In the middle 1980s, a clinical trial on therapy, funded by patients was set up by Dr A
In the middle 1980s, a clinical trial on therapy, funded by patients was set up by Dr A.R. Matthews at the Roland Watson Clinic in Victoria. It had the approval of the British Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons with the condition that the study was to be carried out with the cooperation of the University of Victoria.
The study started with 300 patients and 7,236 chelation treatments were given. It was proved unequivocally that ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) chelation therapy was safe even for patients with some kidney problems. This safety study was to be followed by an ''effectiveness" study.
It began with only 40 patients. That number was reduced, to 17 when it was found some of the doctors making referrals had deliberately changed the patients' medication thereby compromising the study results!
Very few patients were referred to the second study by their doctors. Even then, there were such remarkable results that, in the words of the clinicians, it "encouraged us to proceed with this trial."
In the meantime, a Victoria cardiologist persuaded the Victoria University Senate to cancel the University's support of the study. He stated it was "unethical" for the patients to be funding their own clinical trial no matter that there were no monies forthcoming from government, the pharmaceutical industry or charitable organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Without the University's support the study could not be completed.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC) claims the study was ended by Dr Matthews. Other correspondence suggests the opposite.
The university records concerning the study were shredded and the CPSBC, when accessed through Freedom of Information, refused to release 44 pages containing research information of employees of the University of Victoria from their files. This is with the full knowledge that the university claims the records have been destroyed.
A clinical trial on chelation therapy at Calgary Foothills Hospital, jointly funded by the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments, is scheduled for completion sometime late in 1999 or early 2000. If the outcome is positive, no doubt it will be criticized as being too small to have any statistical meaning.
Elsewhere, clinical trials on chelation therapy have gone nowhere. A trial at John Hopkins military hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, was discontinued when the doctors were called to the Gulf War. After the war the doctors were re-assigned elsewhere. A study to be funded by the pharmaceutical American Home Products (Wyeth) was canceled after the company's clinical director was changed in 1992. A clinical trial at the University of Washington, Seattle never started because of "political pressure."
Health bureaucrats misinform citizens about chelation therapy. The following example is a quote from Susan Fitzpatrick, Acting Director. Ontario Health Insurance and Related Programs, Kingston Office.
All new medical treatments are carefully scrutinized for safety, long term side effects and success rates. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario [CPSO] has assured the ministry that there is no substantial scientific evidence that this therapy has any value in treating vascular disease. However, evidence of associated risks, including allergic reactions, kidney failure, heart failure aggravation of diabetes and skin disorders have been found. Furthermore, a report from the Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment stated there is no scientifically accepted evidence that chelation therapy is effective in treating coronary atherosclerosis, preventing repeat myocardial infarction, or preventing death."
The Rest of the Story
In making this statement the CPSO is totally dishonest. They did not contact the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), nor did they send representatives to their workshops and seminars and seek their input. The CPSO chose only to listen to a three-week expert on chelation therapy from London, Ontario. Furthermore, the Ontario Ministry of Health made no effort to seek information beyond those who were clearly biased against chelation. Subsequently the government of David Petersen violated the human rights of chelation patients by outlawing the therapy for treating vascular disease.
If there is such a thing as scientific pornography, the Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment's (CCOHTA) unsigned statement on chelation therapy certainly fits the bill. To send this document to be vetted only by Canadian cardiologists (known for their bias against chelation therapy) and fail to contact the ACAM for its analysis and input is dishonest. It constitutes scientific misconduct. No wonder the authors/author left the document unsigned.
A Danish chelation study cited by CCOHTA has been thoroughly discredited. The cardiologist authors were ordered in 1998 to face trial for scientific fraud by the Danish Supreme Court.
Where is the scientific validation for bypass surgery, angioplasty and many other accepted medical practices? They are accepted because of positive patient outcome. It seems the mainstream organizations practice a double standard when it comes to medical assessment.
The ACAM is the parent body that trains medical doctors in the correct protocol for chelation therapy for metal and mineral toxicity as well as cardiovascular disease and the complications of diabetes.
ACAM is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education as a sponsor of continuing medical education for physicians, their staff and medical technicians. The council evaluates the overall continuing medical education programs of institutions according to the standards adopted by its seven sponsoring organizations. These include the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the Association for Hospital Medical Education, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Council of Medical Specialties Societies and the Federation of State Medical Boards. In 1999 ACAM received accreditation for another four-year term.
It is the ultimate in hypocrisy and arrogance that those who demand scientific proof of chelation therapy's efficacy are the very ones who have refused support or have done every thing possible to sabotage clinical trials to scientifically validate chelation therapy. It is an object lesson on how to guarantee a self fulfilling prophesy. It cannot be, so it must not be. What you are not permitted to look for, you will not find.
When some medical licensing boards state "the fact a patient gets better is not terribly helpful," something is very wrong with the system.
Chelation therapy is patient-driven. Patients who are in dire straights do not care about "scientific proof or validation." For them proof is not an issue. Results are what count. Patients' relatives, friends and neighbors have seen the results and have rallied to support chelation therapy. Caring physicians have seen the results and have added chelation to their medical practice.
In spite of concerted opposition to chelation therapy by federal and provincial health ministries, cardiologists, drug companies and hostile medical licensing boards, there are approximately 50 chelation clinics across Canada currently operated by licensed medical doctors trained and certified to do this modality by ACAM.
A 1990 letter addressed to the late Mr. Ted Dickson, founder and president of the EDTA Chelation Association of BC, signed by the registrar of the CPSBC stated that doctors in BC could practice chelation therapy, but "without the approval or endorsement of the College!"
Alberta, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan have taken some legislative or regulatory action to protect their medical doctors from harassment and threat of loss of license from their medical licensing board for practicing chelation therapy or other new and innovative modalities, These legislative moves are in line with the 1989 Helsinki Declaration of the World Medical Association which states in Section II, subsection 1:
"In the treatment of the sick person, the physician must be free to use a new diagnostic and therapeutic measure, if in his or her judgment it offers hope of saving life, reestablishing health or alleviating suffering."
Canada is a signatory to this document and by definition, every provincial government and their respective medical licensing boards.
Health Canada, now facing a class action law suit by Citizens for Mercury Relief, prompted the CPSBC to investigate a physician who deals with mercury toxicity and who will be a key witness against the government. How can that be? The chelating drug specific for removing mercury is available through the "emergency drug release program." How else would the College know of its use but through Health Canada?
During the 1993 federal election, Health Canada officials deliberately stopped chelating physicians from importing the drugs and vitamins which are part of the protocol of EDTA chelation therapy. It was only because the patients raised a row with their would-be members of parliament, combined with a threat to import the drugs and materials and chelale themselves at home, that Health Canada relented. Just who is protecting whom?
There are approximately 40 physicians in BC who import the necessary EDTA and injectable vitamins from US suppliers aside from the 15 physicians who openly practice chelation therapy. No doubt those 40 doctors, some of them cardiologists, are treating themselves and their loved ones but not their patients.
Patient rights are human rights. Those who continue to thwart Canadian citizens in their quest for far more effective and much safer medical treatments must be called to account for violating human rights.