Parents in lawsuit over Thoughtful House treatement

14 Nov

Father takes ex-wife to court over son’s autism treatment is the title of a recent story on Statesman.com. The subtitle: Mother says intravenous treatment at Thoughtful House is unproven and too dangerous..

Yes, it’s about chelation. The kid has been undergoing chelation (suppository), but the father wants to do IV chelation. From the Statesman:

Mario Martinez wants his wife’s consent to let their 7-year-old son, William, undergo intravenous chelation — the use of chemicals to remove metals, such as lead and mercury, from the body. Martinez, 39, said he thinks his son is making steady progress at the Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin by undergoing a less invasive form of chelation and wants the boy to start IV chelation.

The parents are divorced, with the father having primary care of the child. However, Thoughtful House requires both parents to consent to IV chelation.

The mother states that the suppository chelation has been ongoing for two years (yes, years) without progress, but with adverse side effects:

Juli Martinez said in an interview that her son has been receiving chelation in suppository form for two years, which she claims has made him ill. She said chelation hasn’t helped his autism but being in a regular classroom has.

The father has taken the mother to court to get the approval for the IV chelation.

Chelation is the process of removing metals from the body through drugs. Alternative medical practitioners (such as Thoughftul House) use chelation on the assumption that “heavy metal toxicity” is a factor in autism.

It isn’t. This is based on an incredibly bad hyptohesis (Autism is a “novel” form of mercury poisoning), and idea that actual medical toxicologists reject.

Chelation therapy for real heavy metal toxicity is not a prolonged process. Two years is very long. Chelation by suppository is a relatively inexpensive therapy. By contrast, IV chelation at thoughtful house involves $400 every two weeks in testing:

While there may not be scientific proof that chelation helps autism, anecdotal evidence exists, Mario Martinez said. He is willing to spend an extra $400 every two weeks on tests to make sure the twice-monthly IVs are safe, he said.

The father says that the IV chelation is great:

Mario Martinez, who has had primary custody of the couple’s two children since their 2007 divorce, disputes that chelation has made William ill and said that the boy had an IV chelation test that showed he easily tolerated it. He said it brought “immediate, dramatic results,” in which his learning and behavior improved.

I wonder what an “IV Chelation test” is? Did they do a round of IV chelation, without the mother’s consent? What about their rules that the mother has to approve?

Frankly, the mother should be the one taking the father to court.

The court proceeding has been put off until Dr. Jepson of Thoughful House can appear or give a deposition.

The mother is representing herself. Frankly, a medical toxicologist should step in to offer her some support to end this travesty.

35 Responses to “Parents in lawsuit over Thoughtful House treatement”

  1. sharon November 14, 2009 at 11:42 #

    Unbelievable! I can’t believe this man thinks he has a hope in hell of proving in court that he has the right to hurt his son with this dangerous intervention when it offers no benefit to the child. Like you I hope the mum gets all the help she can from proper doctors to defend herself and especially her son. Good on her for standing up for the child. I only hope her stand will focus some attention on the dodgy practices in Wakefield’s Texan quack clinic.

  2. Anthony's Dad (A Proud Father) November 14, 2009 at 14:00 #

    This is awesome. Finally, turning over the rock in Austin. They have definitely been needing a bit more “exposure”.

  3. storkdok November 14, 2009 at 14:31 #

    I hope the mother can find a good lawyer to represent her and her son, otherwise the father and his cadre may win just because of no defense being submitted by someone who knows the courtroom proceedings. A lawyer would be able to put together a defense team of (real) experts.

    Got to wonder who is bankrolling this father. Is Jepson going to testify for free?

    This could be a great case to expose the quackery at Thoughtful House. I hope the mother can hang on and stick to it.

  4. Joseph November 14, 2009 at 15:07 #

    Isn’t it interesting that the dad says chelation has resulted in great improvements in the child’s behavior, while the mom says it hasn’t but instead has made the kid ill?

    Is one of them lying? Probably not. They each have their own preconceptions, biases and specific observations they have chosen to focus on. Human assessments and observations are very subjective and imperfect.

  5. FreeSpeaker November 14, 2009 at 15:22 #

    Remember, this is in Texas, where some judge gave this father custody? I would not be surprised it the mother loses her rights and is barred from seeing the kid.

  6. Dennis November 14, 2009 at 17:11 #

    If you would like to help Juli’s battle against this dangerous experimentation being performed on her son, please join our Facebook group
    “All for Wm. O. R. Martinez”

    Thanks,

    Dennis

  7. Kev November 14, 2009 at 17:34 #

    Link for William support group is here. Please share.

