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Cancer Patient Thomas Navarro Dies at Age Six [medical freedom case]
Natural Health Line ^ | Jan. 1, 2002 | By Peter Chowka

Posted on 01/06/2002 8:53:39 PM PST by Gelato

Cancer Patient Thomas Navarro Dies at Age Six

© By Peter Chowka

Photo courtesy of the Navarro family

(Jan. 1, 2002) Thomas Navarro's two year long struggle to survive brain cancer came to an end on November 19, 2001 when the six-year old child died in Houston, Texas.

During the first eighteen months after Thomas' diagnosis, in September 1999, his family's efforts to get him access to nontoxic treatments resulted in major national publicity, becoming the most compelling and heart-wrenching individual example of the search for medical freedom in more than two decades. Thomas and his parents James and Donna won considerable political support, too - which led to freedom of choice legislation, the "Thomas Navarro FDA Patient Rights Act," being introduced in the House of Representatives on February 16, 2000.

Thomas was initially diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a virulent form of brain cancer. Standard chemotherapy treatments either have limited effect or leave the patient with severe complications, like permanent brain damage and retardation. After considerable research, James and Donna Navarro attempted to have their son treated by innovative Houston, Texas clinician and researcher Stanislaw Burzynski, MD, PhD, but they were prevented from doing so by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The power of the FDA to control the medical freedom of individual Americans was chillingly illustrated by this case. The agency was able to subvert not only the parents' best intentions but ignore repeated calls by leading national political leaders, including every major candidate for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, to allow Thomas to be treated without delay by Burzynski.

For over eighteen months, Thomas' only legally available treatment options were conventional chemotherapy and surgery. Finally, on April 26, 2001, according to an account at the Navarros' Web site - which has now been taken offline - Thomas was allowed to be treated by Burzynski. This FDA dispensation, however, according to, came "not until after a recent MRI [in which] doctors discovered that Thomas had developed such a vast number of new tumors in his head, neck and spine, that Thomas was considered terminally ill in the eyes of the conventional medical community. Ironically, these new tumors - now called leptomeningial-sarcoma, a mutation of the original cancer - were caused by the very chemotherapy that the Navarros tried so desperately to prevent (a fact accepted by conventional doctors!) and that the FDA rules forced Thomas to endure before they would grant access to Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski's promising Antineoplaston therapy. The new cancer. . . was now considered unstoppable. . .

Thomas Navarro and his father James are introduced during the nationally televised Republican presidential debate,
Jan. 15, 2000, Des Moines, IA
Digital still video capture by Peter Chowka from C-SPAN

"Only when Thomas was declared terminally ill and given fourteen days to live did the FDA, because of something called 'Compassionate Use Approval,' finally say yes to Dr. Burzynski's Antineoplaston treatment. Compassionate Use was authorized after intense pressure was applied by the Chairman of the Committee on Government Reform, Congressman Dan Burton. . .It is all a family can do to persevere when a child is diagnosed as being terminally ill with cancer. But Thomas' family was forced into a fight with the American government for the right to life, and a good quality of life, on top of their already grueling fight at home."

According to an e-mail update on December 3 by friends of the Navarros, Thomas' parents received a phone call on November 27, the day of the boy's funeral in Houston, from the office of Rep. Burton (R-IN). A strong supporter of freedom of medical choice and chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, which heard testimony from James Navarro in a hearing on June 7, 2000, Burton is set to re-introduce the latest version of "Thomas' bill" to the House of Representatives in the 108th Congress.

For more information,

Medical Freedom Fight Moves to Political Center Stage
Natural HealthLine Jan. 15, 2000

Medical freedom case attracts support as national media report on developments
Natural HealthLine Feb. 1, 2000 

Thomas Navarro Medical Freedom Update: Family is Optimistic
Natural HealthLine March 1, 2000 

James Navarro challenges FDA Commissioner Henney on C-SPAN
Natural HealthLine April 15, 2000 

Congressional hearings on alternative medicine and childhood cancers
Natural HealthLine July 4, 2000


© By Peter Chowka 

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alternativemedicine; braincancer; burzynski; cancer; stanislawburzynski
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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To: Gelato
We did what we could, and we pray for his soul, and for comfort for the family.

May God have mercy on us all ...

Richard F.

