Lies That Cost Lives-Anecdotes and False Claims in Cancer Care -Grace Gawler Comments

The Australian reporter Debbie Guest has been doing a great job reporting on the case of Hellfried Sartori and now the deaths of 25 cancer patients – linked to his treatments. Sartori is playing a key role in an ongoing inquest in Western Australia. The controversial case is providing a birds-eye view into the cancer cure conundrum that is facing many chronically ill cancer patients around the world. I believe this is the tip of the iceberg in fraudulent cancer-cure discovery.

This blog serves as a vehicle to discovery and disclosure regarding misreporting, poor research, pseudoscience and truth bending that is causing unnecessary pain, stress and suffering to our most vulnerable people – cancer patients. Desperate cancer patients so easily fall prey to treatments that appear to be bone-fide, especially when statistics and high success rates get bandied about. Almost every day another cancer cure product promo virally invades my email inbox! I appreciate the dilemma of choice for patients – but this is certainly a case for the old adage – all that glitters is not gold! The question begs…How can we help cancer patients to discern?  

In this Western Australian case Mr Sartori admitted lying when he applied, unsuccessfully, to register as a doctor in Australia. He also conceded that academic articles about caesium chloride treatment, which he published in 1984 and which had been peer-reviewed, did not include crucial material that about 10 of 50 patients he treated with caesium in 1981-982 had it administered intravenously. Of the 50, 25 died within a year.

His evidence has contained sweeping references to statistics available on the internet, the laws of physics, and his claims that 10,000 people were alive because of his caesium chloride remedies. Under questioning he agreed the number was not a scientific estimate – it came from approximation of sales from about 30,000 internet sites that sold his therapy!!!

Counsel assisting the coroner, Celia Kemp suggested to Mr Sartori that he could only see success and not failure, that his clinical skills were deficient, that he had lied and exaggerated about his treatment as part of luring sick people into paying him for dubious treatments, and that his success rate for curing cancer was zero.

Mr Sartori replied that 50 per cent of the cure for cancer was positive thinking by the patient. He conceded he had exaggerated about the efficacy of his treatments, insisted he could cure cancer and admitted lying to Australian authorities.

Originally trained as a natural therapist & herbalist myself – I am horrified as to what is happening in the name of health, healing and cancer cures; in particular treatment of cancer patients using all types of natural therapies from fringe, alternative, the new buzz-word– lifestyle medicine to CAM and more. Somewhere along the line the term holistic medicine changed seemingly throwing the medical baby out with the bathwater!

In this particularly alarming case patients were given intravenous infusions of caesium chloride, magnesium and potassium, various vitamins and other chemicals plus coffee enemas and a dietary regime of juices by a variety of alternative and medically trained practitioners. It is alarming how many similar cocktails of cures can be readily sourced on the internet or in self-help books and used without any guidance at all!

The Western Australian case demonstrates how cancer patients, their families and caregivers are often placed in an untenable role. They are most times not qualified to interpret studies, statistics and pseudo-science. Most believe that they are being told the truth and often in desperation they lack the critical edge judgment required to sift fact from fallacy.  In desperation – they place faith and belief in people who make claims and who appear to have credible credentials.

Too many unjustified claims are made when it comes to cancer. Oftentimes – criticisms are only hurled at the medical profession and Big Pharma; however the cancer-cure/healing industry in its many forms, is pocketing big dollars in supplements, internet-based cures and many fraudulent practises. It was stated that the three people involved in Sartoti case charged up to $40,000 for the treatment!   Grace Gawler

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