As many people know, on June 3, 2010, a week after being discharged from the hospital, I was readmitted and diagnosed with stage 3 (stage 4 including the spinal cord definition) low grade follicular lymphoma, a non-Hodgkin’s variety of cancer and a serious spinal cord myelopathy affliction. During the summer, the lymphomatous tumor in my spinal cord was treated with focal radiation and the cancers elsewhere were left untreated as having chemo and radiation simultaneously would have been too much. I had suffered from a chain reaction of escalating side effects pertaining to my prescription medicine. Chemotherapy would have made it even more severe, especially due to my numerous blood clots.
I had decided to keep a blog - www.schneiderguy.com - on my progress and researched into the deadly disease and general health. At the time with my background in business, economics and accounting, I had little to no knowledge of alternative medicine. During my time off work, however, I obtained a certificate in German New Medicine and gained an understanding of what alternative medicine is all about. I, like many before me, found that the more I researched the more confident I became about how to fight cancer naturally. I decided to treat myself like the big, expensive, foreign clinics do without doctor’s authorization or knowledge for less than $200/mo. Then to my doctors surprise my tumors shrunk big time before it was time to start chemo. They could say nothing except to continue on as I was doing as I was and still am now doing fine. I am going to write my story, but first I have to consider my audience and address numerous issues as the implications are serious.
The healthcare professions are, in contrast, regulated and legally segregated into Health Canada sanctioned healthcare professions such as members of the College of Physicians and Surgeons and those that are not. Practitioners such as Naturopaths, Chiropractors, and Acupuncturists are not sanctioned by Health Canada though they do have to have accredited certificates by their special professional associations giving them legal authority to practice and advertise the trademarked modality of their professional association.
The remaining disassociated unsanctioned groups are practitioners which do not to belong to any professional association or do not have accredited certification. Those practitioners are commonly known as healers be it spiritual healers, experienced ex-patients, parents or otherwise. Having said that there always exceptions such as the Association of Spiritual Doctors and Holistic Healers of Canada with monthly membership dues and another association, The Canadian Association of Healers. I have no idea as to the degree of existing trademark infringement between the different professional associations and what the minimum credentials you have to attain in order to join. Unfortunately in this day and age people patent and trademark commonly used terms and items in the hope to cash in.
Alternative medicine is largely unregulated across Canada except through their respective trademarked professional associations, however this is changing. Since January 1, 2000 through the Health Professions Act, the Province of British Columbia has been giving legal recognition to associations governing Naturopaths and Acupuncturists. It must be said though, that despite provincial recognition, they still are not recognized by Health Canada. Members of the College of Physicians and Surgeons are the only Health Canada sanctioned healthcare profession and as such, in all serious cases, there must be an overriding Physician or Medical Doctor overseeing a person’s illness even if he or she does little else than monitor the illness. This process is called integrated or complementary medicine and is the process which I am doing with respect to my cancer, except that I am doing it on my own without any other alternative practitioner’s assistance.
So what makes me confident in my unsanctioned Health Canada natural cancer treatments in a world whereby certification adds credibility? Why am I against new regulations in the alternative medicine industry? It is my opinion that economic theory, information theory, and Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection that work in unison to give credibility over time to any business, treatment or healers ability to heal. I feel these theories are more powerful than certification in any professional organization as many organizations tend to be protective with respect to their members abilities – a reason why medical ranking websites are frowned upon by those associations.
From an economic perspective, professional associations are anti-competitive within an industry and are an avenue for collusion and price fixing. They know that by raising the barriers to entry, higher wages would be induced as there is less competition. However, in an unregulated industry, there is a totally free market and in this free market word of mouth reigns, especially through the internet. If there is no positive word of mouth for unsuccessful healers or unsuccessful treatments, sooner or later bad publicity puts them or the treatment out of business. Once that treatment is out of business, the probability of hearing the unsuccessful treatment is reduced, a fact which brings me confidence to an unregulated industry.