21 posted on 01/06/2002 10:03:24 PM PST by rdf
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To: Roscoe
..."Dr. Burzynski has grossed tens of million of dollars from "patients." "...

And that is the extent of your comments? As though no other doctor has EVER earned a buck from all these years of pretending to actually be looking for cures for cancer?

Does Dr. Bryzynski continue to practice medicine in the State of Texas or not? As I recall in reading so much about this after Dr. Keyes brought it out during the debates, no one seems much interested in suing him on the grounds of 'quackery'...something about evidence? They did stop shipments out of state under interstate commerce regs apparently.

22 posted on 01/06/2002 10:13:32 PM PST by Rowdee
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To: Askel5,
Weren't you interested in this story back then?
23 posted on 01/06/2002 10:16:40 PM PST by Rowdee
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To: Gelato
Stanislaw Burzynski...uses a nontoxic alternative treatment called antineoplastons and has battled for 20 years for approval of his methods.

The FDA's Vendetta Against Dr. Burzynski

By Dean Mouscher,
Director, Clinical Trials
Burzynski Institute

Stanislaw R. Burzynski is an MD with a Ph.D. in biochemistry. In 1967, while studying blood as a graduate student, he found certain peptides that had never been described before.

Comparing the blood of patients with different diseases, Dr. Burzynski found that over 98% of cancer patients were deficient in the peptides he had found-often with blood levels of only 2% of those of healthy individuals. This led him to suspect that these compounds-or a lack thereof-were implicated in the development of neoplastic (cancerous) disease.

Most cancer experts believe we all develop cancer cells hundreds if not millions of times in our lifetimes. Given the trillions of developing cells, the millions of errors that can occur in the differentiation (maturing) process of each cell, and our constant exposure to carcinogenic substances (smoke, car fumes, radiation, etc.), the laws of probability dictate that mis-developing cells must occur frequently in the life of each individual. It stands to reason that a healthy body has a corrective system to "reprogram" newly-developed cancer cells into normal differentiation pathways before the cancer can take hold.

Dr. Burzynski postulated that healthy organisms have just such a corrective mechanism, which he termed the "Biochemical Defense System." He called the substances produced by this system "antineoplastons." Their purpose is to "reprogram" cancer cells to die like normal cells. Healthy cells are not affected.

Dr. Burzynski continued his research at Baylor University until 1977, when he felt he was ready to begin treating advanced cancer patients with the peptides he had discovered. After getting a written opinion from his lawyer that doing so would not violate any state or federal laws as long as he treated patients only in Texas, Dr. Burzynski began to give antineoplastons to patients with hopeless cancers-often with dramatic results.

The FDA Seeks An Injunction

In 1983 however, the FDA went to court for an injunction to stop Dr. Burzynski from manufacturing or using antineoplastons in his practice. U.S. District Court Judge Gabrielle McDonald turned them down. In an 18-page decision, Judge McDonald made it clear that Dr. Burzynski could continue to "manufacture, package, sell, and distribute antineoplastons, so long as it occurs wholly intrastate."

Ignoring Judge McDonald's decision, the FDA tried to stop Dr. Burzynski by writing dozens of letters to Senators, Congressmen, insurance companies and pharmaceutical firms. These letters contained lies and distortions so outrageous that on October 23, 1985 Judge McDonald issued a Cease and Desist order, commanding the FDA to stop issuing false and misleading information about Dr. Burzynski.

A Series Of Raids And Grand Jury Investigations

In 1985, FDA agents and armed Federal Marshalls raided Dr. Burzynski's clinic and seized all his patient records-200,000 documents in all. In order to continue treating patients with advanced cancer, Dr. Burzynski had to install a copier-at his expense-at FDA headquarters and hire someone to shuttle back and forth, making copies of his records and bringing them back to the clinic. Dr. Burzynski had to make appointments with the FDA to make copies of his own documents.

Later in 1985, Federal prosecutors representing the FDA presented everything they seized in the raid-plus another 100,000 documents subpoenaed shortly after the raid-to a Federal Grand Jury. Their investigation of Dr. Burzynski lasted nine months, but prosecutors couldn't convince the Grand Jury that there was probable cause to believe a crime had been committed. No indictment was returned.

