An Inconvenient Truth
(By Bonnie Wayne McGuire - Sunday November 21, 2010)
I awoke this morning thinking about some of the things I've learned that not many people realize. This is because unless an event is a major media gossip scandal it falls into the category of being an inconvenient truth that challenges accepted beliefs. Something that individuals experience at the hands of powerful people who deceive and punish others for personal gain.
The story I'm about to relate began when I was a youngster whose favorite Uncle and Aunt were in the medical profession. Uncle Will was a Medical Doctor and Surgeon, and Aunt Martha a Nurse when they met and married. After the birth of their children, Aunt Martha had enough to keep her busy at home. Barbara and Bill became my favorite cousins with whom I spent a lot of time at their home in Oakland just up the hill from Lake Merritt. I couldn't wait to visit them in the city, and they loved being with us in the country. Aunt Martha joked that if someone shot a canon ball down Nevada City's Broad Street...it probably wouldn't hit anything. The mental image of our differences was much like the children's story about the city and country mouse.
To make a long introduction short, Barbara grew up to fulfill her parents wishes that she become a medical doctor. During the process she had listened to her father and my mother discuss standard and alternative methods for treating physical ailments. Uncle Will wasn't very receptive to the alternative, but reflected on the medical establishment's observations that the poor people in the South and Indian's in Alaska had great teeth and seemed very healthy with their simple diets.
Eventually, Barbara graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1953 (where she subsequently obtained a Masters Degree in Biochemistry in 1954), and worked at the University of California Department of Pharmacology as a Research Assistant and published a paper regarding her research project while there. Then she entered George Washington School of Medicine in 1956 and Graduated in 1960. She did her first year of medical residency at DC General Hospital, and a couple of years of residency at Baltimore City Hospital in Maryland, that included doing fellowship Pathology. She also moonlighted at a job in the evening at Perry Hall Medical Center during her fellowship and decided to stay full time at this place of employment.
During her residency at Baltimore City Hospital she suffered with a migraine headache problem with vomiting episodes that she solved by a change in diet. She applied what she had learned with her headaches to a cancer patient who was continually vomiting; a supplement diet of nutritious raw fruit and vegetable juices the patient was able to tolerate. She felt much better and her tumor shrank. The doctors were amazed and curious how this could have happened.
When Dr. Barbara became a full fledged medical doctor she went into private practice in Baltimore where she expanded her healing expertise. She truly believed the Hippocratic Oath urging doctors to use all available means to heal the sick...During her years of schooling she also had the opportunity to study causes of poor health. Many people had bad teeth that led to other problems because the body immune system was constantly battling bacteria and toxins. Particularly interesting was a blood test that made it easy to detect patient's allergies, enabling them to correct their diet. Being able to take a simple blood sample to determine allergies was superior to the laborious, expensive scratch by scratch standard medical procedure. Word got around and eventually she had many people coming to her for help.
Unfortunately, one patient was thrilled with Barbara's help, and disgusted with her former doctor complaining "Why didn't you do this for me?" He in turn, complained to the Medical Board about Dr. Barbara's unorthodox treatment...not in line with standard procedure law. So the Board demanded to look in her patient's files to see what they could find to use against her in court.
I have to pause here to laugh! Many doctors wrote their patient's files, rather than typing them. I always wondered how druggists could read the prescriptions doctors wrote. In fact there was a poster cartoon on the wall behind the counter in Jim DeMartini's Pharmacy in Nevada City. The cartoon showed an explosion and the tattered pharmacist saying, "Next time tell your doctor to write better." Dr. Barbara's handwriting was typical. Those invading her patients files had a terrible time finding an excuse to prosecute her for malpractice. But that didn't stop them. In 1979 she was charged with incompetence, by the Maryland Licensing Board for using unproven, techniques and unproven methods treating patients. They filed charges, unmindful of who they were bullying. She isn't the type to let people push her around. Remember, she was a researcher, so before I get into what they did to her, I'll give a little background on what she learned concerning the Medical Board.