With the internet, information is ubiquitous. Consequently, if the healers work in a complementary or integrative approach, do their research, work hard and get positive testimonials, and do not misrepresent his or herself as being members of an existing trademarked association, then many healers should do fine. This also includes native spiritual doctors who must provide full disclosure as to their credentials and do not infringe on any trademarked association’s territories. It is a misconception that faith healers solely work with spiritual issues as in fact they may use secret proprietary herbs and other treatments without being a naturopath or herbalist. For example, native spiritual healers would recommend a traditional native sweat lodge for healing which, believe it or not, may actually aide in healing a person through conventionally accepted means. A fancy medical term for sweat lodge is hyperthermia or artificial fever – they all mean the same thing!
Times are, however, changing. Per Common Ground (January 2011), native Elder John Perry, aged 80, of the Gitxsan Nation (Hazelton, B.C.) was warned by Health Canada through threat of arrest not to pick their traditional jack pine resin as an antidote to colds and to build up the immune system despite the consensual nature of the native tradition and the general awareness that he was not a medical doctor. Nevertheless it is a healers past record of success in an integrative environment which really matters. A positive testimonial for the healer is the word of mouth that keeps him in business. If something were to go wrong, in an integrative setting, the Health Canada sanctioned Medical Doctor would simply take over as a safety net.
Health Canada and the different health associations rely on certification to legitimize different practitioners whereas healers rely solely on information theory in the form of word of mouth. Every group has different standards to determine how effective a given treatment is and whether or not claims can actually be said. Health Canada’s standards are binary, namely approved or not approved, certification style, whereas healers give a selection of options with varying probabilities of success based on previous testimonials and patient’s consent. A Medical Doctor for the most part only deals with sanctioned medical treatments legally “proven” through clinical trials as regulated through the acts in parliament and administered by Health Canada.
Healers and other alternative medicine practitioners also deal with legally proven treatments but they also deal with treatments whereby there are numerous favorable testimonials. Just as in the various definitions of proven oil reserves, a testimonial does not technically prove anything in itself as there could be many other reasons for a patient’s recovery. A patient could mistakenly attribute a recovery to a given treatment where in fact there could be other hidden reasons for its success, be it physiological or psychological as in the case of a placebo. Nevertheless, just because a treatment has not been legally proven, it does not mean the treatment does not work. As a general rule though, the greater the collection of positive testimonials towards a given treatment, the more likely that a given treatment will be successful. Treatments based on testimonials go through a Darwinian process of Natural Selection and as such treatments that do not work generally do not propagate. This natural economic selection process gives me confidence in the various unsanctioned and uncertified modalities, even with respect to uncertified alternative treatments in illnesses such as cancer. Nevertheless, the law says medical treatments are either proven or unproven through clinical trials. Testimonials by unaccredited patients remain in the unproven category and are treated as anecdotal evidence.
Furthermore because of their special government sanctioned professional status, many Medical Doctors do not want to be ultimately held liable and as such they tend to refrain from dealing with treatments in testimonial status as those treatments are not legally proven through proven clinical trials nor can they pass any liabilities pertaining to testimonials to the pharmaceutical companies. This implies that if a Medical Doctor cannot cure you, all hope is not lost, it just means he or she may jeopardize his or her special government sanctioned status (and MSP billing status) if they dabble outside of sanctioned legal proven medicine without consent as this is known to their professional college as quackery. Unfortunately many patients do not realize this and give up as they see the medical doctor as the be all and end all where in actuality the difference between Medical Doctors and Alternative Practitioners correlate the way clinically proven trials and testimonials correlate to one another. The whole definition-play between clinically proven and a myriad of supporting anecdotal testimonials is merely, in my opinion, semantics, something not worth dieing over, despite the fact that many patients do indeed die over this fact.
There are many reasons why certain treatments remain in perpetual testimonial status and never go through clinical trials in order to legally “prove” a treatment’s effectiveness thereby leaving the treatment out of reach of doctors – a healer’s competition. One reason for not undergoing clinical trials is that there may be profitability concerns as the company may not have exclusive rights or patents to a product. It would be difficult to recapture monies spent on large clinical trials from eventual profits if competing companies could produce the same product and undercut your company’s margins.