In 1990, the U.S. Attorney's office in Houston, representing the FDA, convened another grand jury to investigate Dr. Burzynski, again for alleged violations of Judge McDonald's order. To the FDA's dismay, this Grand Jury also refused to indict Dr. Burzynski.

More Raids And Grand Juries

In 1993, the FDA again raided the Burzynski Research Institute because of alleged bacterial contamination of antineoplastons, but tests proved conclusively that there was no contamination.

In 1994, U.S. Attorneys-again representing the FDA-convened a third Grand Jury to investigate Dr. Burzynski. And for the third time, a skeptical Grand Jury refused to return an indictment. The main casualty this time was the Assistant U.S. Attorney on the case, who was removed for prosecutorial misconduct involving abusive and improper use of subpoenas.

The latest chapter in the FDA's twelve-year campaign to stop Dr. Burzynski from treating patients with antineoplastons kicked off on March 24, 1995 with another raid on the clinic. Seven federal agents herded employees into a room and kept them there until they filled out forms with personal information. They then spent seven hours rifling through file cabinets and drawers, leaving with Boxes of patient records and other documents.

Shortly thereafter the FDA began serving clinic employees with subpoenas commanding them to testify before a Federal Grand Jury investigating Dr. Burzynski. To date, federal prosecutors representing the FDA have subpoenaed nine employees including Dr. Burzynski. In addition, they have ordered him to turn over tens of thousands of pages of documents, including more patient records and diagnostic films.

An Arbitrary Fishing Expedition

The law prohibits Grand Juries from "arbitrary fishing expeditions". Yet that is exactly what federal prosecutors are engaged in. Besides patient records-many of which have already been presented four times to various government investigators-prosecutors have subpoenaed "any and all agreements, draft agreements, proposals, correspondence, notes, memos, tape recordings, notes of conversations, telephone messages, reports, raw data, studies or other items to, from, or with any foreign or domestic pharmaceutical company or university, including contact person's name, title and phone number."

While this information is of no use in investigating criminal activity, it gives the FDA the opportunity to write letters to everyone they uncover, letting them know that Dr. Burzynski is the target of a federal investigation and to issue subpoenas to some of these people. This is more than just speculation. It is the exact behavior that sparked a 1985 "Cease and Desist" order against the FDA by US District Court Judge Gabrielle McDonald.

And so, on June 15 1995, prosecutor Amy LeCocq subpoenaed a huge Dutch pharmaceutical conglomerate-which has conducted negotiations with Dr. Burzynski-for all correspondence, memos, documents or other records it had regarding Dr. Burzynski or anyone associated with him. The obvious purpose of this subpoena was to frighten the company-which does a large business in the U.S.-into having no further contact with Dr. Burzynski.

Prosecutors have also subpoenaed all patient billing records, again with no time limitation whatever. Dr. Burzynski has been treating patients since 1977. They have subpoenaed his accountants for every conceivable document an accountant can possess (again with no limitation on time), a classic fishing expedition. Prosecutors have even subpoenaed the names and addresses of every person who has ever received a brochure from Dr. Burzynski! As if that weren't enough, the subpoena went on to demand "Any other lists of persons", an absurdly general and burdensome request.

FDA Harassment, Illegal Actions And Terrorism

Besides throwing the entire clinic into chaos, wasting thousands of hours of employee time, and terrifying advanced cancer patients who don't know whether they will be able to continue getting the only medicine that has been able to help them, the grand jury's actions have severely threatened Dr. Burzynski's ability to practice medicine. Without patients' previous MRIs and CAT scans, Dr. Burzynski has nothing to which he can compare new scans, and no way of knowing if patients' tumors are growing or shrinking.

Moreover, the FDA has been careful to seize films and medical records of Dr. Burzynski's most successful cases, crippling his ability to defend himself by confiscating his single most valuable asset-proof of the anti-cancer activity of antineoplastons.

In the current case there has been illegal use of subpoenas as well. Dr. Ralph Moss, an award-winning journalist and author of books about cancer, was subpoenaed and ordered to produce every document in his possession-electronic, magnetic, printed or otherwise-relating to Dr. Burzynski. Dr. Moss has written favorably about Dr. Burzynski in the past.

Unfortunately for Amy Lecocq, the prosecutor in charge of this case, her subpoena of Dr. Moss violated at least six federal laws governing subpoenas of journalists. Such violations carry a penalty of administrative reprimand or other disciplinary action. When Dr. Moss pointed this out to Lecocq and gave her the opportunity to withdraw the subpoena, she did so with alacrity.

