What’s Wrong With The Breakspear Hospital?

October 26, 2011 at 6:52 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Business, Nutritionism, Vaccines) (, , , , , , , , )

Private hospital, The Breakspear, offer several medical products and services. Some of which look like they may be of dubious value.

They offer nutritional therapy, which for some reason includes advice on “detoxification“. More worryingly, they also offer chelation therapy for coronary and cerebrovascular disease, CFS, autism and, bizarrely, for “preventative medicine” and “anti-ageing”. The Quackwatch website has a page on chelation therapy that looks at some of the claims around coronary disease. The idea that chelation therapy can aid CFS is entirely new to me – and I could find not a single study on Pubmed that addressed use of chelation for CFS. The use of an unsafe and unproven treatment such as chelation for “preventative medicine” or as an “anti-ageing” therapy? The mind boggles.

The mistaken belief that mercury is a cause of autism has led some to claim that chelation can aid ASD. Let’s take a look at some of the available evidence. This abstract notes that some of the ‘treatments’ touted for autism “have safety concerns without demonstrated efficacy, such as chelation therapies.” A study looking at concentration of metallic elements and autism found that “A meta-analysis including the present and previous similar studies excluded any association of autism with hair concentrations of mercury, cadmium, selenium, lithium and copper.” The Mayo Clinic has a nice summary: “Chelation therapy is not an effective autism treatment, and it may be dangerous.”

And on to a related topic: the Breakspear Hospital still (defying all logic) offers single vaccines for measles and rubella. I pointed out how stupid and dangerous alternative vaccine schedules were back in January 2010 when I wrote about the recommendations of Dr Richard Halvorsen. Offering single vaccines for measles and rubella (at £90 a pop) instead of the triple vaccine MMR means that children are left unprotected against mumps. Infertility and subfertility are not unknown in males following mumps infection. Other complications of mumps include encephalitis, pancreatitis, meningitis, and hearing loss. The opening paragraph of their page on single vaccines appears to imply (wrongly) that MMR contains mercury:

Breakspear Medical Group’s Immunisation Department offers the individual vaccinations for measles and rubella and other mercury-free immunisations because we believe you should have the right to choose what is best for you and your child.

I believe that some of the claims on the website may be misleading and/or unsubstantiated and have submitted a complaint about the Breakspear Hospital.

More

H/T to Charlotte, for alerting me to the Breakspear’s activities, and to Le Canard Noir, for writing about the Breakspear back in 2007 (helpfully summarising some of the dubious treatments offered by them at the time). Charlotte mentioned the Breakspear as being an example of an institution that opposed the MMR vaccine in a comment complaining about my blog post pointing out that Dr Sarah Myhill’s website contains statements that are unsupported by evidence, misleading, or untrue. This appeared to me to be an example of the well-meaning defence with a suggested alternative target. I decided that, on balance, it would be best on this occasion to maintain my criticism of Dr Myhill but also to criticise the Breakspear.

Edit, 26/5/2012

Before posting your personal anecdotes about your amazing recoveries from various illnesses, please read this post on evidence-based medicine.

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114 Comments

  1. Andysnat said,

    I cannot understand why just because a doctor is nice, some patients doesn’t mind getting poor advice.

    I would much rather have a bad tempered old scrote for a doctor who knew what they were doing, than somebody who was the personification of loveliness, who doesn’t appear know what they are doing.

  2. deetee said,

    I looked at the Breakspear regarding their management of “chronicLyme disease” in a patient some time back.
    They use diagnostic tests that are not validated/recommended (eg the LTT) and treatments that are somewhat unorthodox and suspect.

    http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1204013002855

    I guess they do ok with all their expensive treatments – they have only 5 doctors but 11 people in accounts.

    I note how their recommendations for some vaccines do not adhere to national guidelines, for instance recommending adults get pneumococcal vaccine (only those over 65 or those with certain indications like heart and respiratory disease should get them) – but then they do get £45 a pop for them, so perhaps their vaccine policy is financially driven rather than evidence based (as for single MR).

