Saturday, May 5, 2012

Letters To The Editor About Naturopaths

The Barton Chronicle is a small weekly newspaper in my community On March 28, 2012 it published the following letter from me which can be accessed on Chronicle site by subscribers.

To the Editor:

An Open Letter To: Harry Chen, MD, VT Commissioner of Health; and, Chris Winters, Director of the VT Office of Professional Regulation.

If passed as written, Bill H.524 will grant naturopaths, NDs, licensed in VT who pass a pharmacology exam the right to prescribe all the drugs that MDs prescribe.  

Representative Mike Marcotte tells me that you are assuring legislators that the exam that NDs will be required to pass will be sufficiently rigorous to demonstrate that they are competent to prescribe drugs.

Can you tell me specifically: what qualifications the person who draws up the test will be required to have; what the test will cover; who will decide what it covers; how it will be administered; will it be an open book test taken anywhere the candidate chooses over a period of days or a supervised exam over a period of hours, etc.? 

Can you tell me how you can guarantee that any of the answers you give to the above will in fact be carried out? Even if you were to have the authority, time, knowledge and resources to ensure that specific conditions were met what guarantee would there be that another administration would also meet them when not legally required to do so by law?

Why are you pushing to have a bill passed that will give VT NDs more prescription privileges than they already have knowing that you were unaware that their IV use of silver was dangerous and illegal until I brought it to your attention and since the NDs ignored me when I alerted them to their error? How can you trust their judgment or the state's ability to supervise them? 

Why are you pushing to give NDs all the same prescription privileges that primary care physicians have rather than  letting them continue to practice under a limited license as they do now? To put it another way, since you were unable to protect the public before, how will you protect it after you give NDs more privileges?

Who drew up the test that the author of the Vermont Medicine Show blog passed? What privileges were those who passed that test awarded or going to be awarded? 

Rosemary Jacobs

On April 4, 2012 The Chronicle published a letter in reply to mine, but did not print my response the following week since it generally waits a few months after a person’s letter has been published to print another one from him. For that reason, I decided to post these letters here.

The other author, however, said she didn’t want me to post her letter even though she understood that anyone who subscribed to The Chronicle could access it on their site. When I told her that in that case I would paraphrase it, she said that she had no objection to that. When I asked if she wanted me to use her name, she said that she did not. For that reason I am using a pseudonym. I’ll call her Jane.

Jane said that she used the money she collected from disability to pay for care from alt. med. practitioners adding that while she didn’t dislike medical doctors they hadn’t helped her and alts, including naturopaths, had.

Jane said that she knew about “the use of silver in healing” although she’d never heard about it being used intravenously. Mentioning me by name, she said that she felt sorry for me. She also said that she had heard of a member of Congress who had discolored himself using silver for a long time. (She had to be referring to Stan Jones, a Libertarian from Montana, who ran for the senate and lost.) 

Jane was in favor of the state granting NDs prescription privileges because she had found that they rarely recommended commonly prescribed drugs, but she believed that the real reason for giving NDs prescription privileges was so that third parties would reimburse patients for their services, something she was all in favor of because when it happened, she would be able to use her disability checks to buy food instead of having to choose between eating and seeking medical treatment. 

This is the letter I sent The Chronicle in reply to Jane’s, the one which it didn’t print.

To the Editor:

Regarding Bill H.524 that will give naturopaths, NDs, the right to prescribe all the same drugs that MDs do, Jane wrote, "The key to wanting naturopaths to have these rights is who pays the bill." I totally agree. Naturopaths who have traditionally called themselves "drugless healers" and avoided pharmaceuticals want all the same privileges that MDs have so that third parties will be legally forced to treat them as equals and reimburse patients for their services. 

I am all for third parties paying for the services of health care practitioners who can consistently present objective evidence showing that the services they provide offer major benefits that outweigh the risks they pose, but I believe that a profession that includes silver in its state sanctioned formulary for IV use is demonstrating that the services it provides are at best useless and at worst dangerous. Either way they waste money in a day and age when our government is struggling to find a way to provide all its citizens with basic safe, effective, efficient, affordable health care. 

Since Jane knows so very little about silver and the VT Naturopathic Formulary, I'd suggest she check my blog and website. . While she may have missed Paul Karason, the Blue Man of Oprah fame, my friend Arline who visited here and was stared at in a local restaurant, and all the other people who have recently been severely disfigured by silver without obtaining any benefits whatsoever from consuming it, she will find a few of them on my sites because unfortunately, as I predicted in 1995 when I learned that silver was being sold as a "dietary supplement", there are now many recent cases of argyria, skin discolored by silver.

Many of these alternative medicine victims are having dermatologists treat them with laser therapy which costs about $7,000 for an entire face. No one is satisfied with just a face. They move on to ears, throats, hands, etc. Plus the procedure has to be repeated and no one knows if there will be side effects down the road. To my horror, insurance companies rather than the responsible parties, have been picking up the tab! And oh yes, an entire body treatment has been estimated to cost $100,000, costs third parties pass on to all their customers. Perhaps that explains why this is not a simple matter of individual choice or entitlement but rather something that has a profound affect on all of us, something that increases the health care costs of everyone including naturopaths' satisfied customers.  

But it gets worse. As I told the NDs who have repeatedly ignored me, I have been in the position of speaking with a teenage girl who turned gray when her mother forced her to take a silver supplement. She was speaking about killing herself as she drove along a highway a few thousand miles away when we lost the connection. I couldn't even send a sheriff to find her. Luckily, she didn't commit suicide that time. That is so tragic and so unnecessary and please don't tell me that NDs know how much silver can be safely consumed because it isn't true. If you look at the references on my sites you will see that no one has ever done the toxicology studies required to determine that, which brings us to the major difference between NDs and MDs. MDs have traditionally used drugs that have been well studied before they were used while NDs have traditionally used "remedies" and "supplements" that have never been scientifically tested or even objectively tested with the result that no one knows if they are safe, useless or dangerous. NDs could be using something totally useless that is far worse than silver, and they certainly haven't earned the privilege of prescribing all the drugs MDs do. 

Rosemary Jacobs

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