It's been said that a prosecutor can get a Grand Jury to indict virtually anyone. But despite the avalanche of documents supplied by the government to four Grand Juries, it has yet to convince any of them of probable cause to believe Dr. Burzynski has committed a crime. And so, unable to stop him legally, the FDA seems determined to harass him to death.

The NCI Report on Dr. Burzynski

The FDA's actions are all the more outrageous because their own oncology division has granted Dr. Burzynski permission to conduct Phase II clinical trials! In addition the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-following a visit by seven NCI experts to Dr. Burzynski's Houston clinic for a review of patient records-confirmed several remissions in patients with "hopeless" brain tumors after treatment with antineoplastons. Their report states that "The site visit team documented anti-cancer activity in this best-case series and determined that Phase II trials are warranted to determine the response rate."

In other words, the question is no longer "Do antineoplastons work?"; it is: "How consistently do they work?"

And yet, despite the NCI report, despite the fact that the FDA's own scientists wish to see antineoplastons tested, the FDA's "enforcers" remain obsessed with shutting Dr. Burzynski down.

How long will this continue? Until your outrage puts a stop to it.

LEF Magazine September 1995

Burzynski Acquitted Of Fraud
Judge Declares Mistrial on Other Charges

While the famed cancer researcher has emerged unscathed from this most-recent government harrassment, there is still no consensus on how to handle the man or his treatments.

On March 3 [1997], a U.S. District Court judge in Houston acquitted famed cancer researcher Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski on all 34 fraud charges brought against him by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for lack of evidence.

Then Judge Sim Lake declared a mistrial on the remaining 41 charges because the jury was deadlocked after six days of deliberation, with six jurors favoring acquittal on all counts, five favoring conviction on all counts, and one undecided.

Afterwards, the government said it would retry the doctor on the other counts, but patients and supporters of Burzynski vowed to fight that decision. At press time, prosecutors had not announced any new attempt to try Burzynski.

"The government has been harassing Dr. Burzynski and his patients for more than 15 years," said Steve Siegel, head of the Burzynski Patient Group. "They put forth their best case and their best lawyers and still could not win because they had no evidence. I hope they will realize it's time to leave Dr. Burzynski alone and fight cancer, not cancer patients."

Burzynski has been under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Houston and the FDA for more than 15 years. Authorities have alleged that he illegally dispenses a class of experimental cancer drugs, called antineoplastons, that he develops and manufactures, and distributes at his clinic in Houston. Antineoplastons are synthesized versions of peptides found in human blood and urine. In the current case, Burzynski was on trial for violations of interstate commerce by treating non-Texans in Texas, selling drugs unapproved by the FDA, and filing fraudulent insurance claims via the U.S. mail.

The trial involved 20 days of testimony from more than 50 government witnesses. After the insurance fraud charges were thrown out and the jurors deadlocked on the remaining issues, Burzynski emerged unscathed from all charges.

"This is quite a reaffirmation for us that we never did anything wrong," said Dean Mouscher, clinical trials director at the Burzynski Research Institute, in Stafford, TX. "The issue for the FDA was one of control." Burzynski's antineoplaston therapy is a nontoxic alternative to chemotherapy, which-ironically, given the fact that Burzynski was on trial for violations surrounding its use-is now approved by the FDA for 71 Phase 2 clinical trials. Antineoplastons have been recognized by the National Cancer Institute and the FDA as safe and potentially effective against various types of cancer.

Rita Star of the Burzynski Patient Association reported that the three prosecutors attempted to paint Burzynski as a greedy man, who put very little money into research, and who violated the rules of science by "not being a team player."

Chief prosecutor Mike Clark said repeatedly that Burzynski "just didn't follow the rules" by defiantly introducing an unapproved cancer drug into interstate commerce. Prosecutor George Tallichet said that Burzynski had not conformed to the standards of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and urged jurors to enforce the law. He tried to depict Burzynski as a con man who preys on, profits from, and hides behind his patients.