    I would love to do a fisk job on the infection part of their site, but haven’t the time!

  3. Amy said,

    If you want to criticise Sarah Myhill (which I’m very happy for you to do) she is a small fish compared with the Breakspear. I had a telephone consultation with Dr Jean Munroe, who I believe is their director, about my CFS several years ago and she sounded utterly bonkers. I didn’t pursue any treatment from her. But more worryingly they are *seriously* expensive. A treatment plan drawn up by them can easily cost £20,000 or £30,000. I once saw, several years ago, an internet appeal from a patient trying to raise money for their treatment there, whose parents were selling their house to pay for treatment.

    So please, complain about the Breakspear!

  4. acleron said,

    Serious woo alert!

    “It was clear that “antigens” within the vials were having an
    interactive effect with the patient through the glass vial.”

    Jean Monro in an attempt to explain desensitisation allergy vaccines http://www.breakspearmedical.com/files/documents/EffectsofNeutralisingVaccines2005.pdf

    So well spotted and nicely publicised.

  5. josephinejones said,

    In case you haven’t already seen it, @lecanardnoir, has just tweeted about a Daily Mail article from Monday entitled ‘Woman allergic to ‘nearly everything’ becomes a prisoner in her home after NHS halts funding for daily vaccine’.

    The vaccines in question were ‘antigen vaccines’ from the Breakspear Hospital, which as mentioned above, @lecanardnoir has already written about on the Quackometer.

    Links: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2055567/Woman-allergic-nearly-says-prisoner-home-NHS-halts-funding-daily-vaccine.html

    http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2007/08/breakspear-hospital-and-antigen.html

  6. deetee said,

    But I thought vaccines were evil?
    Surely this woman will be far better off without them?

  7. peter dinan said,

    Grateful for this and the Quackometer, as I was about to spend a lot on Breakspear treatment for M.E.
    One reply on the quackometer got some benefit from enzyme potentiated desensitization injections for IBS, please email me if you know anything about this or how to obtain it. Also having IBS and diagnosed with HPilori, is it worth the hideous effects of antibiotics in trying to get rid of it?
    Thanks and good luck

  8. jdc325 said,

    Hi Peter,

    As an idiot with a keyboard, I should stress that the only medical advice I can give to individuals is “see a medical professional”.

    That said, I know of no evidence that shows EPD might benefit IBS (small studies do suggest it may be useful for hayfever and perhaps some other allergic disorders). Your GP might be able to tell you, in the absence of evidence, whether it’s a plausible treatment for your condition and whether it is something that’s worth trying (or not) – as long as you have a sensible GP that is! I know of one or two who will offer EPD for non-allergic conditions – these are doctors I think I would prefer to avoid.

    Whether the benefits of antibiotics for H Pylori outweigh the risks is certainly something that you should discuss with your GP – I wouldn’t have any idea of whether your having IBS might complicate the decision, for example, so I’m certainly not the best person to ask.

  9. Sparrow said,

    I am a patient of the Breakspear and thank God that it exsists. How can any of you lot have an opinion when you have never been a patient there.
    I am fully recovered thanks to them. I wish you stupid lot would just experience what it feels like to have an enviromental illness for a day! You might shut just shut up after you’ve been treated there.

