Panaceia or Hygeia

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Archive for November, 2010

“Liberation” treatment for Zamboni’s “CCSVI” is subsidized by the Canadian taxpayer

Posted by Colin Rose on November 29, 2010

I, for one, don’t want my taxes going up to support foreign charlatans.

Revenue Canada says that travel expenses must be backed up by a letter from a Canadian doctor indicating the treatment is necessary and could not be received here. Why would a Canadian doctor with professional integrity sign such a letter? Any medical treatment that is really necessary and has been scientifically proven to be beneficial is already available in Canada. If the treatment isn’t available in Canada then it is not a legitimate treatment and shouldn’t be supported by the tax system.

As for for Zamboni’s “liberation” treatment for MS, it is a classic example of junk science justified by the ruse of “CCSVI”, whose only benefit is to the bank accounts of foreign charlatans but with potential harm and is certainly not “necessary.” A “treatment” with no scientifically proven benefit but with any potential risk has an infinite risk/benefit ratio. A physician who signs a statement that the “liberation” treatment was necessary for treating MS is being grossly  unprofessional and acting contrary to the Hippocratic Oath.


Unproven treatments get indirect subsidies
BY TOM BLACKWELL
National Post
29 Nov 2010

The federal government is indirectly subsidizing a variety of sometimes unproven medical treatments in other countries, as multiple sclerosis sufferers and other patients claim thousands of dollars in medical tax credits for foreign health-care…read more…

Posted in ccsvi, junk science, multiple sclerosis, professionalism, surgery, Zamboni | 1 Comment »

Zamboni’s “liberation” scam for MS can kill

Posted by Colin Rose on November 19, 2010

No one would be denied treatment in Canada for a real jugular vein thrombosis if it were causing any specific symptoms such as pain or swelling in the neck. What I gather from the news report is that the only indication for IV thrombolysis was worsening of his MS symptoms which were ASSUMED to be due to a clot in the stent. If one has spent $30,000 on a treatment that one is convinced must be a cure, one is reluctant to accept that it doesn’t work and that relapse must be due to restenosis requiring more “liberation”. Inserting stents into normal thin-walled veins is hazardous. If the vein were torn it would be very hard to repair. Marcial Fallas, the Costa Rican doctor now claims he didn’t want to use a stent. So why did he? Is there the slightest evidence that a stent would have given Mostic “his life back?” How much extra did Fallas charge for inserting a stent?  Is this professional behaviour?

Mostic obviously bled to death internally. Without an autopsy one can never know from which vessel. My guess would be that the stent tore the IJV or the subclavian vein and that he bled into his chest, possibly when clot that might have been blocking the tear was dissolved with thrombolysis.

I predicted such tragedies a year ago when CTV announced this “breakthrough” in MS treatment. Those advocating unrestricted “liberation” on demand now have blood on their hands.

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Man dies after controversial MS treatment, doctor says

By ADRIAN MORROW
Globe and Mail Update

Patient had returned to Canada, but went back to Costa Rica after blood clot developed

A Canadian man with multiple sclerosis who travelled to Costa Rica to undergo a controversial procedure in June died from complications during follow-up surgery, his doctor said Thursday.

Mahir Mostic, a 35-year-old resident of Niagara Region, went to Clinica Biblica in San Jose last June to be given “liberation therapy,” a procedure in which neck veins are opened up, in hopes of improving blood flow from the brain.

The treatment is based on an unproven hypothesis advanced by Italian doctor Paolo Zamboni that MS is caused by poor blood circulation from the central nervous system, leading to buildups of iron. The procedure is not performed in Canada.

Mr. Mostic’s Costa Rican doctor, Marcial Fallas, said he tried unsuccessfully using balloon angioplasty to open up his patient’s vein, before resorting to inserting a stent, a riskier procedure.

“We are not okay with the idea of a stent,” Dr. Fallas told the Globe and Mail. “But he was desperate, he wanted his life back.”

