Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Bizarre medical stories ripped from the virtual pages of the Internet

A 30-year-old California woman died after a naturopath gave her an intravenous infusion of turmeric—yes, turmeric, a spice used in curry, supposedly has anti-inflammatory properties when taken by mouth.

An naturopath who only uses turmeric orally was quoted in a San Diego ABC news report, "There are some doctors who use turmeric extract in IV form to try and heighten the physiological effects, so the anti-inflammatory effects of the turmeric. It hasn’t been well studied. It’s more theoretical, so it’s more investigational.” Unlike most naturopathic treatments, IV turmeric hasn't been well studied.

According to NBC San Diego, the medical examiner said she died of a heart attack and ruled the death an accident. In fact, the story was headlined "Tumeric Solution Through IV To Blame, in Part, For Women's Death: ME." In part?

The naturopath has yet to be named in any news story. How is this not manslaughter or criminal negligence? If an MD had given say, oregano intravenously, would it still have been an accident? Would the doctor's name still be unknown? I think it would be on Yahoo's front page.

A New Jersey "leech therapist" who is not even a naturopath treats unspecified ailments by applying leeches for 30-60 minutes.

According to a story on a local news website, "The therapy works by having a leech secrete its naturally produced saliva that contains hundreds of chemicals to cleanse the body."

The article says the leech wrangler "doesn't believe leeches can cure everything but stresses the importance of natural solutions instead of artificial medications made in factories."

At least he tells people he's not a doctor.

File this next one under "Real doctors behaving badly." A  Louisiana plastic surgeon took nude photos and videos of female patients while they were anesthetized. The nurses, who should have been advocating for their patients, reportedly "danced and made obscene gestures next to them."

The doctor then texted the images to his girlfriend. Somehow he was acquitted by a jury of four criminal charges of video voyeurism. The prosecution could not prove "criminal intent." Defense counsel said the photos were just "a lapse of judgment" on the part of the doctor. He still has to face at least one civil suit over the incidents.

It gets worse. The photos were found by the police when they executed a search warrant in a case involving the doctor's estranged wife who accused him of repeatedly raping her and taking secret photos.

The doctor is suing a former friend and business associate who police say had crashed the doctor's Lamborghini at 118 mph resulting in the death of a female passenger. The suit involves the friend's alleged embezzlement of $4 million. The friend claims he was trying to help the doctor sequester money because of his impending divorce.


Diane said...

And suddenly Dr. Google seems a lot more respectable.

artiger said...

This post could have been titled "Two Quacks and One Ass".

frankbill said...

About a year ago my brother in law who is the mid sixties was DX with prostate cancer. He didn't want surgery because he didn't want to give up sex.

He went to a naturopath who treated him with IV vitamin c at $100 per treatment.

He no longer is getting the treatments

Skeptical Scalpel said...

So, has he survived?

frankbill said...

Yes he is still alive.

Anonymous said...

Surgery for prostate cancer does NOT require you to give up sex. Alternatives to surgery, radiation in various forms, can have similar affects on erectile function. Either way, treatment might very well change sex quite a bit. But the same urologist who screws with your sex life (so to speak) will happily supply drugs, injections and devices to at least restore your erection. Not the same - but still allowing for sex - and you're not dead. And on the other hand, "prostate cancer" is a very broad category and active surveillance is a reasonable option for people who are older, have co-morbid conditions, have relatively less aggressive cancer pathology, etc. ... Vitamin C has in fact been studied and doesn't do shit, on the other hand.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

There you have two points of view about vitamin C. I suspect Frankbill's BIL had an early, non-aggressive prostate cancer that would have done well with any treatment or no treatment. I suppose everyone in the family is now a believer in naturopathy.

frankbill said...

No one knows if The Vitamin C had any effect on my BIL. I believe he stopped the treatments because of cost. I don't think he has any testing to see if there was any improvement in the prostate cancer.

Berny3 said...

It's easy to find ridiculous therapies used by naturopaths. My only comment here though is that when it comes to many metastatic cancers, both naturopaths and M.D.s are groping in the dark for effective cures.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Berny3, on what do you base your statement? The mortality rate for cancer has dropped 25% since 1991 [https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/cancer-facts-and-figures-death-rate-down-25-since-1991.html]. Show me similar figures for naturopathic treatment of cancer. Good luck finding that information. It does not exist.

frankbill said...

Since the title of this is Bizarre medical stories ripped from the virtual pages of the Internet here is a related story. In this case it is about an MD. Miami doctor's call to broker during baby's delivery leads to $33.8 million judgment.


Skeptical Scalpel said...

Frank, thanks for the link. It's a terrible tragedy and a blot on the medical profession.

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