Have you been injured?
What's the real story on chelation therapy?
Vincent DeMarco - Who is he?
Is the truth stranger than fiction?Nominated for the Toronto Sun's Women on the Move award, Toronto chiropractor Katrina Kulhay has a new associate at her Wellness Centre at 15 St. Clair Ave. W.
Katrina has long been the darling of Marilyn Linton who has done other stories on the Kulhay Wellness Centre over the years. It's almost as if she has a contract to produce articles about the clinic on a regular basis:
The certified athletic therapist who works out of the Kulhay Wellness Clinic in Toronto also practices osteopathy -- a manual therapy technique that looks at the total body and takes into account what goes on from head to toe.
The way Cartwright distinguishes this from her work as an athletic therapist is that osteopathy is more a full-body approach. (BTW - osteopathy in Canada is not a regulated health profession, despite the name provided by Marilyn Linton in this article. If Cartwright is a registered physiotherapist, does that regulated health profession recognize "osteopathy" as a further definition of what a licensed physiotherapist is allowed to do? I also note with wonder and amazement that Linton also promotes reflexolgy, Reiki, therapeutic touch, and more. Marilyn's authoritative references can be found in this quote, "Word of mouth is the best source; these therapies are also listed in magazines such as Vitality, found in health food stores.")
What's this you say, you thought that he was a psychiatrist? So did we. You thought he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, so did we. So did the Canadian Medical Directory, so did the printers of the program at the Total Health 2000 quack-filled alternative health expo in Toronto in March, 2000. And, get this, the Kulhay Wellness Centre promotes him the same way.
DeMarco hasn't been with the Department of Psychiatry at the U of T since 1992 according to sources in two departments at the university. In fact, a letter was sent to Dr. DeMarco that he in fact should not be using that designation. In a letter from DeMarco to the University a day or so before the quack health festival, he apparently apologized for the errors.
During the presentation on March 18, 2000 Vincent was introduced as an Assistant Professor and he didn't flinch, nor did he make corrections.. However, he did state that he had received a letter from the College of Physicians on March 17th and had to restrict his talk in some ways.
So, why is he now part of an alternative medicine consortium in one of Toronto's more affluent areas? What possible training could he have taken that qualifies him to hang out a new shingle in a clinic better known for its anti-medical, anti-vaccine Thursday night pot-luck dinners where Kulhay and her friends charge young mothers $20 to see a $36.95 video from Australia about the risks of immunizations? Did he like the picture on her wall of Len Horowitz? What's the story here?
Why does Vincent speak at quack health expos year after year?
How does Vincent explain to the public how he became involved in chelation therapy and why is he doing it at numerous quack expos?
In order to catch of glimpse of what appears to be a major switch from allopathic psychiatry to plaque busting, EDTA dripping, anti-aging, unqualified by any legitimate non-psychiatric college, we should pay a visit to some of Vincent's recent links:
He used to be a psychiatrist, but he's not listed with the University of Toronto's Psychiatry Department. In fact he hasn't had a faculty appointment since 1992. Yet his entry in the 1999 edition of the Canadian Medical Directory lists a number of hospital affiliations, but when we called them, they said he is not on their staff. That same listing also says that he is an Assistant Professor. Who is telling the truth?
The Psychiatry department doesn't list their professors on their web site, but they do discuss their research, and chelation doesn't show up anywhere.
The program for the Total Health 2000 expo below says that Vincent is an Assistant Professor in their department.
But, now he is an anti-aging specialist.
Then a few short months later he becomes a chelation therapy expert. Why he's able to strip small plaques from your coronary arteries and claims that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario approves it. Wow, I'm impressed.
What's really scary folks is that those titles mean absolutely nothing.
More goodies on chelation and other quacks
Health fraud promoters attract people because they spend time with them and pay a great deal of attention to their needs. The promoters offer not only cures but also friendship and support. Often, they say their product or method can cure a number of health problems. They describe vague symptoms that could have many causes. The quacks use words that sound like real medical terms.