Say, for instance, you want to market a faith healer’s secret remedy that helps a patient combat against cancer. If your company goes through clinical trials, the secret remedy and the results must be made public, thereby inviting competitors at the inventing company’s expense. Usually the formula is comprised of cheap off the shelf ingredients which cannot be patented yet would be available for competitors to see. Economic laws dictate that the company with the largest expenses (namely the company associated with the clinical trials) ceases business as it cannot compete with the company producing the same treatment without the added cost of the clinical trials.
Case in point - US Patent No 20100172977 which states abscisic acid is known to fight cancer, an acid found in Wheatgrass. Followers of healer Ann Wigmore have known this Wheatgrass cure for decades, though now that abscisic acid is patented are you by knowing what you know now infringing on the patent without paying royalties? How will the government enforce this at taxpayer’s expense? What happens if you knowing this let a cancerous golden retriever dog eat grass containing abscisic acid – is that a patent infringement and if so how is it enforced? I doubt that was the intent, though there may be other patents in progress where that is indeed the intent. Nevertheless the government has said it wants alternative health products to be regulated like regular drugs and prove a health claim which some say will force many alternative products out of Canada and kill an entire industry.
The key health issue in Bill C-36 is the definition of a “health claim” which must be proven through clinical trials in order to be accepted as “proven” by Health Canada. In some cases this claim may be watered down only to meet regulatory requirements, thereby giving the perception that the product is not worth anything. The more ambitious a claim, the harder it is to prove. These regulations cover all Chinese medicines, herbal, naturopathic and other products in “testimonial” or non-clinical trial status and require every product on the shelf to have a labeled NPN or EN approval number.
Failure to sell a natural health product without a labeled NPN or EN Health Canada approval number will result in seizure of goods and the forced closure of the business by Health Canada. For instance when the Marigold Natural Pharmacy in Courtney, B.C. was caught selling products without proper NPN or EN approval numbers in June 2010, over $146,290.85 (replacement cost) worth of products were seized. Bill C-36 was subsequently passed on December 13, 2010 and given Royal Assent on December 15, 2010, whereby effective March 1, 2011, Health Canada is to start full enforcement of new inventory purchases for health food retailers. Furthermore, the timing is synchronous with EU laws (EC Directive 2004/24/EC) to come into effect April 30, 2011 – something that smells of world government. For more information on the new laws which are coming into effect, see www.savenhp.org, www.soscanada.net and for EU and UK ex-patriots www.anh-europe.org and www.joininghandsinhealth.com. You can also google “Shawn Buckley C-36” for additional information.
In my opinion, these new laws would in effect force the systemic killing of patients within a control group for terminal illnesses during the clinical trial process for very effective products, albeit in testimonial status. Confident healers with decades of supporting anecdotal evidence that wheatgrass helps combat cancer would have to give worthless placebos to many of their patients undergoing clinical trials of their product simply because the politicians will it. Clinical trials force a company to give placebos to members of a control group thereby leaving the control group untreated and left to die without hope.
It would amount to human experimentation and psychological cruelty towards members of a control group. Some companies are opposed to forced clinical trials because it implicitly kills well meaning patients eager to try a new treatment for their cancer for a product that has worked well since the 1920s or earlier. Although the new laws suggest otherwise, they feel there is no need for forced clinical trials, as the testimonials appear to be good enough for their patients and good enough for me, a consenting patient, in an integrative setting.
To many, the Canadian and British Head of State, namely Queen Elizabeth II, seems to be the only hope with respect to opposing the new Canadian and European legislation. It is well known that the Queens own doctor, Timothy Evans, having run a hospital in Zimbabwe, is both knowledgeable in conventional and alternative medicines. Prince Charles is president of the Foundation for Integrated Health, funded in part by the British Department of Health which in turn set up the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council designed to regulate alternative therapies including shiatsu, yoga, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy (Geranium Flower Extract was on the list seized at Marigold’s) and reflexology. The future king, in contrast to Health Canada’s stout opposition, is a vocal supporter of Coffee Enemas and Gerson Therapy as an effective natural cancer treatment. Even Kate Middleton is advocate psychotherapy and hypnotherapy for issues of the heart and as such she has indicated an interest in sponsoring the Changez Charity in the United Kingdom.