  10. peter dinan said,

    Instead of just grandstanding about how stupid we are, try telling your story in a credible way that might convince us. Ive had an “environmental ” illness for 18 years and have learnt that private practioners offering everything from kineisiology to ayurvedic always have their private agenda which often means they dont even know themselves why some people improve and some dont. Very often people improve because they were going to anyway, or their supposedly physical illness was in fact psychological.
    So whats the story ? ………………

  11. Annette said,

    Hi,
    I have actually been treated at Breakspear with chelation therapy and it is the only thing along with other treatments available there that has helped me after years of severe fatigue and viral infections including hepatitis and ebv, along with other severe infections. It took the burden off my immune system and allowed me to heal. I think your blog is malicious and your damaging the reputation of a hospital who is genuinely trying to help people who the NBA has failed. I also know of various autistic children who have benefited from the treatment there. My advise to you is do your research before printing your unfounded criticisms. Have you ever even been there or spoken to anyone who has attended as a patient? I have and there are numerous people who have gotten their lives back through the hard work of the staff there. I really wanted to reply to you because you could be alienating Cfs sufferers along with patients with other illnesses who could be helped there. I think you should do a little research or else let the rest of us get on with the business of getting better.

  12. Annette said,

    By the way do can you tell me do you have any valid qualifications to be reviewing hospitals? Are you a doctor? Have you tried any of the treatments? Have you ever been ill? Anyone who takes advise from this blog please don’t anymore, it’s your health we’re talking about and this blog is dangerous.

  13. jdc325 said,

    “I think your blog is malicious and your damaging the reputation of a hospital who is genuinely trying to help people who the NBA has failed.”
    I think your definition of malicious may be different from the dictionary’s. I don’t consider that pointing out that a hospital advertises treatments that do not have a good evidence base shows intent to do harm. And if the Breakspear’s reputation is being damaged, it is being damaged primarily by their offering treatments that do not have a good evidence base.

    “My advise to you is do your research before printing your unfounded criticisms. Have you ever even been there or spoken to anyone who has attended as a patient?”
    I don’t think my criticisms are unfounded (you will note that I have linked to various papers in my blog post that inform my criticisms). I don’t see what I would gain by asking patients whether they felt better after treatment (I’d expect most would say they did, but then there are many reasons why they might and genuinely effective treatment is only one possible reason – see also placebo, regression to the mean etc) given that reliable evidence on the treatments offered is available. Why would I seek out less reliable information?

    “By the way do can you tell me do you have any valid qualifications to be reviewing hospitals? Are you a doctor? Have you tried any of the treatments? Have you ever been ill? Anyone who takes advise from this blog please don’t anymore, it’s your health we’re talking about and this blog is dangerous.”
    You seem to have the mistaken impression that I am offering health advice and that I think readers should take the word of some anonymous random person on the internet. If you read carefully, you will note that I do not at any point in the blog post advise patients. You will note that with regard to chelation and autism, I link to two papers and to a statement of the position of the Mayo Clinic. I am not advising patients to go to the Breakspear or to avoid it, I am presenting evidence. You, sadly, are not. Which makes it difficult for us to have a discussion about the evidence (which is what the post is about).

  14. Annette said,

    So like I thought you’ve no direct knowledge of the Breakspear but you warn people off it and call it quackery.. Hmmmm really your just a nasty little trouble maker with a key board and way too much time. By the way I haven’t advised anyone to attend Breakspear I’m just putting it out there that they helped me when the nhs failed. Just to clarify another point my chelation treatment cost under £80 for 3 months, you can take the expensive iv route but they encouraged me to take the cheaper option so it’s not all about money.
    And thanks for letting us know that you don’t have any medical qualifications or personal experience enabling you to critique hospitals. Your just taking random bits of info and posting it on the web, I could do that about every gp I’ve ever been to. By the way why are you posting this blog. I’m replying so that people who are considering breakspear get an actual patients story and not some random non medical persons unfounded rant.

  15. Annette said,

    Oh ps jdc you said that i havent presented any evidence, the evidence I presented is that well again after years of illness and no joy from the nhs. As well as numerous others which I mentioned already.

  16. ChrisP said,

  17. jdc325 said,

    Thanks Chris. Interesting to see that the GMC have issued a formal warning to Jean Monro of the Breakspear Hospital, after using “inappropriate and potentially harmful chelation therapy”.

