t know what you were referring to.

  145. #145 ann
    March 25, 2014

    You live in New york and dare to say the State doesnt dictate what you can eat!? LMAO! Mayor Bloomberg & his soda ban anyone?

    You can’t mean the one that was immediately ruled an illegal overreach on multiple constitutional grounds. Because that supports my point, not yours.

    So (once again): Confused.

    Banning Vending machines in schools ring a bell?

    That’s not the state telling people how to eat. It’s the state declining to make certain foods available via vending machine on its own property. Which many foods are not, after all.

    Plus anyone who wants his or her children to eat junk food, they’re free to brown-bag it and give it to them.

    In short: There’s no right to be spoon-fed the meal of your choosing by the state anywhere. You have to show some initiative. Make an effort. That’s liberty.

    How about banning the consumption of raw milk (yes millions of humans drink milk right from a gaots teat but in the USSA that will get you prison time)

    I know of no law against the consumption of raw milk. It’s also legal to sell it in 29 states. And if you live in one of the 21 others, you’re free to move.

    Because there’s also no right to getting every single little thing that you want in exactly the way you want it, at all times and in all places.

    As for what you think, and do, none of that is private either or does Edward Snowden not familiar?

    I didn’t say it was private. I said the state doesn’t tell you what to think or say.

    It’s not completely clear that there’s any right to privacy in communication left in this country, to speak of.

    Or that there isn’t. But that’s not the point. It’s enough of a filthy abomination that it’s not completely clear. It should be.

    Where to live? Guess you missed the news of the homelessman in Arizona murdered by police for camping out in the wrong spot.

    Guess you missed the part of what I said about all things being equal.

    Vile abuses of power and murders occur in all human communities and societies. They always have done in all places and at all times, in all of known history so far.

    The future lies ahead. It’s both my wish and my aim to make it as murder- and abuse-free as possible.

    That being the case, I feel that it avails me less than nothing to sit around wasting the first-amendment rights that I don’t appreciate because I’ve never lived a moment without them on whining about how oppressive it is to have to live with the various misapprehensions I’ve formed about random minor factoids after encountering them on the internet and accepting them at face value as offered because they made me feel like a bold, independent rebel.

    I prefer to think things through myself, based on what I’ve learned about them through my own efforts. It’s error-prone. But I haven’t managed to come up with anything better.

    Or how about the IRS seizing your passport if they think you owe too much?

    Even better, you *can* leave New Jersey but only if you pay an ‘Exit tax’ !

    We’re free alright Ann….Gee, really like to visit in the land of rainbows and unicorns that occupies your mind.

    Ha.

    You think you’ll pay less when the Ron Paul revolution leaves the toll-roads and taxes in the hands of a bunch of newly federal-cash-poor state legislatures that are desperately competing with one another for enough corporate patronage to give their spoiled, ignorant, whiny constituencies all the perks and privileges they take for granted?

    Think again. And again. You’ll thank me some day.

  146. #146 LW
    March 25, 2014

    “Even better, you *can* leave New Jersey but only if you pay an ‘Exit tax’ !”

    Is that new? I mean, they didn’t stop me at the border when I came home after I was there last summer.

  147. #147 ann
    March 25, 2014

    You demand control of your medical decisions yet would deny others that same right because you dont approve of the Dr and/or methods.

    I don’t and wouldn’t demand either of those things.

    In theory, I don’t have a problem with requiring all doctors to abide by the same regulations as all others wrt record-keeping, truth-in-advertising, billing, informed consent, and research/experimentation on human subjects that uses potentially toxic substances with no demonstrable benefits that anyone’s ever ascertained. Though.

    As long as they’re reasonably fair and enforcement isn’t, like, draconian.

    And you? I answered all your questions. So.

    Where do you stand on those things?

  148. #148 Narad
    March 25, 2014

    How about banning the consumption of raw milk (yes millions of humans drink milk right from a gaots teat but in the USSA that will get you prison time)

    Aside from the fact that, as has already been noted, you’re again as full of shıt as the average dairy pasture, how about it?

