Major fail by medical regulators: Dr. Rashid Buttar given slap on the wrist

21 Apr

Beware, North Carolina. Beware. Dr. Rashid Buttar is free to practice medicine.

So goes the title of a blog post by Orac at Respectful Insolence.

Background, Dr. Rashid Buttar is an alternative medical practitioner who has, amongst other things, “therapies” to treat autism. He has been a major proponent of chelation. He is also notorious for his urine injections. Yes, urine.

Dr. Buttar was investigated by his state’s medical examiners. Again, from Orac: Rashid Buttar’s going down: The North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners finally acts

From a news report at that time:

The panel also found that Buttar exploited patients by charging exorbitant fees for unproven therapies that didn’t work. The panel recommended that his license be suspended indefinitely, but that the suspension be immediately stayed. Until the board decides, Buttar may practice without restrictions.

from a recent news story:

In that Michigan case, Buttar treated the child without having first performed an exam, a violation of the state’s medical practice act.

Did he “go down”? No. Dr. Buttar was able to benefit from laws he, himself, pushed through his State’s legislature:

Dr. Rashid Buttar, whose alternative medical practice in Huntersville has been under scrutiny by the N.C. Medical Board for a decade, has accepted a reprimand from the licensing agency.

But Buttar, who was facing potential restrictions to his license, instead can continue offering unconventional treatments as long as he asks patients to sign a form acknowledging his practice is outside the mainstream.

“This was a witch hunt from the beginning,” said Buttar, 44, whose practice attracts patients from 42 states and 37 countries. “They were trying to discredit me … but I didn’t do anything wrong.”

The consent order, signed Friday, marks the end of a battle that Buttar had vowed to take to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said he has spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” defending himself against the board’s allegations that he exploited patients by charging exorbitant fees for unproven therapies that didn’t work and by arbitrarily ordering expensive tests to make more money.

In recent years, Buttar led a successful effort by the N.C. Integrative Medical Society to get legislators to change state law to make it friendlier to practitioners of alternative medicine.

Again, quoting Orac:

But back to why Dr. Buttar might have agreed to this consent decree. The answer becomes obvious if you peruse the actual consent order. All it does is to reprimand Buttar and order him (1) to provide informed consent to his patients dictated by the board; (2) to obey all laws, as well as rules and regulations governing the practice of medicine; (3) notify the board if he changes his address; and (4) meet with the board periodically. In other words, Buttar got a slap on the wrist.

“A slap on the wrist”.

Wow.

The top treatment listed on Dr. Buttar’s website is IV treatements which, as we know, include chelation. These have been “pioneered by Dr. Buttar” and the fact that the vast majority of the medical establishment rejects his ideas is a selling point:

However, the use of these highly effective treatments, suspiciously unpopular among traditional medicine regulators, is only determined by the medical providers in the clinic (ie, the Doctors, Nurse Practioners or PA’s).

Yes, your young child could sit with 7 other people in a room and stare at pictures of Pooh Bear (I wonder about the copyright issue on that?) while having an IV needle inserted to deliver “suspiciously unpopular” treatments. Here is the picture of his IV suite:

The main change between before the consent agreement and now is that all you have to do is sign a paper noting that you accept the fact that you accept the fact that these treatments have not been proven effective…

Do you think this “consent order” is anything more than a slap on the wrist? Here is a quote from it:

I understand and have been advised that the treatments and therapies that are to be provided by Dr. Buttar have not been proven effective by traditional research studies or conventional clinical trials and may not have been approved by the FDA for my diagnosis. Dr. Buttar makes no specific claims or representations that the treatments and therapies that he will be providing will be effective or cure the condition or diagnosis that I have.

Take a look at Dr. Buttar’s website (or the quote above) again.

However, the use of these highly effective treatments…

Yes, he’s still claiming that his treatments are “highly effective”, even though they “have not been proven effective by traditional research studies…”

Dr. Buttar was a part of the team involved with Desiree Jennings, the Redskins spokesperson who claimed the flu shot caused dystonia.

Dr. Buttar still has his supporters. From a recent story on this case:

Many of Buttar’s patients came to his defense in 2008. Among them was Elrene Thomas of Lexington. When contacted Tuesday, she was pleased to hear that Buttar can continue to practice. A retired nurse, she went to him for treatment seven years ago when she learned her breast cancer had spread to her spine. Instead of going through chemotherapy and radiation again, she tried IV infusions five days a week for months and had hyperbaric oxygen therapy twice a day for several weeks. She paid Buttar’s center $100,000 and said it was worth it.

“I really feel like he saved my life,” said Thomas, 77. “I’m not healthy in that I have stage 4 (cancer), but I’m surviving and I’m doing all these things that he taught me to do. I believe in his treatment.”

Yes, this is one of his success stories.

What do you call therapies a doctor makes up on his own, untested by “traditional” means? I would call that experimental. I think that is being generous.

Medical regulation exists for a reason. Slapping doctors on the wrist is not the reason.