The Confederation of States Licensing Board started as a result of the Wilkes decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in 1991 that prohibited the doctors of the American Medical Association (AMA) from persecuting Chiropractors. (We also know they were after the Health Food industry). As a result of the Wilkes decision the anti-quackery committee of the AMA was disbanded and reformed (outside the AMA) into a new private special interest group, the Confederation of State licensing board. Supposedly the new Medical Board wasn't corrupt, but naturally some of the former members came on board. This group has no official government standing, but has representatives for state licensing boards for physicians in every state of the United States. The Confederation of State Licensing Boards has redefined alternative medical care as "questionable health care practices" and recommends to the individual licensing boards that they cooperate with the Attorney General's office of the their State to prosecute the licensed physicians that do alternative medicine. After charges are made against such physicians they are not allowed any witnesses or testimonials in favor of the alternative medical care received by patients who were successfully treated to go before the respective State Administration Law Judge.
These Boards receive grant money, and give the appearance of protecting the public from bad doctors. In order to prove they're affective, they have to find doctors to prosecute. Dr. Barbara looked into many of their cases and found good, dedicated doctors were forced to spend big bucks proving their innocence in court. After proving the charges against them were false, the Board suspended their license for a year anyway; their living and reputation ruined. One very dedicated doctor committed suicide. Dr. Barbara thought this may be the reason we're losing so many home grown doctors, while there are more emigrants coming here to become doctors.
Now back to Dr. Barbara's case. She had a good attorney friend who helped her throughout the corrupt Kangaroo Court. Although the Judge said the Board didn't have a case...it continued anyway. The Judge imposed a gag order so nobody would know it was even happening. The defendant wasn't allowed any witnesses in her behalf. After spending $120,000 legal fees to defend herself from malpractice charges, the only thing her accusers had on her was that they couldn't read her hand written case files. From then on she would have to type them. The trial did motivate Dr. Barbara to compile the multitude of cases that had been helped by her treatments for allergies.
Then in 1999 a patient complained that Barbara bruised her finger during a procedure called Electro-dermal screening that measures electrical currents found along acupuncture meridian of patients. The patient also complained that the good doctor didn't have her sign a consent form to use an alternative technique on her. (How she knew this we do not know unless the Board told her). So they were off and running again.
The Board suspended her license to practice medicine in Maryland. She eventually conceded it was a blessing that relieved her of the great expense of her office and employees in Baltimore. She had a medical license in Washington D. C. where she worked with a medical group comprised of many specialists working together helping people. That's when Barbara discovered that she was actually making more money without all the financial worry.
Dr. Barbara had also been a board member of the College of Physicians in Washington D.C. whose Chancellor greatly admired her work. His wife was a Judge. The Maryland Medical Board continued to harass the good doctor and eventually she had a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge in Washington DC in 2002. The licensing board in DC recommended that her DC license to practice medicine be revoked since it was revoked in Maryland. Her Maryland Attorney testified to the Administrative Law Judge what the law in DC was, since there was no disciplinary action taken by the Board regarding the lady who complained that the good doctor had bruised her finger in Maryland. The law in DC required that the Board in DC had to get a Judge's order to get the records. The ruling of the DC Judge was that Dr. Barbara had complied with the law in Maryland, and essentially had complied with the DC law by not giving the board in Maryland the patient's records. Therefore he recommended that the DC Board not take her license. They liked what she was doing with her testing and helping patients, and said she could continue her work in Washington. Barbara isn't politically motivated, and although grateful...she doesn't care much about politics. All she wants is to be able to use her skills helping sick people get well.