  149. #149 ann
    March 26, 2014
    Even jehovahs witness can refuse medical treatment on religious grounds. For children the laws are blurred, but for adults crystal clear. All medical treatment can be refused on religious grounds.

    You are babbling incoherently, Mr. Ass. Refusing medical treatment has nothing to do with “religious grounds”: this is, e.g., Cruzan v. Director, Mo. Dep’t of Health, 497 U.S. 261 (1990).

    But….

    You can refuse medical treatment on religious grounds. (“You” being an adult American citizen who’s competent to make decisions about medical treatment for him/herself, capable of doing so, and willing to endure the consequences.)

    Can’t you?

    At least afaik, you can.

    And the only thing the state can do about it is apprehend, detain, isolate and quarantine you if you have cholera; diphtheria; infectious tuberculosis; plague; smallpox; yellow fever; a viral hemorrhagic fevers, such as Lassa, Marburg, Ebola, Crimean-Congo, South American, and others not yet isolated or named; SARS; influenza caused by novel or reemergent influenza viruses that are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic; or some other illness that the Secretary of Health and Human Services thinks belongs on the list.

    But even then, you’re as free to break out of quarantine and make a run for it as your abilities allow. It’s true that it might cost you $1000 and/or a year in jail. Be that as it may. the choice is yours.

    So I’ve heard, anyway. I admit that I might easily be wrong. Because I haven’t really had any opportunities for learning from experience and observation. Guess I’ve just been lucky that way.

  150. #150 ann
    March 26, 2014

    There’s no right to be spoon-fed the meal of your choosing by the state anywhere.

    Something very like it is traditional on death row from time to time, to be fair. And you might not even have to make an effort to get there.

    People have to be free to prioritize the injustices of their own choosing, I know. I’m glad that they are, even.

    But not very, sometimes.

  151. #151 Narad
    March 26, 2014

    You can refuse medical treatment on religious grounds. (“You” being an adult American citizen who’s competent to make decisions about medical treatment for him/herself, capable of doing so, and willing to endure the consequences.)

    Can’t you?

    You can refuse medical treatment on any grounds, so religion is neither here nor there.

  152. #152 ann
    March 26, 2014

    Again:

    D’oh!

    (I misread you. Fault mine.)

  153. #153 herr doktor bimler
    March 26, 2014

    ann
    So. Back to topic.

    Good luck with that. OIAA seems to have a LOT of grievances and finds it hard to stick to just one at a time.

  154. #154 Chris,
    March 26, 2014

    The most recent troll: “Gods law or the sovereign law of the United States?”

    By the Hammer of Thor, which gods? There is no apostrophe in that sentence, so I am assuming a pantheistic theology.

    So which of those gods supports allowing a con man to steal cash from desperate cancer patients? Come on, answer the question. Which gods support con men in bilking cash from sick folks?

    At least we know the “laws of man” change in the USA due to ability to amend it. Which gave folks like myself the right to vote.

  155. #155 ann
    March 26, 2014

    @herr doktor bimler

    Thanks. The scenic route’s usually perfectly okay with me, though. Truth be told.

  156. #156 Militant Agnostic
    Where Corb Lund tells us it is always better with cows around.
    March 26, 2014

    Mr Ass appears to have achieved a level of fractal wrong rarely seen in these parts.

    Aside from the fact that, as has already been noted, you’re again as full of shıt as the average dairy pasture, how about it?

    He ducked right into that haymaker.

  157. #157 Brook
    March 26, 2014

    @chris – Loki springs to mind.

  158. #158 Chris,
    March 26, 2014

    @Brooke: :-)

  159. […] to sabotage him in their enthusiasm to “prove” what a genius he is. The ANP Coalition—remember these guys?—published a blog post the other day announcing with pride the publication of 17/40 (or 42.5%) of […]

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