Sometimes they have diplomas from fake schools or health organizations. If they do have advanced degrees, they are probably not in a health field. The health fraud advocate may be your best friend or even a health professional.
Promoters use half-hour and even hour- long television programs to urge you to send in your money and try a new, revolutionary discovery. Because of the right to freedom of speech, the quack does not have to prove the claims are true. Instead, we must prove the claims are false.
Bogus Clinics - Clinics with everything from chelation therapy for heart disease to coffee enemas for cancer give false hope and empty bank accounts to thousands of people. These clinics often are located just outside the United States borders, where they cannot be controlled by federal agencies.
The clinics appeal to people who do not trust mainstream medicine or who have lost all hope for a medical cure. The clinics often use fake diagnostic tests such as cytotoxic testing for allergies, applied kinesiology for nutrition problems and yeast tests for infections.
In some cases they use valid tests for the wrong reasons, such as hair analysis for vitamin deficiencies or oral glucose tolerance tests for low blood sugar. Some even use special devices, such as amalgameters that detect toxic levels of amalgam, a substance used for dental fillings and blamed for causing mercury poisoning.
In some cases, if the person has no clear symptoms, these tests will discover some weakness that requires special extracts or treatments. The real tragedy occurs when a person delays valid medical care so long that it is too late.
Typically, the patient was ushered into an examining room where the chiropractor talked over any symptoms and then switched on what patients say he called "the Interro" or "the nutrition machine." Several independent accounts produce the same description: a computer screen and keyboard attached by wire to a stubby pencil-shaped probe.
But the machine wasn't used on just anybody.
"If a doctor or anybody but the Mennonite families asked about it," said Michelle Moore, who worked briefly for Edwards as a file clerk, "I was to say that it didn't exist."
It was a special machine, she said, for special people.
Edwards would touch the probe to points on a patient's hand, acupuncture-style, Amish patients said. Supposedly the Interro detected the body's electrical impulses. The computer software, in theory, measured those impulses to see how well various organs in the body worked. The diagnosis was instant.
And completely worthless. The Interro does not work. It can treat nothing. It can make no valid diagnosis.
Hon. J. MacPhail: Yes, I too get a lot of information from meetings around the issue of chelation therapy, and I very much respect the people who lobby me onthis. So my comments that I'm about to give to the House are really based on what health care professionals advise me of, because I, of course, would not make adecision around this or even offer any advice that wasn't evidence-based.
The therapeutic agent ethylene diamine tetracetic acid, EDTA, is not an approved drug for use in Canada or in the United States, and that's what is used in chelationtherapy. But there is also a very active worldwide lobby group to have this treatment paid for by health care systems. In British Columbia we have asked theCollege of Physicians and Surgeons to deal with this issue.
So really, until such time as EDTA is accepted by Health and Welfare Canada as a proven and safe form of treatment for coronary atherosclerosis, we're not goingto be funding any programs or covering the cost of this through the Medical Services Plan or Pharmacare. As I said, the College of Physicians and Surgeons isdealing with this issue as well.
S. Hawkins: I appreciate the candid remarks by the minister. The minister is probably aware that in, I believe, Saskatchewan and Alberta, there's legislation onchelation, and, I believe -- and I could be wrong -- it is covered under MSP. These are the kinds of inquiries that come to me: if it's covered there, why isn't itcovered here? If there are concerns about a drug that perhaps isn't approved for a certain amount of therapy. . . . I know it is being used in the province. I believethere is a chelationist that works in the Okanagan. I know of patients that go to him and then write to me and ask: "Why aren't the treatments covered?"
Is the ministry perhaps looking at this as a safety issue, then, for patients? If it is already out there and there's treatment being done, is there something the ministryis monitoring or following to make sure that patients are getting safe care? Or are we just channelling them off to the College of Physicians and Surgeons to handle?
Hon. J. MacPhail: The situation in Alberta is that legislation was introduced in a private member's bill and passed, which allows a physician to practisealternative medicine without discipline from the College of Physicians and Surgeons as long as it's safe and doesn't harm the patient. But the service still remainsuninsured. In Saskatchewan the College of Physicians and Surgeons is undergoing a review around this matter, but it's not insured, either.
