Medical Freedom in California Hangs in the Balance

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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison

Cancer is a political problem more than it is a medical problem.

"No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent." - Abraham Lincoln

 

 

This page contains two articles.

From Dr. Robert Jay Rowen's Second Opinion December 2001.

When the parents of a hyperactive child came to see Dr. Sinaiko to see if he could help their child, Dr. Sinaiko didn't realize his life was about to change forever.

Instead of turning to Ritalin (a Class 2 amphetamine), the conventional treatment of choice, Dr. Sinaiko chose to use less-toxic nutritional and allergy treatments. In most states, that would be completely legal. But Dr. Sinaiko lives in California.

Of all the states in the union, you might think that California would be the most progressive in the area of medical freedom. California has the largest population in the country. It's the home of rich and famous movie stars, the medically progressive University of California, Berkeley, dozens of nutritional companies, and even thousands of acupuncturists and other alternative healers.

With all this going for it, you might also think California's licensed physicians (like Dr. Sinaiko), with all their knowledge, training, and experience, would have at least the same latitude as other licensed professionals and unlicensed lay healers within the state.

But quite the reverse is true!

Unlike all of its sister states in the West (including Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado), not only has the California State Medical Board acted with draconian harshness toward alternative medicine, but California's own laws mandate nothing more than chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery for cancer. All other forms of treatment are prohibited. To provide alternatives makes a physician a criminal! A strict interpretation of California laws also mandates conventional medicine for every other disease or condition!

What's worse, the law does not even provide a definition for "conventional." This means that even though research shows that treating subclinical hypothyroidism or B12 deficiency is helpful, because such practice is not widespread or accepted in the majority, performing treatments to help these conditions could bring professional sanctions.

Don't think this is possible?

Dr. Sinaiko will tell you that it's not only possible, but probable! After successfully treating the hyperactive child, another health care professional (possibly a jealous doctor or spiteful insurance company - this still has not been revealed) found out the success wasn't due to Ritalin and filed a complaint against Dr. Sinaiko's management of the case.

After months of litigation, Dr. Sinaiko was prosecuted by the board and had his license revoked (yes, revoked!) for performing unconventional health care and successfully treating a child with ADHD. To add insult to injury, Dr. Sinaiko was fined some $100,000 to pay for the state's costs in prosecuting him - this in addition to his own legal defense fees.

Doesn't that make you want to scream?

The Sinaiko case caught the attention of a key California legislative committee, the Sunset Committee. This joint senate and assembly committee has the responsibility to review professional boards every four years and propose changes in law to protect the public and prevent board abuses. The committee recently held hearings on the Sinaiko case and plans to formally discuss it when the medical board comes up for its four-year review this December.

The Sunset Committee may be our best opportunity to secure freedom from medical tyranny in California.

But its members need to hear from you!

This is not a process that can be won without your help and support. After all, the issue is YOUR medical freedom; your right to choose the therapy you desire in the privacy of your doctor's office.

Those of us who are trying to get a medical freedom law passed simply want to give patients and doctors the choice to practice non-toxic forms of medicine. We also want to change the board policies so that discipline of physicians is based on harm or fraud, and not on using a different approach to treatment.

Each citizen's support is vital even if you don't live in California. Please visit the following Web site if you have Internet access: http://www.citizenshealth.org to find out the fastest way to help and contact key legislators. The Web site will give you all the information you need to write an informed letter, including many tips on what you should include in the letter. (If you do not own a computer or have access to the internet, your local public library can provide the access you need. Please don't be afraid to ask your librarian for assistance if you need it. He or she will be able to help you find the Web site and print off any information you might need.)

The point person is the chairperson of the Sunset committee, Senator Liz Figueroa. Her state capitol office information is:

Senator Liz Figueroa
State Capitol, Room 2057
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-6671
Fax (916) 327-2433

Please write her office and ask that your letter be distributed to every member of the Sunset Committee.

The committee is meeting in early December and has the power to mandate change and see it through.

I urge you, please act immediately. Success in California, the battleground of corporate and industry interests vs. citizen interests will spread the message of medical freedom across the country and could be a major influence on your state.

The timeliness of your action is imperative!

***

 

Newsletter ARCHIVES

California Appeals Court, in Sinaiko Case, Stomps Quackbusters... 

Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen 

Wednesday, October 6th, 2004

 

The California Medical Board v. Sinaiko case started in 1996, and hasn't ended yet...   

But for some time, for the "quackbusters," the Sinaiko case, has been the most devastating loss in their history - for with it, during it, and because of it, they lost ALL influence in California.   And worse for them, and good for California, with this case organized conventional medicine in California turned against them.  California is the fifth largest stand alone economy on Planet Earth. 

And now, it's going to get even more devastating. 

Seven days ago (September 30th, 2004) the Third California Appellate District issued a decision ordering the Sinaiko case back to the Medical Board saying: 

 "In its next life, this case may raise fascinating issues involving the standard of care when a physician employs alternative therapies for children suffering from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or adults suffering from a wide assortment of hard-to-diagnose symptoms.  But in the writ proceedings now before us, we are presented with a more basic deprivation of due process -- the wholesale disqualification of petitioner's experts." 