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17 Responses to “Major fail by medical regulators: Dr. Rashid Buttar given slap on the wrist”

  1. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. April 25, 2010 at 22:54 #

    Those on that regulatory board should be give injections of their own piss, and Buttar should be given an injection of the piss of a thousand fuckin’ elephants… all of them suffering from the clap!

  2. Elucidatus April 29, 2010 at 18:59 #

    Now I rarely comment on LBRB but I have to say that I sincerely thought Dr. Buttar was going down. I have been a supporter of Dr. Buttar for many years because I have seen his therapy work for a handful of children (not all). However, I have also been skeptical as to why some of his therapies work for some and not for others. I know you all dislike Dr. Buttar but wouldn’t you like to know why his therapies seem to work? Why do people from many countries continue to be treated by him? Why do (some)children get better under his protocol when other mainstream protocols fail? I am just throwing out questions. Anyways, I enjoy reading LBRB.

    Thanks.

    • chamara loveless August 27, 2012 at 18:11 #

      the reason therapies work on some children and not on others is because no two children’s autism is the same, or has the same cause. his protocols work to take mercury from the body, and if a child has a gene mutation that doesn’t allow them to excrete mercury, the mercury in vaccines, the mother, the environment, ect. can make them autistic. my son is autistic and his mercury is through the roof, i’ve met other autistic children that don’t have mercury issues, it could be aluminum, or genetics (i.e. fragile x) or any number of other things, that’s why they call it the autism spectrum, and why one child will recover with one treatment and another child will show no improvement, and yet another child show some improvement, but doesn’t fully recover. that’s the hell of autism, there’s no one answer.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 27, 2012 at 18:49 #

        chamara loveless,

        I’ve been reading variations of this for years. The idea that autistics are “poor excretors” of mercury has never been shown to be true. Thimerosal in vaccines does not increase the risk of autism. 7 years ago we were told that if one chelates a child for 2 years the parents would “get them back”. Still waiting for the evidence of that.

        If your child’s “mercury is through the roof”, take him/her to a medical toxicologist right away. (http://www.acmt.net/). These are people trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating heavy metal intoxication. Your child deserves no less than the best.

        Please do me a favor and leave the “hell of autism” type comments for other sites. Seriously, dehumanizing my child is not appreciated.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 27, 2012 at 18:55 #

        I apologize for how blunt that last statement may seem, but referring to my child as being in some sort of “hell” is pretty strong language. I don’t see how that helps my kid at all.

  3. Sullivan April 29, 2010 at 19:44 #

    Elucidatus,

    I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

    I don’t dislike Dr. Buttar. I’ve never met him.

    I am no fan of his work. Injecting urine seems ill founded to me. HBOT is really untested and unproven. Chelation is based on an incorrect model of autism causation and, frankly, from communicating with real toxicologists I have serious doubts as to the methodology most “alternative” doctors use.

    Why do some kids do better? Open question. Some kids do better without treatments such as Dr. Buttar uses. The question we are left with then–do the treatments help, hurt or do nothing?

  4. boujajane June 10, 2010 at 03:36 #

    I think we have lumped autism and mercury toxicity into one category because they produce such similar symptoms but I think they are two different things. Another thing to consider is that there is a good chance that what we consider autism is caused by more than one thing. If this is the case it might explain why Dr. Buttar is having success with some and not others. Maybe his protocol will only be effective for the ones with mercury induced autism. I’ve noticed a lot of slander towards him but if he was truly not helping people I guarantee you he would not be where he is today. Do I think he can help everyone? No. Is he a miracle worker? No. Are there others who can help too? Probably. But he has helped many people. The part that really bugs me about those who have such negative things to say is that they take no PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for their state of wellness and vitality. People spend most of their lives making poor decisions related to health and wellness and then get pissed when doctors can’t fix them. I also can’t figure out why he is catching such heat when conventional doctors aren’t anymore successful.
    I think we can conclude that Dr. Buttar is not the cure-all but is effective with certain individuals. Listen to your intuition and make informed decisions. That is all one can do. Oh, and pray.

    David, I’m curious what your thoughts are on the ingredients of vaccines? If injecting urine is a problem for you I’m guessing that you feel equally if not more repulsed by injecting aborted fetal tissue, formaldehyde, aluminum, thimerosal, chick kidney cells, mouse serum protein, monkey kidney tissue, etc?

    Peace, Love, and Happiness

  5. Chris June 10, 2010 at 04:17 #

    What evidence do you have that mercury and aluminum produce the same symptoms? And in what levels? How do you account for the amount of aluminum that is naturally occurring in your food because the plants are grown in soil which contains aluminum?

    What evidence do you have that Buttar has helped anyone but himself?

    Blaming the patient with a statement like “The part that really bugs me about those who have such negative things to say is that they take no PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for their state of wellness and vitality.” Are you saying that children with autism and people with cancer have done so because of their lifestyle, and you get to judge how good or bad their decisions are?

    How do you feel about Christine Maggiore’s decision to go the whole wellness bit, and skip any and all real medications for her HIV infections? She thought she was making informed decisions, and encouraged others to follow. To bad it caused her and her daughter to die very young.

