Saturday, 30 October 2010
Dr Andre's "miracle" "cancer" treatment
The Vision of Hope Clinic in Brighton offers a novel cancer treatment which consists of injecting their hapless patients with high doses of vitamins.
The Clinic's flyer (available here and here) makes some interesting claims about other conditions, besides cancer, which their therapies can treat:
"...depression... chronic and degenerative conditons... other metabolic disorders..."
I believe the flyer's claims are highly misleading and probably illegal. I wonder what Dr. Andre Young-Snell will have to say in his defence?
Unusually for a quack, Dr Andre is actually a real doctor licensed to practise by the General Medical Council.
Nevertheless - another ASA complaint follows!
"I write to complain about a leaflet picked up at the CamExpo exhibition in London on 24th October this year.
The leaflet, for the "Vision of Hope Clinic", promotes an intravenous treatment for "depression", "cancer" and other unspecified "metabolic disorders".
1. (i) The leaflet is titled:
"Vision of Hope Clinic - Complementary metabolic therapies for cancers, depression, chronic and degenerative conditions"
(ii) The leaflet describes the clinic thus:
"The Vision of Hope Clinic is a metabolic therapy and nutritional clinic situated in the beautiful seaside city of Brighton. We specialise in metabolic therapy, a nutritional approach to the treatment of metabolic disorders..."
2. The leaflet describes the "treatment":
"...the latest integrative approach to treat patients with metabolic disorders, primarily cancer...The aim is to boost the patient's immune system to its maximum potential to allow the body to detoxify and repair itself..."
3. (i) A "consultation" at the clinic begins with an assessment from "Dr. Young-Snell", a doctor registered with the General Medical Council (GMC).
(ii) The second hour of the "consultation" is devoted to "...our nutritionist [who] provides a detoxification regime and diet tailored specifically to the patient..."
(iii) The leaflet assures us that "Natural nutrition therapy works" because it:
"...support[s] the whole body by addressing the biochemistry of each cell, while clearing and energising the body's routes of elimination so toxicity can be properly released."
4. Two "treatment regimes" are promoted. The "Intravenous Regime", for patients who are able to stay in the vicinity the clinic for "3 weeks", consists of a high-dose vitamin regime applied to the patient intravenously:
"The Intravenous regime has the advantage of a much higher vitamin and nutrient dosage [than the "Oral Regime"] over the three weeks using at the cornerstone, daily high dose [sic] Vitamin C intravenous infusions..."
5. Under Section 12.1, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate any of the following claims:
(i) The clinic's therapies, including "a high-dose vitamin regime applied to the patient intravenously", are able to "treat patients with metabolic disorders, primarily cancer" and "boost the patient's immune system to its maximum potential to allow the body to detoxify and repair itself"
(ii) The clinic's therapies are likewise able to treat "...depression, chronic or degenerative conditions"
(iii) The clinic's dietary regime, prepared after a consultation with the in-house nutritionist, is able to detoxify the body
(iv) "Natural nutrition therapy works" because it "[clears] and [energises] the body's routes of elimination so toxicity can be properly released"
(v) Courses of high-dose vitamins, whether taken orally or intravenously, are capable of treating any disease
6. The leaflet contains two testimonials. The second reads:
(i) "...After much family deliberation and consultations with Dr. Young-Snell it was decided to go ahead with the treatment, which centered [sic] around a series of daily intravenous injections over three weeks, plus a dietary regime. Since completion I am virtually back to normal - no more pain, walking unaided and feeling generally good. My doctors tell me - from the scans - that everything is looking good - the word miracle was even mentioned..."
(ii) I submit that the words "doctors", "scans" and "miracle" in this testimonial may be trying to imply that the clinic's treatment offers a cure for the disorder "primarily" treated by the clinic, namely "cancer".
7. Regarding this testimonial,
(i) Under Section 3.45 I challenge whether the advertisers hold documentary evidence that it is genuine
(ii) Under Section 3.47, I challenge whether it is likely to mislead consumers
8. Under Section 12.2, I challenge whether the leaflet fails to "encourage consumers to take independent medical advice before committing themselves to significant treatments, including those that are physically invasive".
9. Under Section 12.6, I challenge whether the advertisers have falsely claimed that their treatments are able to cure illness and dysfunction.
10. Under Section 12.10, I challenge whether the phrase "Natural nutrition works to support the whole body by addressing the biochemistry of each cell, while clearing and energising the body's routes of elimination so toxicity can be properly released" suggests the treatments are safe because they are "natural".
11. Under Section 15.6.2, I challenge whether the leaflet's promoted nutrition regimes "state or imply a food prevents, treats or cures human disease".
12. Under Section 3.1, I challenge whether the leaflet is misleading.
13. Under Section 1.3, I challenge whether the leaflet is irresponsible.
14. I confirm I have no connections with the advertiser. I confirm I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser."