Designed to oversee the proper licensing and disciplining of physicians, state medical boards have been caught abusing their power to penalize alternative medicine healers who don’t fall in line with the medical establishment’s often unethical guidelines, that are generally more concerned with maintaining repeat business than they are with curing patients.
Physicians of all specialties are regulated under state medical boards, and while they do in fact conduct respectable work, keeping under-the-influence nurses and doctors off hospital floors, they also use their authority to coerce practitioners away from using alternative treatments proven to heal disease other physicians say are incurable.
One example includes the story of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, a Polish, alternative healer who has spent decades defending his practice against the Texas Medical Board (TMB), which has repeatedly tried – but failed – to shut down his clinic, according to USA Today.(1)
Practicing for more than 30 years, Dr. Burzynski’s use of alternative medicine includes drugs he developed himself in 1976 called “antineoplastons,” to help cure terminally ill cancer patients.
Antineoplastons are naturally occurring compounds found in human urine, but can also be made synthetically in the laboratory. Dr. Burzynski believes these compounds are capable of turning an abnormal cell (or cancer cell) back into a healthy one.
“After comparing the blood of healthy people to the blood of people with cancer, Dr. Burzynski found that people with cancer have lower amounts of a certain group of chemicals. He found these same chemicals in urine and suggested that some of these chemicals can be used to stop certain cancer cells from dividing.”(2)
Antineoplastons are legally available through clinical trials overseen by the FDA and administered at Burzynski’s clinic. Yet, the TMB has accused Dr. Burzynski of using “unproven therapies,” among a host of other accusations, including that he “pulled a bait-and-switch on customers looking for natural cures.”
“Burzynski allegedly attracts the terminally ill from around the world to Houston by holding out the promise of his proprietary cancer drugs, available exclusively from his clinic, even though he knows most of those patients can’t legally receive them,” reports USA Today, citing a list of charges from the medical board.
Dr. Burzynski is also being accused of improperly billing patients (a common occurrence in many clinics that don’t end up under the scrutiny Burzynski is), allowing “unlicensed staff to practice medicine” and misleading “patients by addressing these employees as ‘doctor,’” TMB documents state.
The Houston-based doctor maintains that from 2010–2012, his clinic “had two to three board certified medical oncologists and two other licensed physicians delivering care to the patients.” Adding that in addition to nursing staff, his clinic “employs ‘Research Associates’ who are unlicensed foreign medical school graduates and who work under strict supervision of licensed physicians. … None of the Research Associates make any diagnosis or treatment decisions for any patient,” states Burzynski’s response.(3)
In regard to the alleged misuse of antineoplastons:
“In the ‘private practice’ part, the Clinic treats patients with combinations of FDA approved drugs, many of which may be prescribed off label. The Clinic calls this approach personalized targeted therapy. Since 1994, the Clinic has treated patients in FDA approved clinical trials with a family of drugs which Respondent has invented and has termed ‘antineoplastons.’ Dr. Burzynski is the principal investigator of essentially all of the clinical trials which provides his investigational drugs to patients at the Clinic.
“A principal investigators (‘PI’) is an administrative position, and a PI is not required to personally administer the study drug to subjects of the investigation.”