The prosecution called as witnesses 19 relatives of Burzynski patients who have died, but none of them had anything bad to say about him. Instead, they insisted that the defendant had given them complete and honest information, and that he operates a high-quality, health care facility. Some of Burzynski's patients and their relatives have launched a crusade to raise money for his defense and to push the FDA and Congress into changing the law. Many of them rallied at the courthouse in his support.

A Lack of Victims

If the government does decide to retry this landmark case, Dr. Burzynski could still get life imprisonment on the interstate shipment charges. The mail fraud charges Lake threw out cannot be appealed.

Jury foreman John Coan, one of the six jurors who voted for acquittal from the start of the deliberations, said, "I think this was a government witch hunt. I couldn't find any victims."

Burzynski's patients collected 150,000 signatures on petitions protesting the trial. Four Congressional hearings have been held about FDA misconduct in the Burzynski case.

Despite years of unrelenting attack by the FDA, the efficacy of Burzynski's therapy has yet to be determined. The FDA has repeatedly raided Burzynski's clinic, seizing documents that are never returned and preventing any type of scientific evaluation of efficacy. In fact, while the FDA enforcement division has worked to stop Burzynski, the FDA drug evaluation division has expanded his authority to conduct clinical trials on terminally ill cancer patients.

Controversy Brings Fame

If the FDA enforcement division's objective is to stop cancer patients from going to Burzynski, their actions have had the opposite effect. The many FDA attacks against Burzynski have made him a national celebrity. His once obscure clinic is constantly receiving calls from prospective patients, and he has appeared on numerous TV shows, including "CBS Evening News," "CBS Morning News," "48 Hours," "20/20" and on CNN. "Hard Copy" and other tabloid shows have covered the trial, and there has been intense coverage in The New York Times.

The news reports have resulted in increasing numbers of cancer patients traveling to Houston to see him. The FDA does not dispute the National Cancer Institute Review showing cures of several brain tumor patients.

Even taxpayers who favor FDA regulation are now questioning why the government would spend millions of dollars trying to stop a cancer therapy from being sold and, in the process, create a public relations campaign that's turned it into a multimillion-dollar enterprise.

The ability of companies to benefit from being attacked by the FDA is not new. The Life Extension Foundation is ten times larger than it was when the FDA first attacked it in 1987, which is largely the result largely of free publicity generated as a result of the FDA's continuous attacks.

Future FDA Activities: A Modest Proposal

Based upon the three grand juries that were impaneled in the ongoing prosecution of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, plus the use of the FBI, the Attorney General's office, the U.S. Attorneys Office, the National Cancer Institute and the FDA over the past 15 years, it can be estimated that at least $8 million have been spent in the attempt to destroy Burzynski.

The government could pay for the costs of 50 astrocytoma (grade 4) patients who volunteer to use Burzynski's experimental antineoplaston treatment in lieu of conventional therapy. These patients will ordinarily not live more than 12 months, and conventional therapy has been proven useless in treating this form of brain cancer. Burzynski has reported particularly good success with this type of cancer.

The government could pay for the treatment as long as these 50 test subjects lived. If most of the patients were alive after a year, a breakthrough cancer treatment could be announced. If most of the patients are dead within 12 months, then this report would appear in Life Extension magazine and every other reputable alternative medicine publication.

What we have now is a media circus. Patients who were successfully treated by Burzynski are appearing on TV, and convincing other cancer patients to stampede to Houston. The FDA demands that Burzynski take patients for clinical trials who have already failed conventional therapies, and Burzynski insists that his therapy will not work on these types of patients. So after 15 years and about $8 million in tax dollars, we still don't have definitive evidence on the value of Burzynski's antineoplaston therapy. For terminally ill cancer patients and their families, the Burzynski fiasco could be considered a government-induced disaster.

LEF Magazine June 1997

24 posted on 01/06/2002 10:17:15 PM PST by Sandy
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To: MSSC6644
25 posted on 01/06/2002 10:19:13 PM PST by Rowdee
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To: Rowdee
Thanks Rowdee, I see you've already paged CaL.

May his soul rest in peace.

26 posted on 01/06/2002 10:25:44 PM PST by Askel5
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To: HiTech RedNeck
I think the situation of "controversial" drugs like this (or for that matter most so called "recreational" drugs and treatments that are now banned) would be better handled to put them in a special category where they are not banned any more, BUT any prescriber has to have special insurance to cover enhanced liability, and clearly understandable warnings about known and suspected dangers and alternatives have to first be given and clearly agreed by the patient or his legal guardian.