  8. Visitor November 14, 2009 at 19:24 #

    I wonder how many colonoscopies they’ve performed on this poor kid. The father sounds like he has more money than sense, so this is an ideal family for Thoughtful House.

  9. David N. Brown November 15, 2009 at 03:07 #

    Off-topic, but I’ve been doing a little digging on Wakefield’s “monkey study” that anti-vaxers have been bragging about: Apparently, what the journal has allowed online is a “corrected proof”, not a “peer reviewed” paper ready for publication. So, while the journal was grossly negligent in doing anything with a Wakefield paper except destroying before reading, they haven’t yet formally agreed to publish it.
    So, for readers with scientific/medical backgrounds, there is still a way to force the editors of the magazine to do the right thing: If you have a subscription to Neurotoxicology or any other magazine in the Elsesvier line, contact the editors and tell them you will cancel your subscription(s) if Neurotoxicology does not retract support for Wakefield and delete the proof from their site.

  10. Dennis November 15, 2009 at 07:09 #

    Thanks to all who have joined the FB group or visited the new website (www.no2chelation.org) so far. Your support and the references provided are a welcome breath of fresh air for Ms. Martinez who’s been fighting this situation alone for so long.

  11. Anthony's Dad (A Proud Father) November 15, 2009 at 16:28 #

    I have a little bit of experience in this area. More than 2 years ago, Thoughtful House to my knowledge did not require both parents consent for treatment (although we did not go the IV route.) Without my wife’s knowledge, I sent letters to Jepson, Krigsman, Wakefield, and the “nutritionist” specifying that as a legal guardian, I withdrew my permission for them to treat my son in any way, shape, or form. I received letters from (some) of them acknowledging the request, and their intent to comply. I do not know at all if that had anything to do with the current requirement of both parents’ consent, but I would like to think of it as “Anthony’s Rule”. Anything to help prevent this abuse.

  12. faithingod November 21, 2009 at 05:26 #

    I hope Thoughtful House sues Stephen Barrett. This whole site is an organized quackwatch site whose whole goal is to win money in lawsuits by calling people quacks. Barrett is an evil freak who has lost over 40 lawsuits. Please google TIM BOLEN and the truth will set you free.

    • Sullivan November 22, 2009 at 05:33 #

      OK, I’ve approved 2 of the 9 posts from this troll.

      one by “faithingod” since people responded to it, and it gives us a good idea of who is behind these spams
      the second is by slumlord17, so I can respond: this blog is not run by QuackWatch. I think Stephen Barret is far from shy about using his own name on his efforts and multiple websites. I doubt he would set up a website in the UK when he can avail himself of the much better freedom of speech protections in the US.

  13. ErUpstairs November 21, 2009 at 09:26 #

    “Anecdotal evidence”. The last resort of unquantified and unvalidated data.

  14. Visitor November 21, 2009 at 09:52 #

    Thoughtful House won’t be suing anyone. The defendants would be able to put Wakefield on the stand, and he can’t ever go in front of a judge without turning the lights out on the whole operation.

  15. David N. Brown November 21, 2009 at 10:07 #

    There’s a more fundamental reason Wakefield wouldn’t proceed with a lawsuit: He’s a bully, and bullies back down when stood up to. When he DID sue Brian Deer, he backed out as soon as deer mounted a serious defense.

  16. Anthony's Dad (A Proud Father) November 21, 2009 at 15:05 #

    A doctor who prescibed Valtrex for a 4-year-old autistic child with obviously no diagnosis of herpes is unlikely to sue anyone. He will keep as low a profile as possible (which he has done to this point – unlike his partners Wakefield and Krigsman.)

  17. FreeSpeaker November 21, 2009 at 17:00 #

    Dear Faith in G-D:

    Yes, you should have faith in Him, because Bolen will not help you. Bolen has such illustrious clients as Stuie “The Patient Groper” Suster, who wound up being criminally prosecuted with Bolen’s “help”, Dr. Kadile, who just finsihed 5-years or more of probation and supervised practice, and Hulda “Not-A-Real-Doctor Clark, who claimed she had the cure for all cancers and diseases, and died from multiple myeloma.

    With help like that, I can sell you a few bridges in New York.

  18. Joseph November 21, 2009 at 17:13 #

    This is what Tim Bolen said of Hulda Clark’s death:

    My friend Hulda Clark died from the complications of a spinal cord injury that plagued her for the final years of her life.

    (here)

    The guy obviously couldn’t stand the fact that she, the purveyor of the “cure for all cancers,” died of cancer. Now he’s apparently going around blogs lashing out at quackbusters.