  18. annette said,

    JDC325 your comment summed it up” I don’t see what I would gain by asking patients whether they felt better after treatment” ?? What a bizarre statement. If medical professionals thought like that any sick person would be in trouble. If a person with cancer had a tumour, underwent chemotherapy and cleared the cancer would you say, oh no it wasnt the chemo that got rid of the cancer it was “placebo, regression to the mean” to quote your earlier post…. Coming from the point of view of a sick person I would perfer to get the opinion of a number people who had undergone the treatment, whether it had helped them or not and then make an informed decision.
    It just doesnt make any sense what you said, why would medical trials be held to judge the effectiveness of a drug if it wasnt relevant whether the person had recovered or not? Surely that is the end goal of all treatment or should be. Please answer me that.
    On this page there has only been 2 people who have had treatment from breaskpear and we both were treated sucessfully there.

    The Dr you are taking about is under review because someone like yourself with no knowledge of the process complained, no decision has been reached yet. Even so I would take the patients view point any day, be it good or bad or a combination of both over people not involved in the process. And believe it or not, not all chronic illnesses are pshychological, the majority areant, mine certanily wasnt, I was physically ravaged by viral illnesses.

    Anyway there is no point trying to change the mind of someone so closed off to possibilities outside their own opinion as jdc325 is so all I want to say to people who are considering hospitals and clinics offering alternative treatments is go and make your own opinion, you can have an appointment and not go ahead with treatment if you dont feel its for you. Ask can you talk to previous patients to get their feed back. Also ask them the statistics for their success rate in treatment, the possible side effects and make up your own mind based on the facts, not on rants printed by this blog.

    I was nearly put off going to breakspear myself by something simiar to this, it could even ahve been this blog I dont remember at this stage and GOD am I glad I went and formed my own opinion!!

    To those of you with chronic illnesses if you want information on my treatment let me know.

  19. jdc325 said,

    “It just doesnt make any sense what you said, why would medical trials be held to judge the effectiveness of a drug if it wasnt relevant whether the person had recovered or not? Surely that is the end goal of all treatment or should be. Please answer me that.”
    Annette, you seem to be confused. Perhaps you might like to do some reading on anecdotal evidence and clinical trials. There are reasons why patients might perceive an improvement following a treatment that is actually ineffective. You’ll note that I referred to placebo and regression to the mean in a comment above. These are just two of many possible explanations for perceived improvement.* Researchers conduct trials that account for these possible explanations, patient anecdotes have no means of accounting for them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence-based_medicine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randomised_controlled_trial

    *Spontaneous improvement, fluctuation of symptoms, regression to the mean, additional treatment, conditional switching of placebo treatment, scaling bias, irrelevant response variables, answers of politeness, experimental subordination, conditioned answers, neurotic or psychotic misjudgment, psychosomatic phenomena, misquotation, etc. [Kienle and Kiene, 1997]

  20. Annette said,

    Let’s agree to disagree, at the end of the day you still have no direct knowledge of Breakspear or any patient treated there so you are just making assumptions. I have given you facts that patients recover after treatment there but you’ve just picked up a load of jargon from the web and stuck it in your blog. As a patient that means nothing to me, you can take about all the jargon you want but as a patient the only thing that matters is am I recovering or improving my quality of life. This can also be measured by are my blood tests improving. I had every function of my bloods out, liver kidney, wbc, rbc to name a few until i started my treatment. . So thats fact! If you don’t think patient recovery or feedback is important that’s up to you but that is the goal of medical treatment, to help patients recover.

  21. C said,

    Jcd325 have to agree with Annette, that was a totally mad statement you made about not needing to know if patients recover to asses a treatment. That’s so arrogant and ignorant actually! I’m Another Breakspear success story. Still a little way to go but a world apart since I started. So waffle all you want jdc the proof is on the pudding!