That's an excellent suggestion. The main thing that seems to hold up the FDA's approval of new treatment drugs is the issue of liability. A system similar to the one you suggest would enable patients the freedom to choose and to take risks, while at the same time holding the drug-makers responsible.

(Of course, I would omit the "recreational drugs" part--but that's an entirely different issue.)

27 posted on 01/06/2002 10:27:03 PM PST by Gelato
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To: Rowdee
Cancer Quack Indicted by Federal Grand Jury
28 posted on 01/06/2002 10:30:19 PM PST by Roscoe
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To: rdf
I remember seeing the family on national TV during the election. They seem like very good people. My heart goes out to them for their terrible loss.
29 posted on 01/06/2002 10:37:14 PM PST by Gelato
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To: Rowdee
Years ago, the majority of little children with leukemia died despite very toxic regiments. Now, thanks to the tireless, painful efforts of pediatric oncologists, the survival rate is good, resulting in healthy children. Unfortunately, in the process of killing the malignant cells, normal cells are affected and after 20 to 40 yrs, new malignancies may develop. New drugs are evaluated every day.

The FDA has a very difficult job to do balancing proven, effective drugs against the patient's urgency. They have relaxed many stringent rules in the face of AIDS drugs.

No doubt alternative medicine has value but let's hold it up to the light of research and do double-blind studies before we cause unnecessary pain, damage and expense. The reason conventional drugs are so expensive in the U.S. is because of all the R and D. Anybody can cut up some organic roots and make a claim but it takes painstaking work to decifer the truth about each drug and its numerous effects, side-effects, routes of metabolism, etc. This has become a sacred cow to many Americans. Too bad. They stand in the way of clear evidence instead of hearsay arguments.

30 posted on 01/06/2002 10:46:12 PM PST by Kay
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To: Kay
The FDA, as with any and every fedgov bureaucracy, is intent upon retaining and enhancing its powers! That is the first priority. If the FDA really gave a damn about cancer patients....why spend and encourage to be spent , what was the figure, something like $8 million to try to get this doctor.....and some of the trials were going on even as he was approved to run clinical tests!

Yep...I know all about those new drugs and how well the FDA works....NOT. I know of an orthopedic surgeon who with others had come up with something for arthritis--course they'd have been in the poor house dancing to the FDA's fiddle. Ditto the doctor and scientist I knew who came up with a treatment for lip blisters...alas, there aren't enough patients in the world who suffer with this crap to warrant the big $$$$$ spending declared necessary by the FDA, though most of what it was all about was approved for use in domestic pets.

Kay, its my firm belief and conviction that there is a segment of the medical/pharmacological fields that find it to their advantage to not find a cure for cancer! Multi-billion dollar or is that trillion dollar industries!

When a patient has been given 14 days to live, after having gone through surgical procedures and then radiation/chemo which only caused additional cancerous growths to appear, what chance is there that anything will turn around.

I can tell you, I 'lived' with my best friend's death due to cancer and the marvelous wonderful treatments she got.....touch the skin and it looked like someone beat the hell out of her; no appetite, nauseated, dry heaves, diarrhea, loss of bladder control. I saw her go from an out-going person, who was a talented artist, who put on classes around town and added on to her home so she could hold classes there to someone who merely wanted to die to get it over with.

When a doctor says you got a year to live regardless of what we do, why do we have to stand on rules and regulations? Why would we worry that a person might take a drug that wasn't quite pure enough, or one that might make them a little high? This is as insane as telling my 89 year old Dad, who has drank coffee since he was weaned from his Mother's breast, to quit drinking coffee cause its bad for him.....who gives a damn at this point in his life--like he's got to worry about dying!

31 posted on 01/06/2002 11:18:34 PM PST by Rowdee
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To: Roscoe
I know what the FDA has tried to do....but he is still practicing medicine, is he not?
32 posted on 01/06/2002 11:20:59 PM PST by Rowdee
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To: HiTech RedNeck
You got it. The choices should be up to the parties involved. Without nanny government telling people what to do and what not to do, people do quite well looking out for their own best interest and that of their loved ones.