Mr. Mostic, who had been diagnosed with MS three years ago and had difficulty walking, thought it over and opted for the stent, Dr. Fallas said.

At first, Mr. Mostic showed improvement, but his MS symptoms eventually returned. An ultrasound showed his stent was 80 per cent blocked, Dr. Fallas said.

The doctor said Mr. Mostic returned to the clinic in October, and he was injected with medication in a bid to dissolve the clot. The day after the procedure, his blood pressure began to drop and Dr. Fallas suspects he suffered internal bleeding. Doctors tried to find the source of the bleeding, but to no avail. For religious reasons, his family requested that his body not be autopsied, Dr. Fallas said.

Mr. Mostic’s family declined to comment.

Dr. Zamboni’s hypothesis – called chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI – is highly contentious. While the medical community generally regards MS as an auto-immune disease, many sufferers have undergone the procedure, crossing borders to do so.

Some have reported blood clots similar to those Mr. Mostic suffered, but have had trouble getting follow-up care in Canada, said Diana Gordon, a Barrie woman who was given the treatment at a clinic in the United States in June.

“When [Mr. Mostic] got back, he should have been allowed surgery after-care, it should have been no problem,” she said. “People don’t have the funds to travel to other countries.”

Researchers in Canada and the United States are studying CCSVI, while Saskatchewan has offered to fund a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of the vein-opening procedure.

Posted in ccsvi, liberation, multiple sclerosis, professionalism, Zamboni | Tagged: , , | 16 Comments »

MS sufferers lobby Alberta government for “CCSVI” treatment by “liberation”

Posted by Colin Rose on November 17, 2010

As I foresaw almost a year ago, this was inevitable. A desperate patient has spend $many thousands to have the “liberation” cure by Dr. Simka in Poland suffers a relapse of his disease, is convinced he has a retenosis of his jugular vein in spite of having a stent insertion and demands that the Canadian taxpayer fund the same bogus treatment. Restenosis is the new relapse.

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Metro – MS sufferers lobby province for treatment.

 

CANDICE WARD/FOR METRO

Sindy Layh gives husband Gordon a kiss near his left jugular vein, where a stent was placed as part of a treatment he received in Poland in June. Gordon is among many MS sufferers fighting to have that treatment approved in Canada.Sindy Layh thought she had her husband back, but she is now slowly watching him slip away.In June, Sindy and Gordon Layh of Bonnyville travelled to Poland to try an experimental treatment not available in Canada for his multiple sclerosis. Now his symptoms are coming back.“I had my husband back. Now I spend all my time worrying,” said Sindy.

Gordon said the CCSVI (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency) treatment he received was “almost a miracle” but now needs followup treatment here in Alberta.

“Because I am not dying, the treatment is very passive,” said Gordon.

The couple joined about 50 people on the steps of the Alberta legislature yesterday to demand the government bring this treatment to Canada so MS sufferers don’t have to seek relief abroad.

Alberta’s health minister says patients who need treatment following controversial out-of-country surgery for multiple sclerosis will get help.

“This is one of those problems you have when you have something that is classified by the medical community as experimental in nature,” Gene Zwozdesky told reporters yesterday.“But the fact is that somebody goes out (for the surgery) and has a complication that develops, then we in the province have no choice but to help them best we can to alleviate their difficulties.”

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Gordon didn’t have a complication of “liberation”, nor has he had a restenosis of a jugular vein. He is experiencing a relapse of his disease as happens in many cases of MS. His improvement in symptoms after “liberation” was either faith healing or, less likely, a coincidental spontaneous remission. He spent more than $10,000 to have Dr. Simka in Katowice preform a bogus procedure and cannot believe that it was worthless so he wants the same thing done again in Canada.
“CCSVI” exists only as a ruse to separate desperate patients from their money. No taxpayer dollars should be wasted on this charlatanry.

Posted in ccsvi, multiple sclerosis, Zamboni | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »