Australian Doctor Deregistered after Helping Cancer Patient
Doctors around the world are being deregistered in droves by their respective medical boards for doing nothing more than helping their patients with nutritional and naturally based treatments.
Recent de-registrants include notable pioneers in natural treatments including Dr. Durrant-Peatfield a UK doctor specializing in natural therapies for thyroid, adrenal and chronic fatigue conditions, and Dr. Serafina Corsello a respected holistic physician. Among those relentlessly harassed by their medical boards were: Dr. Revici, an internationally respected pioneer in the treatment of cancer by nutritional and natural means; Dr. Warren Levine, who founded the first Holistic Health Center in New York having helped thousands of patients during the nearly 30 years he was in practice; Dr. Nicholas Gonzales, who had been granted a sizeable sum by the National Cancer Institute to conduct testing on alternative cancer therapy. The medical board of New Jersey deregistered Dr. Eric R. Braverman MD, clinician and author, after authorities noted his unique research and his success in treating serious conditions with holistic therapies.
In Australia Dr. Eckard Roehrich, was deregistered on 21 September 2004 after he gave testimony in court on behalf of a family whose 11 year old daughter was forced to have chemotherapy against her wishes and those of her parents. The child’s treating oncologist at the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle contacted the department of community services which instigated the forced treatment by way of a court order.
Dr. Roehrich, the family’s primary physician, practiced integrative medicine, a combination of orthodox, complementary and evidence-based alternative approaches to medicine. He had made several attempts to gain humanitarian concessions for the child who was incarcerated in the hospital without privileges such as a familiar diet, nutritional supplements, regular walks out doors and visits from friends. The hospital oncologist however, would not allow these concessions. On one occasion, when her parents’ visiting hours were severely restricted by the welfare department, the girl tried to escape the hospital and was returned to the ward and put on 24 hour watch.
Not long after his court appearance on behalf of the child and her family, Dr. Roehrich began to receive letters from the New South Wales Medical Board. The Board notified him that its delegates intended entering the doctor’s clinic to inspect his records and premises. When the doctor required the Board to provide him with a reason for its intended entry into his clinic without his consent, he was hauled up before a special committee. After a short deliberation the 3 member New South Wales Medical Board Committee revoked his licence to practice medicine on 21 September 2004. The Board allotted 3 days for Dr. Roehrich to wind up his practice leaving his over 1000 patients without medical care. The doctor’s clinic was located in an area of acute doctor shortage. Many of his seriously ill patients were in the middle of treatments which had started to improve their health.
The doctor’s deregistration has caused a community backlash against the Medical Board. Already hundreds of patients have contacted the doctor’s clinic vowing their support for him.
The NSW Medical Board’s action against Dr. Roehrich comes after its decision earlier in the year to clear four doctors who were investigated for poor practice after 14 deaths occurred at the Campbelltown and Camden Hospitals west of Sydney. According to a Sydney Morning Herald article on 23/1/04 the Medical Board cleared the doctors even before a special inquiry could complete its investigations into the deaths.
Dr. Roehrich maintains he was intensively targeted by the Medical Board shortly after he testified for the family that was besieged by the department of community services. He maintains when the welfare department forced the child to have chemotherapy, he felt it was his duty to help the family to reclaim their right to choose any valid treatment options for their child.
The Medical Board has not provided Dr. Roehrich with specific reasons for its suspension of his licence. He has written to the Board and telephoned them to request this information.