Also, without nanny government abusing business on one hand and catering to other businesses on the other hand the insurance companies would have to meet the demands of the market -- people looking out for themselves and their loved ones would demand their heads on a platter if an insurance company initiated force, fraud or coercion against their customers. For insurance companies it's the equivalent of shooting oneself in both feet.

33 posted on 01/06/2002 11:21:00 PM PST by Zon
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To: Sandy

These letters contained lies and distortions so outrageous that on October 23, 1985 Judge McDonald issued a Cease and Desist order, commanding the FDA to stop issuing false and misleading information about Dr. Burzynski.

Fire the FDA agents that defrauded Dr. Burzynski. Slapping them on the wrist and scolding them sends the message throughout government that, while such behavior is wrong, other politicians and bureaucrats --m parasitical elites --  can get way with doing similar and often worse. In short, that is how politicians and bureaucrats earned the label, "parasitical elite".

And it surely would have put a quick-stop to the abuse that followed. 

Theater of the absurd.

Even taxpayers who favor FDA regulation are now questioning why the government would spend millions of dollars trying to stop a cancer therapy from being sold and, in the process, create a public relations campaign that's turned it into a multimillion-dollar enterprise.

The ability of companies to benefit from being attacked by the FDA is not new. The Life Extension Foundation is ten times larger than it was when the FDA first attacked it in 1987, which is largely the result largely of free publicity generated as a result of the FDA's continuous attacks.

34 posted on 01/06/2002 11:41:52 PM PST by Zon
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To: Rowdee
As though no other doctor has EVER earned a buck from all these years of pretending to actually be looking for cures for cancer?

Speaking as a physician, I accuse you of scurrilous conspiracy mongering of the lowest sort. I don't dismiss alternative treatments out of hand, and I don't know enough about the facts of this case to make an informed judgment, but I do know that I have never once met a physician who would "pretend" to look for a cure for cancer with no intention of finding one.

I do no research to speak of myself, but many of my colleagues have devoted their lives to finding cures for cancer and other deadly diseases. There is not one of them who would conceal a proven life-saving treatment.

Especially ridiculous is the popular notion that the AMA suppresses medical discoveries for the financial benefit of its members. Only half or less of us belong to the AMA anyway, and none of us would obey an order from them to treat any patient with anything less than our best available science.

This kind of conspiracy mongering is usually a distraction put forth by greedy quacks who are looting the pockets of desperate patients with terminal illnesses. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for repeating it.


35 posted on 01/06/2002 11:43:44 PM PST by ccmay
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To: Gelato
Frankly, I favor abolishing the FDA, and pulling the AMA's teeth to boot. There is quite a "cancer industry," and I have heard it said that there are more people making a living off cancer than there are people with the disease.

As far as I am concerned, there are many other effective treatments out there for cancer--and other diseases--beyond what the FDA and AMA have approved. As far as I am concerned, I have the right to whatever treatment I am willing to undergo and pay for. The AMA and FDA have killed quite a lot of people by keeping them away from treatments that might have worked.

And, if there were truly a free market in medicine, whether alternative or orthodox, we would probably be able to get insurance that paid for unorthodox treatments because there would be quite a demand for it.

I'd certainly rather have unorthodox treatment than the cut-drug-and-burn that the AMA and FDA have approved. Cancer runs rampant through both sides of my family, and I checked out alternative medicine after watching an uncle get mutilated and burned after being discovered to have laryngeal cancer. I figured there had to be a better way than what he went through.

It's about FREEDOM, folks. Perhaps to you, my choice of treatment is "quackery," but it's my body and my right. Thomas Navarro might be alive and healthy today if the FDA and/or AMA had not meddled.

36 posted on 01/06/2002 11:55:53 PM PST by pbmaltzman
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To: ccmay
I know a man that has two PhDs in physics. He worked at Dupont for twelve years and was a highly respected senior research chemist. Typically only 20% of career scientist at Dupont develop a product that goes to market. While this man in just twelve years had three products that he took all the way to market and they're still being used today. I don't think I've ever met a man with near as high integrity, honesty and moral fortitude than him.

In 1968 a team of scientists were developing a very promising cure for cancerous tumors. It basically consisted of injecting less-than-hair-width fibers near the tumor. They would grow around the tumor and slow releasing drugs would emaciate the tumor.