    Your silly uninformed “oh, noes… look what is in the vaccines!” gambit is nothing compared to injecting an unrefined waste product into a child. For a full and understandable discussion of vaccine ingredients please download and listen to http://www.quackcast.com/spodcasts/files/podcast_46.mp3 . It is quite entertaining.

  6. Tiffany June 27, 2010 at 03:18 #

    How many of you have either been through this treatment or known someone to go through it? As the mother of a patient I can say think as you wish but it works. My child has made so much progress in just a couple of months that it seems like a miracle. It is easy to say it doesn’t work, it is wrong or to even condemn it however you don’t really have a leg to stand on until you go through it. My child is very high functioning to the point that you can’t really tell he even has Autism and the treatment is working well for us. I will go through this treatment myself and I do not have Autism. So say what you wish and bash Dr. Buttar all that you want, he is helping my child in so many ways especially nutrition. Thanks Dr. Buttar…we love you!

  7. Chris June 27, 2010 at 03:28 #

    Which particular treatment? The chelation or the urine?

    How can you tell the improvement was not by developing? Or as a way to make the treatments stop?

  8. Kev June 27, 2010 at 11:09 #

    Tiffany, do you consider it the injections of his own piss into his leg that worked wonders for your child?

    Oh and here’s the words of his own patients:

    “All the information about Dr. Buttar is still on this site but I no longer am one of his patients and I do not recommend him to any one for any reason. If you go to him for treatment BEWARE, BEWARE and read Roger Mason’s books first and go to QuackWatch.org first!”

    – Cajun Cowboy

    “While Dr. Buttar….is also one of those practitioners who receives a lot of complaints. In my opinion, Dr. Buttar’s latest chelation protocol is too invasive and risky. His rates are obscene, too.”

    (Autism-Mercury Yahoo Group)

  9. Joseph June 28, 2010 at 22:50 #

    It is easy to say it doesn’t work, it is wrong or to even condemn it however you don’t really have a leg to stand on until you go through it.

    Well, no. To a truly scientifically-minded person, “going through it” is not enough. It doesn’t rule out coincidence, fooling oneself, etc.

  10. Xyzzy October 14, 2010 at 08:40 #

    Tiffany (and parents like her): Autistic kids develop naturally *without* stuff like chelation, very often in sudden surges as described. That’s why there’s a lot of autistics online that developed with age sans chelation regardless of what they were like as toddlers. For what it’s worth, I type & speak now, but was a ‘classic’ or ‘Kanner’ type as a little girl.

    As a side note, you didn’t say *what* the “improvement” has been in your kid. I mention that because a lot of people don’t realize that we’re still autistic even if we’re hiding signs of our autistic mind, or that sometimes we’ll try to suppress outward signs because we think it will make someone stop causing us discomfort/pain. It doesn’t mean we’re any less autistic.

  11. Joseph Michael Quinn February 15, 2013 at 18:10 #

    Dr. Buttar is actually a brilliant pioneer. I am grateful that he and others like him continue to explore ways to help me and others like me that are offered little hope from mainstream medical doctors. In a world where horse urine has been used for many years and well meaning medical doctors base their decisions on misleading evidence designed by drug companies who control the FDA, I know that I have to take a real interest in my treatment to get well. A good friend reminded me that practicing medicine is not a science, and that practicing medicine is an art based on science this becomes more and more difficulty with powerful drug companies creating a lot of evidence that leads doctors to believe that drugs are the answer.
    Because there has been no study proving that a treatment works, does not indicate that it doesn’t work. All through the history of the human race there have been various cures that worked without a double blind study.

    Before condemning this man, I would study his book, “Nine steps to keep the doctor away”. His philosophy of removing toxins and providing the essentials to help the body heal itself are the basis for my recovery from brain cancer. Whole person healing is a concept that works. Blessings to all.

    • DT35 February 15, 2013 at 18:32 #

      If injecting urine cured your brain cancer, you ought to submit detailed records of your diagnostic/staging work-up, the treatment protocol followed, sequential imaging studies showing the resolution of your tumor(s) and all relevant lab and pathology reports, for publication in a high-impact oncology journal as a case report. You owe it to other brain cancer patients, so their disease can also be cured. Why hasn’t Dr. Buttar already done this?

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) February 15, 2013 at 21:39 #

      Because there has been no study proving that a treatment works, does not indicate that it doesn’t work. All through the history of the human race there have been various cures that worked without a double blind study.

      Rashid Buttar was known for promoting the idea that trans-dermal DMPS would act as a chelator and would cure autistic children. There wasn’t a study at the time showing it doesn’t work, and we had all sorts of anecdotes about how miraculous it was. Then they tested it and found that the body doesn’t absorb the DMPS, it doesn’t chelate and, thus, was doing nothing.

      I wouldn’t let the man near any loved one of mine. You couldn’t pay me enough.

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  1. The Inaccuracies of Stop Mandatory Vaccination’s Claims: Part 2 – On The Fence About Vaccines - October 26, 2016

    […] was found that he “exploited patients by charging exorbitant fees for unproven therapies that didn’t […]

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