During 2001 at least 20 patients testified before the Environment Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, and to the parallel Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee of the Senate. They testified that after going to many doctors for a number of years, without being helped, they came to Dr. Barbara to have cytotoxic food testing done. The elimination diet based upon the testing helped them. Two separate bills, one from each of these committees, were being introduced to the legislature to limit the power of the Medical Board regarding alternative health care practitioners. The two bills, one from the committee of the Senate and one from the committee of the House were quite similar, but both failed when they were brought to the floor of the Senate and House legislature, due to strong lobbying of the Medical Society of the State of Maryland. Barbara and her patients had testified at the committee level of the House and Senate about three times. The last time was at a hearing of how the Licensing Board of the State of Maryland was complying with the Confederation of the State Licensing Boards regarding their duties regulating doctors. Barbara gave them the history of the Confederation of State Licensing Board showing it was the same as the old Anti-quackery Committee of the AMA regarding alternative medical care. She illustrated that during her case she was not allowed any witnesses when she went before the Attorney Law Judge from the State of Maryland, prior to the revoking of her license in 2001..nor was she allowed any witnesses before the Administrative Law Judge, Susan Fox, before her license was revoked.
Personally, I believe this eventually resulted in the legal document you sign in the doctor's office regarding your personal medical files (property) being protected from illegal search and seizure. What the Medical Board did to Dr. Barbara (and others) was illegal according to Amendment IV of the U. S. Constitution; The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures...and no warrants...except upon probable cause (under oath) describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Private health information (PHI) is thus closely guarded, and access to healthcare records is carefully regulated. What happens if a breach in the security of healthcare records occurs? Now deceased Farrah Fawcett (right) was a victim of such a breach. The former star of Charlie's Angels emphasized the patient's medical files being private property during her struggle with cancer...most notably with the National Enquirer, which allegedly paid a UCLA Medical Center worker to feed them info about her condition. "Itís much easier," she said, "to go through something and deal with it without being under a microscope." A controversy surrounded the aired version of her documentary, because editing of the program was not in keeping with Fawcett's wishes to more thoroughly explore rare types of cancers such as her own and alternative methods of treatment.
Locally, I remember Ray Dellugge's experience finding the alternative medical cure for his stomach cancer. Being a saloon keeper wasn't normally associated with those advocating clean living. Eventually he was convinced that his stomach cancer beneficially changed his focus. His cancer was discovered after he had much of his stomach removed for an operation to treat what was believed to be an ulcer. Doctors recommended chemotherapy, but Ray began reading about the subject; then discovered and decided to take another path. He traveled to Mexico to get tablets of laetril, a substance made from apricot pits. Ray also changed to a healthy diet and lived to the ripe old age of 92. Fortunately, he was able to make his own choices, and find what he needed in Mexico. Those doctors and patients using laetril in the states were being persecuted. The controversy grew and it was finally brought to our legislature to make a decision. I'll never forget the hearing that was held at the State legislature to decide the fate of alternative medical treatment in California. The room was packed with hundreds of people who, after undergoing all the standard medical treatments for cancer, were told there was nothing more to do for them. All had been healed by alternative treatments. Also attending were the American Medical Association (AMA) and Drug lobbies. Money and power versus compassion for suffering human beings. Democrat Legislature whip Leo McCarthy took the podium and told the audience that California was a prestigious state and to allow alternative cancer treatment for dying people would set a bad precedence. He didn't listen to the testimonies of hundreds of terminally ill cancer patients who had been healed. Later, some of us met in a legislator's office to discuss what happened. He told us that McCarthy had threatened junior members with political obscurity if they voted for alternative medical treatments.
The doctor's medical files were Dr. Barbara's patient's private property. Legally they would have had to get an official warrant (signed by a Judge) specifying the person's medical file they wished to investigate (and why), instead of demanding to search through all of them looking for an "excuse" to charge the doctor with an alleged offense. Eventually someone told her that someone from the Legislature investigated the Maryland Medical Board and charged them with breaking their own laws regarding the elections of Board members. Apparently they were stacking the deck illegally.
So there you have it, as best as I can remember....an inconvenient truth, hard to accept because the only ones who know are those directly involved. Read more about Dr. Barbara.
Dr. Barbara is also an accomplished pianist.