We're continuing to follow the development around this treatment. The College of Physicians and Surgeons is responsible for the professional conduct and practicestandards of physicians in British Columbia. So the safe practice of medicine is their responsibility. During a recent meeting with them, they assured me that theywere very much concerned and on top of this issue, but once again advised me that they would not recommend any change around the provision of chelationtherapy.
S. Hawkins: I have concerns about the safety of this treatment modality with regard to children, because I do get letters from parents, saying that their child isundergoing treatment for heavy metal or whatever. I try and refer them to the college, and I certainly refer them to the ministry. What does the ministry advise thesepeople that write to the ministry?
Hon. J. MacPhail: Actually, chelation therapy is approved for heavy-metal poisoning, and it is an insured service. It's chelation therapy for atherosclerosisthat's not approved. So the proper recourse is for patients to go to the College of Physicians and Surgeons on that matter, and that's what we advise.
S. Hawkins: Thanks for that clarification. I'll deal with that later. I have a few other questions, but perhaps I can clear those up with a little research of my own.
More news about another psychiatrist who delves into the wacky world alternoid medical devices, EAV metres, and then more stuff on chelation therapy.
LAWSUIT OVER USE OF BOGUS MEDICAL DEVICE
A board-certified psychiatrist in Nyack, NY has been sued by a patient he diagnosed as a hypochondriac for using a bogus medical device. The civil lawsuit, filedin state Superior Court in Paterson [NJ], says that Keith Bachman was seen by Dr. Michael Schachter and then given "electro-dermal testing." The machine, calleda Vega test, is supposed to diagnose problems through an electric probe pressed against the skin. A numerical readout on the machine's gauge reveals where theproblems are. Bachman was shown to have food allergies, an impacted molar, and dyspepsia. The article quoted several experts who call such machines a sham,and a FDA spokesperson confirmed that many of these machines are legal because they were grandfathered under a 1976 federal statute forbidding bogus medicaldevices. (This is the same machine that the CPSO in Ontario said that Dr. Joe Krop can continue to use on his patients, as long as he tells them that it is not approved. It's also similar to a machine that is used by the Kulhay clinic to pinpoint dozens of conditions and diseases that just don't exist. Another delusion of the alt. medical community.)
FTC STOPS PROMOTION OF CHELATION THERAPY
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) put the brakes on efforts by the American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) to push chelation therapy as asafe and nonsurgical treatment for atherosclerosis. Chelation therapy uses a chemical to bond with metals in the bloodstream and draw them out. It's approved bythe FDA for treating conditions caused by heavy metals in the blood such as lead poisoning but has not been scientifically proven as effective for atherosclerosis.The ACAM, a California group of physicians and other practitioners who promote chelation, agreed to stop distributing a seven-page brochure on chelation therapy,which had also appeared on their website. As part of the agreement, the organization did not have to acknowledge guilt or wrongdoing. ACAM's president said thematerial didn't even constitute advertising and that the FTC action revealed the agency's bias toward traditional medicine. He denied the material containedinaccuracies.
Stephen Barrett, MD, board chair of Quackwatch Inc., applauded the FTC's action. The government agency, which oversees the advertising of nonprescriptiondrugs, has taken an aggressive stance on the claims made by health products in the last two years. He said the agency has filed more "false advertising" claims inthe last two years than during the 1980s. The FTC issued 1,200 warnings after an international health claim Internet "surf day" Nov. 10, 1998 when numerousagencies surfed the Internet and assessed Web sites. Email the FTC to send complaints or comments about health claims on the Internet.
Comment: Here's one effective way for the government to stop some of these rascals from getting the word out. Although it's impossible for the FTC to crackdown on everyone advertising products with misleading or false claims, such actions may encourage other companies and practitioners to think twice before theypush their products. It's also heartening to see the efforts in policing the Internet, which has become a haven for quacks promoting everything. (ACAM is the organization that Vincent DeMarco claims to be a member.)
Alternative Medicine in Canada
hard hitting - quackbusting