  22. Cybertiger said,

    On January 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm jdc523 said,

    “As an idiot with a keyboard, I should stress” …

    And it should be stressed … how right the idiot was …

  23. Cybertiger said,

    The jdc-thingy wibbled …

    “Perhaps you might like to do some reading on anecdotal evidence and clinical trials. There are reasons why patients might perceive an improvement following a treatment that is actually ineffective.”

    … and provided clear evidence that he’s a weasel.

  24. Cybertiger said,

    The jdc-thingy wobbled …

    “I don’t see what I would gain by asking patients whether they felt better after treatment (I’d expect most would say they did, but then there are many reasons why they might and genuinely effective treatment is only one possible reason – see also placebo, regression to the mean etc) given that reliable evidence on the treatments offered is available.”

    … providing pudding proof that he’s a toad.

  25. C said,

    Just wanted to reply to Peter. I had h pylori and it took a good bout of antibiotics to get rid of it. Like you I was very apprehensive about the anti b’s but decided to go for it and loaded up on the probiotics and anti yeast supplements. It’s up to you but it is a nasty infection so try and get it treated some way.

  26. Cybertiger said,

    ChrisP (aka the-decerebrate-newt) naively linked to news of the recent GMC ruling … forgetting recent reports of GMC irrationality,

    http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e3051

    … and a recent instance where the GMC has been ruled ‘inadequate’ and ‘wrong’.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e1745

    The GMC does not protect patients from anything. The GMC is a nasty, vindictive and utterly useless organisation. For those who will look, the evidence is there for all to see: the GMC is an utter disgrace.

  27. Annette said,

    Good post cybertiger!

  28. ChrisP said,

    Tiddles, the doctor in question prescribed chelation therapy on the basis of a completely useless test. This is something you would not have been mad enough to do in the days when you were a salaried GP – before you had the brain fade and threatened your colleagues at the surgery.

    On second thoughts you might just have been mad enough to do it.

  29. Cybertiger said,

    I think ‘the decerebrate newt’ is the one who’s suffers from ‘brain fade’. Pondlife!

  30. jdc325 said,

    Hello C / Calm down jcd,

    “Jcd325 have to agree with Annette, that was a totally mad statement you made about not needing to know if patients recover to asses a treatment.”

    I don’t think you’ve understood my point. If I ask a patient, any patient, if they perceive an improvement following treatment they will very likely say yes – sometimes partly because the treatment has had a beneficial effect but sometimes purely for the reasons given in the comment I made in reply to Annette. Simply asking the patient if they feel better is not informative. It doesn’t tell me why they feel better. Was it the treatment? Regression to the mean? Placebo? Fluctuation of symptoms? You can’t possibly know simply from asking the patient. This is why medical researchers conduct trials.

    If I am ill and feel better after watching an episode of Miss Marple it doesn’t mean that Joan Hickson’s performance has curative properties. The same goes for chelation therapy for CFS.

  31. jdc325 said,

    @Cybertiger

    “The GMC does not protect patients from anything. The GMC is a nasty, vindictive and utterly useless organisation. For those who will look, the evidence is there for all to see: the GMC is an utter disgrace.”

    People have said that the report of the GMC investigation was relevant, and interesting. Nobody said it proved anything. Perhaps you’d like to address the evidence regarding chelation therapy and autism? Because that is what the much of the criticism in the above blog post is based on. The provision of a useless and dangerous treatment for autism. You’re a medic, Cybertiger – so go on, give us your expert opinion as to whether there is an association of autism with hair concentrations of mercury, cadmium, selenium, lithium and copper? (You will have reliable evidence to support your expert opinion, I’m sure.) And once you’ve educated us, perhaps you’d like to tell us about all the evidence of efficacy for chelation therapy in CFS?