That project was squashed by the FDA. Why? The bottom line is that a few FDA agents wanted to fill up their success-case file drawers to justify their jobs -- that's all it was. That was thirty three year ago. How many hundreds, perhaps thousands or tens-of-thousands of people have needlessly suffered and died prematurely because of a few criminal FDA agents sought to fill their file drawers?

37 posted on 01/07/2002 12:05:41 AM PST by Zon
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To: Zon
Sorry, I don't believe it. The FDA is not perfect but they are not a criminal agency. Give me a break. You're not a perfect person and I hope that people don't go around exaggerating your inadequacies as if you have no reason to live. You are very naive if you think we should have a medical free-for-all.
38 posted on 01/07/2002 6:45:41 AM PST by Kay
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To: Kay
It's really a tough situation. On the one hand, many patients desire more freedom in choosing their medical treatments, and on the other hand, the options they get need to be as safe as possible.

It's true that "nobody's perfect," and we can't expect the FDA to be. But that very fact is reason enough to allow alternatives to treatments that the FDA has looked at and approved. The FDA's not perfect. This means that not everything it approves is safe, and that there's no way it could have looked into all the possible treatments for every disease.

Maybe something along the lines of HiTech RedNeck's suggestion in reply #19 (without the "recreational drugs" part) would be a viable solution.

39 posted on 01/07/2002 8:03:36 AM PST by Gelato
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To: ccmay
Sorry you feel I was discussing you or your immediate circle of medical friends. So, I'll say I'm sorry upfront here because I'm quite sure you will take further offense by what I'm writing in this post.

But please, let's don't put on the 'holier than thou' mantle. We all know physicians take an oath to do no harm; their objective is honorable-- it's to save lives, correct? Therefore, we can state categotically that "no physician would EVER intentionally do any harm to a patient', right? Was that a 'no' that I heard...what's can't agree with the statement because you don't know them all or the statement is inaccurate because you've heard of a guy, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who goes by the nickname of Dr. Death?

Rather than getting into the "I accuse you of ________" and my retorting about your thin-skin or shoes fitting and wearing them, yada yada yada, would you mind having a reasonable discussion on this, or any other case? For instance, Doctor...if a patient is given a sentence of death--in this case, apparently, it was a foregone conclusion that the 'treatment of the medical profession's choice' would cause additional tumors in the brain, does it really make any difference what treatment he/she seeks or is given (other than injecting death)? Or even in other cases, where a patient wants to smoke marijuana? Who gives a damn at this point? The person is dying, for crying out loud.

What I see, and many others do as well, is that a bunch of special interests trying to exert total control to maintain their little fiefdoms. It is something akin to a guy struggling across the bloody desert; finally making it to an oasis-- where there's water to wet his dry, cracked lips and to quench his parched dry throat; he struggles mightily with the last ounce of his being to make it to the edge of the pool while begging for something moist to wet his lips and parched throat. Just as he gets there and manages to flop his hand over the edge of the pool, an EPA agent stomps his boot down on the guy's wrist and says, 'Sorry, sir...not until we've done a complete water purity analysis test'.

Now this EPA bureaucratic agent happens to be one of the really good he gently, carefully drags the guy over to the over to the shade of a palm tree and props the man up.....and then proceeds to watch him die while he patiently waits for FEDEX to deliver the results of the water purity test!

The insistence that this child be put through procedures that the parents had studied and rejected as too damaging for him (they were concerned with quality of life issues for little Thomas, too)--loss of vision, brain damage, normal growth rates are the three things I recall them talking about before--and then having met the FDA's guideline that when he's 14 days' from dying, it's ok to try something else. And for the bastards to use the words "compassionate use or authorization'! Are you the least bit offended by this? Isn't there something wrong with this picture?

Well, of course, there is. But I don't see a group of doctors or lawyers or much of anyone else demanding action by the government representatives we elect to put a halt to this bullspit!

And one other thing, Doc....if your shorts get twisted in a wad over that, you'd be strangling yourself if you heard what many patients say about doctors after they leave their offices--about how rude, how abrupt, how they don't let you ask questions, and heaven forbid how doctors allow their staff to overbook doctor's time while the patient can just sit there and rot as their time means nothing; that when finally taken back to the 'room', they get to experience even more of the wasting their time waiting for Doc who is so more important!

40 posted on 01/07/2002 9:49:55 AM PST by Rowdee
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