  19. David N. Brown November 21, 2009 at 18:06 #

    Something else I will add. I believe in God, and I am open to the possibility of Bigfoot. But, Big Pharma’s supposed conspiracy is too much for me to take seriously.

  20. David N. Brown November 21, 2009 at 18:29 #

    Here’s what Barrett has to say about what Bolen says against him:
    http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/bolen.html

    And just to beat this petrified horse into dust:
    We accept funds for research from people with an interest in arriving at a specific outcome! No, wait, that’s Wakefield.

    We advertise questionable medical products on our blogs! No, wait, that’s Olmsted.

    We sue people who criticize our theories in respected scientific journals! No, wait, that’s the Geiers.

    We threaten frivolous litigation against private citizens who criticize us pro bono! No, wait, that’s HB (Hairy Biped) Hand***.

  21. Mike Stanton November 21, 2009 at 20:18 #

    Do we have an update on how Juli Martinez is doing in her case?

  22. Chris November 21, 2009 at 20:47 #

    Almost ten years ago I participated on the Healthfraud listerv. Tim Bolen harvested my email and started to send me spam. Apparently he likes to do that: Old spammin’ Tim.

    If I had known about the Spamcops I would have also complained. One of the Spamcops did Google Bolen and came up with the Quackwatch site.

  23. Dennis November 22, 2009 at 04:49 #

    @Mike, things have been shaking loose (for the better) in Austin. We expect to have an update from her early this week. Watch this space (or the website, or the FB group) as we’ll post as soon as we get it.

    Cheers,

    N2C

  24. David N. Brown November 22, 2009 at 06:28 #

    I copied and pasted most of them in a new doc… I think I missed one, which seemed to be strictly taunting about Barrett. I suggest leaving them up to show this person up. If not, I would be interested in receiving them for my own use. And, I suggest taking this as cause for “open season” on ALL biomed bullies… including the “Hairy Biped”.

  25. Dennis November 22, 2009 at 08:23 #

    A couple of new stories hit the press in Chicago this morning, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune. Looking through their archive, of interest are the exposés that their medical watchdog reporting team has run on a number of autism quacks such as the Geiers.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/chi-autism-treatments-nov22,0,7095563,full.story

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/chi-autism-treatments-sidebar-nov22,0,2165439.story

  26. David N. Brown November 22, 2009 at 10:26 #

    Two more things I discovered, contradicting the troll:
    Quackwatch only has 6 pages mentioning Wakefield. One of those pages (NOT written by Barrett) had this to say about ABA:
    ABA programs are based on well-established theories of learning and emphasize the value of scientific methods in evaluating treatment effects. Nevertheless, given the current state of the science, claims of “cure” and “recovery” from autism produced by ABA are misleading and irresponsible.

    Not much of a foundation on which to charge conspiracy!

  27. Visitor November 22, 2009 at 14:36 #

    Another feature about Thoughtful House which may be shaken from the trees by this episode is how much money the principals of this “nonprofit” are making. Any lawsuit can force out this data.

    We know that Andrew Wakefield makes $280,000 a year. The receptionist, Anissa Ryland, makes $100,000. Nice work if you can get it.

    But this big imponderable is Arthur Krigsman, who flies in from New York to perform ileocolonoscopies on the kids. The reported cost to parents is $4,500 a pop.

    So, if the colonoscopy takes about half an hour – plus time for other stuff – you get maybe a maximum of 10 in a long day.

    The Austin Surgical hospital will take a cut, and there will be ancillary costs for nurses etc, admin and all the rest.

    I reckon he might be pocketing $10,000 a day from these parents. But maybe someone else can work out the sums.

  28. Dennis November 23, 2009 at 06:40 #

    And here’s Part III of the Chicago Tribune’s series

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/chi-autism-science-nov23,0,6519404,full.story

  29. Sullivan November 23, 2009 at 08:13 #

    Dennis,

    thanks for the link. Just finished blogging it.

    I expect the usual hate filled smears to appear tomorrow in the usual places.

  30. russ June 6, 2019 at 20:21 #

    Does anyone know how the matter was resolved or ended?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Parents in lawsuit over Thoughtful House treatement « Left Brain/Right Brain -- Topsy.com - November 14, 2009

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by chokha, Sharon Fennell and Margaret Romao Toigo, Oral Chelation. Oral Chelation said: Parents in lawsuit over Thoughtful House treatement http://bit.ly/40WVUe […]

  2. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Parents in lawsuit over Thoughtful House treatement « Left Brain/Right Brain -- Topsy.com - November 14, 2009

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Holford Watch and Jaden Walker, Beatis. Beatis said: Court approval sought to overrule mum, so her autistic son can undergo chelation therapy at Thoughtful House http://tr.im/EWSu […]

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