I love writing about quackery and other medical shenanigans, but there are some activities and organizations that are so distasteful that I can rarely force myself to write about them. One of these is the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). This is an organization that has supported the lie that abortion leads to breast cancer, has defended child abuse by attempting to “debunk” shaken baby syndrome, or worse, blame it on vaccines, and fought for treating mental health as moral failing rather than a real illness. And that’s just a sampling.
The doctor has dark skin, a foreign accent, and some unconventional ideas. But his ideas and his practice are not on trial. The question before the court is whether the nurse, not the doctor, acted wrongfully.
The writer is half right. The case in which nurse Anne Mitchell was acquitted was not about Dr. Rolando Arifiles and his questionable practices but whether Mitchell acted unlawfully in reporting them. She did not. In fact, she followed both the ethics of her profession and the law in reporting her concerns to the state agency charged with investigating such things. The state medical board issued several scathing letters to the local sheriff and prosecutor warning them of their errors. It may be that the sheriff’s personal and business relationship with Dr. Arifiles blinded him to his own idiocy. Or it may be that pseudo-libertarian wack-job organizations such as the AAPS help encourage this sort wackaloonery.