Autism anti-vaccine doctor banned for a year

17 Oct

Dr Sarah Myhill is a 52 year old GP from Powys. She has been banned for a year whilst the GMC investigate claims she might pose a “risk to patients”.

The panel is satisfied that, based on the complaints made, and the concerns raised, there is sufficient information before it to indicate that there may be impairment of your fitness to practise and that such impairment may pose a real risk to patients”

Full story:

A GP has been suspended from practising medicine for a year by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Dr Sarah Myhill, 52, who has a private practice near Knighton, Powys had claimed she was a “pioneer” in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.

The GMC imposed an interim ban while it investigates her claims, but it said Dr Myhill might pose a “risk to patients”.

She was banned from prescribing drugs for 18 months by the GMC in April, and told to take down part of her website.

It came after a group of GPs based in Yorkshire claimed she had provided “inappropriate” treatment to a patient in June 2009.

Dr Myhill recommended vitamin and magnesium injections for suspected chronic fatigue syndrome, a treatment an expert said had “no clinical or biochemical basis”.

Stuart Jones, a senior clinical scientist at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex, also raised concerns about advice on the doctor’s website concerning breast cancer screening and child vaccinations.

The website discouraged women from using the oral contraceptive pill, recommended an alternative method of breast cancer screening and restated the link between the measles, mumps and rubella jab and autism, which has now been discredited.

The latest GMC hearing heard that there were “repeated and significant concerns raised by former patients, medical practitioners and other members of the public”.

GMC panel chair Dr Peter Maguire said: “The circumstances which bring patients to your practice by their very nature make your patients vulnerable, notwithstanding any actual health issues.

“The panel is satisfied that, based on the complaints made, and the concerns raised, there is sufficient information before it to indicate that there may be impairment of your fitness to practise and that such impairment may pose a real risk to patients.

‘The panel has been extremely concerned by your possible lack of understanding of the requirements of modern day best practice, as well as a seeming lack of perception and understanding of the consequences of your actions.”

Dr Myhill tried to challenge the interim conditions at the review hearing, which was held in public at her request.

It was attended by around a dozen of her supporters.

The hearing also heard that the GMC had received further complaints since April’s ruling.

They included a suggestion that Dr Myhill had attempted to exploit a loophole in a requirement she take down information on her website by posting a link to an “ungagged” version of the site.

Dr Myhill said she could not be held responsible if other people had chosen to copy her website.

Her 12-month interim order will be reviewed within three months.

Dr Myhill has been asked to comment.

8 Responses to “Autism anti-vaccine doctor banned for a year”

  1. ANB October 17, 2010 at 13:32 #

    Good move by the GMC. I wish we had some of the spine in the US.

  2. Sullivan October 18, 2010 at 04:14 #

    Great,

    She will probably pack up shop and move to the U.S..

    Thoughtful House lost their director recently. Perhaps she will apply. She seems to have the qualifications.

  3. symball October 18, 2010 at 07:59 #

    The label of autism doc is rather misplaced as this was a small part of a huge problem. Her main business was ‘treating’ people who have CFS/ME with a ‘stone age diet’ and her ‘magic mineral supplement’. the main complaints were from a group of doctors who complained that she prescribed a vitamin injection to one of their patients following a telephone consultation with her mother!

    her website advice included dangerous advice such as not participating in breast screening programmes, refusal of chemotherapy (using naturopathy instead of course) and putting babies to sleep on their side (rather than their backs) which is an increased risk of SIDS.

    Following the initial restrictions on prescribing she advised her patients to use a particularly dodgy internet company and asked them to flood the GMC with letters of support.

    there is little surprise that she was eventually suspended, but the vaccine angle was only a tiny part of this.

    there is a rather long winded and forthright exchange regarding this case on the bad science forums- beware it is well on the way to 4000 comments!

  4. George P. Burdell October 18, 2010 at 08:51 #

    I agree with the person above concerning the situation in the US. As more and more other countries ban these charatans from practice no doubt some will come to the US. We have to crack down on them.. people are being abused now.

  5. symball October 18, 2010 at 12:29 #

    Just a note to clarify- the telephone consultation was wit the patients Mother- not Sarah Myhills.

  6. stanley seigler October 19, 2010 at 03:05 #

    re: geo p burdell

    apropos of nothing…george p. burdell was the legendary graduate of school i attended…

    stanley seigler

  7. Prometheus October 19, 2010 at 19:58 #

    The phrase “magnesium injections” sent a little shiver down my spine. Taken orally, magnesium has its absorption limited by the diarrhea it causes at higher doses. With injection, however…

    Elevated magnesium levels lead to competition between magnesium and calcium. This, in turn, leads to reduced muscle tone (to the point of flaccid paralysis) and low blood pressure (from a combination of vascular dilation and weakening heart contractions). At higher doses, the cardiac output can become too low to sustain life.

    The problem with magnesium is that the margin between symptomatic levels (muscle weakness) and fatal levels is rather narrow. Thus, Dr. Myhill’s victims patients may not have much (if any) warning of dangerous levels of serum magnesium.

    Of course, the rest of her schtick is classic “alt-med”, right down to the “Stone Age diet” (which was previously known as “chronic near-starvation”) and “MMR-causes-autism” beliefs.

    Prometheus

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