The Queen’s delegated subordinates who in effect gave Royal Assent to Bill C-36 and the corresponding EU/UK legislation, made a mockery of the whole legal process as the Queen is both head of state and is supportive of alternative medicine some of which Health Canada opposes. I would imagine this would precipitate numerous constitutional issues, simply because the Royal Family’s public position was well known in advance of the Royal Assent to the new parliamentary bills in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Now having stated my case as an economist as to why my approach is not crazy in the context which we live, I wish to share with the reader my plan to fight my own cancer - a plan that may be extinguished shortly when my supplies run out as a result of Bill C-36. My plan, outlined in the following diagram is based on thousands of anti-cancer testimonials and the business success stories of Ann Wigmore’s Hippocrates Health Institute, Leslie Taylor’s Raintree Nutrition, and Good for You Corporation’s, Aerobic Oxygen product. In addition I use the hyperthermia effect of an Infra-Red sauna or a hot tub as popularized by Klink St. George in Germany. More recently, I have added the topical DMSO solvent for vitamin B-12 nerve regeneration and white blood cell production to my plan. In only six weeks of using my plan, my lymphomatous tumor was reduced on average by 30%. It must be noted that my plan to reduce my tumor is still a work in progress and I will know more by my next CT-scan date in a month or two.
As you may know, I am not allowed to refuse chemotherapy and I have not refused it as the mental health act may be invoked as refusing a Health Canada approved clinically proven treatment could be deemed suicide. More correctly or technically, I simply have bought time to get all of my affairs back in order and time to get my health back into shape so that my body is able to withstand the negative effects of chemotherapy. Furthermore during that bought time I chose to execute my own personal cancer plan in full strength as there are little to no side effects for this non-prescription, complementary or integrative approach. My doctors and I have basically agreed to postpone the decision to do chemotherapy to the date that my next CT-scan results are released. If it is found that on that day that the tumor has grown, then I will do chemotherapy. Although I am not happy with chemo, I also understand those are the consequences of not fighting cancer aggressively enough on my own (or with www.inspirehealth.ca) before the agreed upon due date. I though highly doubt that will happen as there are far too many positive testimonials out there, including at least one patent.
There are other anti-cancer testimonials out on the internet worth mentioning such as Japanese Reishie Mushrooms sanctioned by the Japanese Health Authority. The mushroom in conjunction with vitamin B-12 has also been known to help fight diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Aside, you can also try and google “Alzheimer’s” and “DMSO” for some miraculous testimonials. Then there is Canada’s own Essiac herbal formula, which contains a root mixture (abscisic acid) as prescribed by an Ojibwa spiritual healer to company founder Nurse Rene M. Caisse way back in 1922. The company is still around today because of word of mouth of its past successes. Not too many businesses around today can say that they have been in operation for so long.
Herbs have withstood the test of time, not the test of certification through clinical trials which require large amounts of money. I wonder whether my cancer treatment plan will be terminated and whether I will be forced to have chemotherapy due to Health Canada raids, health food businesses closing or my anti-cancer products not obtaining an NPN or EN number in time because of testimonial versus clinically proven definition issues pertaining to the health claims on the application. I kind of feel world government is already upon us with EC Directive 2004/24/EC overlapping with Canada’s Bill C-36 and US Bill S.510. It reminds me of all the historic Committees of Safety, public or otherwise around the world. Although I have a stockpile, my cancer cannot wait for legal semantics and definition plays to get resolved, so I request people to become politically active.
Please mark Sunday May 26th on your calendars now. More updates can be obtained here or through the Art Council website: Link to Lions Bay Art Council website