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Medicine Science

'Alternative Medicine' Clinic Attempts To Silence Critics 515

Posted by Soulskill
from the my-science-can-beat-up-your-science dept.
Asmodae writes "Stanislaw Burzynski runs a clinic specializing in an alternative cancer treatment called 'antineoplaston therapy,' and charges thousands of dollars for the privilege. Unfortunately, there's no scientific support for such treatment, and skeptics all over the web are raising red flags and trying to warn potential patients away. This includes high-school blogger Rhys Morgan, who has received legal threats from Burzynski's clinic for his efforts. Phil Plait summarizes the situation thus: 'In general, it’s a little unusual, to say the least, for a team doing medical research to sue someone for criticizing them. That’s because real science thrives on criticism, since it’s only through critiques that the potential errors of a particular method can be assessed — that’s why research is supposed to be published in peer-reviewed journals as well. Suing is the antithesis of that idea. ... I’ll note that the clinic has threatened to sue multiple people, including Peter Bowditch and Andy Lewis, two other bloggers who have criticized antineoplaston therapy.'"
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'Alternative Medicine' Clinic Attempts To Silence Critics

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  • by darthium (834988) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:26PM (#38206386)

    I don't care if it's "medical" or not. Are his customers (patients) happy with his work? If not, they should be the ones suing and criticizing.

    This blatant attempt to justify pseudoscience (and a poorle reasoned one) is given a 2, why? Isn;t this site for GEEKS, shouldn't the score be given in a more numerical, logical, VERIFIABLE way? Now, to the pseudoscience defender, following your reasoning, religion should be allowed to scam believers, we have no right to criticize because believers are happy to be victim of brainwashing? What about warning other people? Second, if they make claims, at least they don't label such empty claims as 'science'. How unaceptable is to ask for this basic common sense?

  • Re:Either way.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:27PM (#38206408) Journal

    And that's the problem with these evil bastards, they prey upon the most vulnerable, people and their families desperately trying to keep the flame burning. I remember years ago my grandmother's best friend was diagnosed with some inoperable terminal cancer, and her church got together and raised several thousand dollars to send her to some "clinic" in Greece which happily took her money, did some meaningless mumbo jumbo and sent her home still dying of cancer. These were poor people, and most members of the church were on the lower end of the middle class. It was very commendable that they pooled their resources together, but I still think the "doctor" who ran the "clinic" should have been taken out and shot. He stole a lot of money from a lot of people who could not really afford it, but who were bamboozled or guilted into donating to a dying woman's fantasy of a cure.

  • by Shimbo (100005) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:34PM (#38206494)

    No. It's for real. "Doctors studying the placebo effect have noticed that large pills work better than small pills, and that coloured pills work better than white ones." http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2002/homeopathy.shtml [bbc.co.uk]

    Sorry, don't have the original citations.

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:44PM (#38206622) Homepage Journal

    http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/burzynski1.html [quackwatch.com]

    Pretty open and shut.

    Burzynski is a fraud.

    I say that as a real researcher (and research director.) The amount of work this man has done is PATHETIC. Even his supposed year-long lab experiment to get his "D.Msc (which didn't exist at the time,) has the shittiest documentation ever.

  • by Weezul (52464) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:05PM (#38206854)

    Burzynski wasn't just threatening to sue. They sent one blogger a photo of his house saying we know where you live. And they threatened the other blogger's family.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:32PM (#38207150)

    I used to work at the Burzynski clinic. I did see the results. For brain tumors, non-hodgkin's lymphoma, and liver cancer (when combined with other treatments, something legally barred in the US), antineoplastons were quite effective if the patient got treated early enough, which usually meant before chemo or radiation. All other patients were basically being ripped off. Anyone going in under a SE or CE (exceptions) is a goner and was just being soaked for money. Oh, and most patients won't get antineoplastons. They get a different medicine (called PB).

    I'm posting as an AC because Burzynski is sue happy. He has very good lawyers. He's been sued multiple times for discrimination and won every time. He is guilty though IMHO based on first hand experience. If you're Polish, you're golden. Everyone else is disposable. He has been sued by the federal government and won, although there was more than a little perjury at those trials.

    One of the main reasons his clinic is so expensive is because it's poorly run. It seems like the managers there take management lessons from Dilbert's PHB.

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:33PM (#38207170) Homepage

    The dead don't complain much. This isn't being flippant. I personally knew a woman that took the 'alternative' road to 'cure' her breast cancer. It took four years to kill her.

    [cough]SteveJobs[cough]

    What? Too soon? Not for Steve Jobs.

  • I don't understand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pclminion (145572) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:36PM (#38207214)
    Seriously, why is this even a problem? Why doesn't the FDA just shut him down? He's claiming to be able to cure cancer and is instead bilking people who are dying. Wasn't the whole point of the FDA to eliminate problems like this? Where has the system broken down here exactly?
  • by phik (2368654) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @06:00PM (#38207558)
    When I lived in South Africa, there was an advanced, modern hospital, the kinds you'd find in the USA not far away from where i lived. But usually people didn't go there until they'd tried the witch doctors and undergo their range of treatments, and by then it would be too late. You know, lemon juice couldn't stop HIV from becoming AIDS, and the hospital couldn't do anything by that time. I thought that was an 'African thing' ...but it's happening in my own backyard (Texas). People really are the same wherever you go, imagine that.
  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @06:04PM (#38207590)

    You should mix the drinks. If she wants Egg Nog (or some other drink), give her a drop of the drink in a glass of water and ask her if it is too strong. (You could always pour half of the glass into another half glass of water and shake it up to strengthen it.)

    Of course, you'll want to drink the "weak" version of the drinks... you know, the ones not strengthened by being diluted in water.

  • by baKanale (830108) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @08:48PM (#38209410)
    In a similar, and equally amusing, vein, the 2008 Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine [improbable.com] was awarded to a team of researchers for "demonstrating that high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine [ama-assn.org]".

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