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AUTISM

Who Should Be Charged With Unethical Conduct,

A Doctor or a Licensing Medical Board?

Majid Ali

A doctor should be charged with unethical conduct if he/she promises the parents of an autistic child autism can be cured, unless that doctor can show that has been done. The diagnosis and the cure, of course, would have to be established by experienced doctors other than the doctor in question.

A licensing medical board should be charged with unethical conduct if it opposes the possibility of improving a child’s development by reducing the toxic metal load in an autistic child’s brain.

A doctor should be charged with unethical conduct if he/she promises the parents that austism can be cured with anti-fungal therapies, unless that doctor can demonstrate that has indeed been achieved. Again, the diagnosis and the cure, of course, would have to be established by other experienced doctors.

A licensing medical board should be charged with unethical conduct if it opposes the possibility of improving a child’s brain development by protecting it from mold toxins produced in the fermenting bowel of an autistic child’s bowel.

A doctor should be charged with unethical conduct if he/she promises the parents that austism can be cured with oxygen therapies (hyperbaric oxygen or others), unless that doctor can demonstrate that has indeed been achieved.

A licensing medical board should be charged with unethical conduct if it opposes the possibility of advancing an autistic child’s brain development by improving oxygen supply to the brain.

A doctor should be charged with unethical conduct if he/she promises the parents of an autistic child autism can be cured but cannot show evidence of his knowledge and proficiency in integrative programs he employs in the cae of autistic children.

A licensing medical board should be charged with unethical conduct if it opposes the possibility of advancing an autistic child’s brain development with integrative programs and its voting members cannot show evidence of the knowledge and proficiency in integrative therapies.

A doctor should be charged with unethical conduct if he/she promises an austism cure with an integrated program, including improving the oxygen conditions in the brain by reducing the burden of toxic metals, mold toxins, and environmental toxins, but cannot demonstrate that it has been done.

A licensing medical board should be charged with unethical conduct if it opposes the possibility of advancing an autistic child’s brain development, but cannot support its view with clear scientific evidence.

I believe nearly all reasonable people, including those who sit on licensing medical board, will agree with the above statements. I repeat nearly all reasonable people will do so. With this introduction, below I reproduce an article published on October 15, 2011 by Kristina C. entiteld "US Autism Doctor Charged With Unethical Conduct." I would be grateful for your take on the article (by e-mail majidalimd@aol.com).

Autism Doctor Charged With Unethical Conduct

by Kristina C. October 15, 2011

(http://www.care2.com/causes/us-autism-doctor-charged-with-unethical-conduct.html)

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has charged an Illinois doctor, Dr. Anjum Usman, with "unprofessional, unethical and/or dishonorable conduct" in regard to her use of alternative medical treatments for an autistic boy. The treatments described in the complaint have been widely promoted in the past decade by practitioners and families who claimed that such practices as chelation to remove poisonous heavy metals, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, secretin (a pancreatic hormone) and more had "cured" their children from autism. Books such as Karyn Seroussi’s 2002 Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Jenny McCarthy’s 2007 Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism are only a few accounts claiming miraculous recoveries from autism thanks to alternative medical treatments.

The rationale for using such unproven biomedical treatments such as chelation, anti-fungal therapy and many more to "treat" autistic children rests on equally unproven theories about what causes autism. For instance, some proposed that children were "damaged" by substances in vaccines, such as a mercury-based preservative thimerosal, or by the vaccines (such as the MMR) themselves. Chelation, via powerful drugs and in other forms such as infrared saunas, was thought to be a way to remove "heavy metals," as well as whatever was making a child autistic.

The complaint against Dr. Usman charges her with making false or misleading statements regarding the value of treatments, showing "extreme departure from rational medical judgment" and "abus[ing] the patient/physician relationship." The complaint requests that her medical license be "revoked, suspended, placed on probation or otherwise disciplined" and was filed by the parents of an autistic boy who was diagnosed with mild to moderate autism in 2004.

Usman allegedly diagnosed the child with acalcium-to-zinc imbalance, yeast, dysbiosis, low zinc, heavy metal toxicity and abnormally high levels of aluminum, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, silver, tin, titanium and selenium.

Treatments listed in the complaint include dietary restrictions; nearly three dozen vitamin, enzyme, mineral and other dietary supplements; two antifungal drugs; four chelators or detoxifying drugs; a hormone suppressor, and hyperbaric oxygen treatments, in which the child is shut inside a pressurized bag filled with extra oxygen.

"None of the treatments described above has been proven to influence the course of autism," the complaint states. And yet Usman "made statements to (the boy’s) mother that the prescribed treatments had positive clinical benefits for children with autism, despite the lack of empirical research."

At one point, the complaint alleges, Usman prescribed selenium supplements even though the boy’s levels were normal. She "continued to do so even when (the boy) eventually showed a high level," according to the complaint.

Dr. Usman’s alternative medical treatments were the subject of a a 2009 Chicago Tribune investigation. Since my own son Charlie was diagnosed in 1999, we have heard about such treatments and took Charlie to a number of different biomedical practitioners when he was younger. We tried a number of supplements, did various kinds of testing, put Charlie on a special gluten-free casein-free diet for years and concluded that such treatments were not helping him and, in some ways, were detrimental.

I am glad that we tried some alternative treatments and met some practitioners, and that I attended a "Defeat Autism Now" conference run by the Autism Research Institute. Due to the internet, parents are much more likely to hear about such treatments and, in the desperate desire to help a child who doesn’t talk or may be banging their head on the furniture, are eager to try anything. Years of making sure that Charlie ate nothing with wheat or oatmeal or any dairy products have certainly made us very aware of how one’s mental and emotional state can be connected to how one’s stomach is feeling.

But while a special diet is a generally benign treatment to try, other treatments such as Dr. Usman used and that other practitioners continue to use require much more scrutiny. Too often, the use of alternative treatments on autistic children, many unable to communicate their internal physical states, has amounted simply to uncontrolled experimentation. We know more than a few families who have used such biomedical treatments and whose children, despite the claims of the practitioners, have not "recovered from autism" and have numerous challenges. The complaint against Dr. Usman for using alternative treatments that delivered far less than promised as far as "treating" autism may only be the first

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