The Medical Board that will re-hear this case is ENTIRELY different, both in person, and in philosophy, than the original decision making Board.  In the original Board, the Board's president was a business colleague of quackbuster crackpot Wallace Sampson MD.  Sampson, you may remember was reputationally dismembered in the NCAHF v. King Bio case when he tried to inflict his pompous-acity on a Los Angeles Superior Court, and then when that worked the opposite way, on a California Appeals Court.  Both Courts labeled Sampson (and Stephen Barrett), in a decision that looks, and feels like it was written by Tim Bolen, as "biased, and unworthy of credibility."  

The Sinaiko case was the catalyst, and the stimulus, organizing the ultra-powerful California Health Freedom Movement.  The accusations against Sinaiko were so appalling, so outrageous, so provoking, that the case itself became the war cry for thousands of health activists who rode the case to much needed changes in California's health care profile.   

But more than that, the Sinaiko case formed alliances between what sometimes seemed like divergent interests.  For instance, in reading the case decision, note that the California Medical Association, the United States' second largest medical association, wrote an Amicus Curiae IN SUPPORT of Sinaiko, and most definitely AGAINST the patently stupid view of what constitutes standard of care put forth by the medical board attorney, the dubious Alfredo Terrazas.  The decisions says: 

 "Throughout the hearing, the Attorney General attempted to portray petitioner as a "quack" using "unproven" and "dubious" treatments that were not "generally-accepted" by the medical community.  He suggested that any practice method that is not generally accepted falls outside the standard of practice." 

The Sinaiko case, frankly, would make a great movie, for within was some of the finest, albeit uncoreographed, street theater I've ever seen.  The "Attorney General" representative in the case, Alfredo Terrazas, was a hoot.  He, literally, (I'm not joking) HISSED when he talked, trying, I think, to sound frightening and intimidating.  He was the one described above in the Appeal decision calling Sinaiko a "quack," and more.  Terrazas is, now, pushing papers in a an administrative job.

The Sinaiko case had more repercussions for "quackbuster" influence in health care, than any other case I've ever been involved in.  The former Medical Board, the one that ruled against Sinaiko, was, literally, entirely replaced, and the California legislature forced the board to accept an "enforcement monitor," for two years, watching their every move.  More, the new Board was forced, by the legislature, to conduct a two-year study on "alternative medicine," with the intent of integrating it into mainstream. During the study, the new board adopted rules forcing the Medical Board staff to have any complaint against an "alternative" practitioner examined, first, by another "alternative" practitioner, of exactly the same practice, before the case could could proceed. 

The war surrounding the Sinaiko case has had long range effect on California health politics.  Frankly, I'm VERY grateful for the sheer arrogance of the "quackbuster" manipulations on the opposite side, for it worked against them, completely.   About two weeks ago, Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger signed a bill passed unanimously by the California legislature (SB1691), which, in its introductory language says:

"This bill would provide that a physician and surgeon is not subject to discipline for these particular aspects of unprofessional conduct solely on the basis that the treatment or advice he or she rendered to a patient is alternative or complementary medicine, as defined, if specified conditions are satisfied."

There were more people involved in the Sinaiko case then I could possibly list here, and give credit too, for their efforts.  Most, for reasons of security, I simply would not even mention.  But three of them need acclaim.  Frank Cuny, for instance, at California Citizens for Health, spends every day of his life protecting and promoting innovation in health care for Californians - and, as you can see, the results are impressive.  Shula Edelkind and Coleen Smethers, of the Progress in Medicine Foundation,  besides organizing the basic strategy and tactics surrounding the Sinaiko case, raised over $500,000 for Sinaiko's defense.  Go to the "Appeal" page on their website and read the astounding number of "Amicus Curiae" (friend of the court) briefs filed by top California and US organizations on Sinaiko's behalf.

The Sinaiko case is a prime example of what can be accomplished by a citizen's group if the can get motivated and organized.

Crackpot Stephen Barrett says on his weirdo website quackwatch.com, about the appeal decision, "I still believe that his license will eventually be revoked."

And the moon is made of green cheese, Stevie...

Stay tuned... 

Tim Bolen - Consumer Advocate

This "Millions of Health Freedom Fighters - Newsletter" is about the battle between "Health and Medicine" on Planet Earth. Tim Bolen is an op/ed writer with extensive knowledge of the activities of a subversive organization calling itself the "quackbusters," and that organization's attempts to suppress, and discredit, any, and all health modalities that compete with the allopathic (MD) paradigm for consumer health dollars. The focus of the newsletter is on the ongoing activities, battles, politics, and the victories won by members of the "Health Freedom Movement" against the "quackbusters" It details "who the quackbusters are, what they are, where they are operating, when they appear, and how they operate - and how easy it is to beat them..."

For background information on the "Battle between Health and Medicine" go to: http://www.savedrclark.net/by_whom2.htm. A copy of THIS newsletter, and older ones, are viewable at the website http://quackpotwatch.org/index.html.

For EVEN MORE interesting and related articles go to http://bolenreport.com. 

 

 

 


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