  32. jdc325 said,

    “Let’s agree to disagree, at the end of the day you still have no direct knowledge of Breakspear or any patient treated there so you are just making assumptions.”
    I’d prefer not to agree to disagree. Having no direct knowledge of the hospital or patients does not bar me from commenting on the evidence regarding the treatments they offer whether the evidence is lacking or negative – you’ll note that there is no positive evidence supporting the use of chelation for the treatments mentioned in this post. I’m not making assumptions, I’m presenting evidence where it exists and pointing out the lack of evidence where none exists.

    “I have given you facts that patients recover after treatment there but you’ve just picked up a load of jargon from the web and stuck it in your blog.”
    No, you’ve given me hearsay. Even if it’s true that patients feel better, you and I have no way of knowing whether that’s due to the treatment or other factors in the perceived therapeutic effect. And it’s not “jargon” it is “the correct terminology”. Your reference to jargon simply indicates that you don’t know what you are talking about. It’s sad that you have no inclination to learn. Perhaps you are closed-minded?

    “As a patient that means nothing to me, you can take about all the jargon you want but as a patient the only thing that matters is am I recovering or improving my quality of life.”
    Jolly good. I’m very pleased that you feel better. But please don’t mistake your anecdotal experience for reliable evidence.

    “This can also be measured by are my blood tests improving. I had every function of my bloods out, liver kidney, wbc, rbc to name a few until i started my treatment. . So thats fact!”
    Your improvement may be measurable. But it does not constitute evidence of efficacy. So if you think it’s “fact” that your treatment worked then you may need to think again.

    “If you don’t think patient recovery or feedback is important that’s up to you but that is the goal of medical treatment, to help patients recover.”
    Once again, the strawman that patient recovery isn’t important. Of course it is, but in the context of assessing treatments it is simply not enough. You need to know whether the treatment has led to the recovery or whether the recovery is down to other factors. Without a controlled trial, how can you possibly know which is the case? You can’t.

  33. Annette said,

    Jcd what does it take to get through to you? My blood tests came back to normal after being told by nhs I would never be well! What a condescending comment about watching ms marine! Credit people with a bit of intelligence that they know when they are well! You must think everyone apart from yourself is stupid! Explain to me how numerous parents saw improvements in their autistic children without the jargon! Autistic kids have never heard of placebo or regression to the mean so explain that. No doubt you’ll come up with some bs and won’t waste my time reading it! I’m just glad I have an open mind unlike you or I would still be house bound! Like I said earlier let the rest if us get on with the business of getting better!
    FYI mercury is a neuro toxin found in fish and amalgams, that is fact! That is how it is getting into peoples systems and impairing immune function!

  34. Annette said,

    Oh jcdand your on about patient recovery not being Important again! First of all what a plonker!
    Secondly I w as in a controlled situation under the care of a professional. Gradually things improved with the treatment, sick before better after. FACT! Now open your mind a little and you might be a happier person instead of venting your spleen all over the net!

  35. Cybertiger said,

    @Annette, who said,

    “FYI mercury is a neuro toxin found in fish and amalgams, that is fact!”

    And mercury is found in vaccines currently recommended for injection into pregnant women! Vaccines currently injected into small babies contain aluminium, another neurotoxin. Go figure!

    PS. The jdc-thingy is certainly a small-minded bigot, but well done for trying.

  36. Cybertiger said,

    Annette asked the jcd-thingy,

    “Explain to me how numerous parents saw improvements in their autistic children without the jargon! Autistic kids have never heard of placebo or regression to the mean so explain that. No doubt you’ll come up with some bs” …

    This video – published yesterday – shows the remarkable difference in Jonathan Edwards after a trip to New York and treatment unavailable to autistic children in the UK.

    No doubt we can expect jcd235 to come up with more bull …

  37. Cybertiger said,

    Jonathan Edwards could have been investigated and treated by Professor John Walker-Smith at the Royal Free in London. Instead the retired professor of paediatric gastroenterology was struck from the medical register after a trial lasting nearly three years.. Two years later, a High Court judge quashed all the convictions and restored him to the register, describing the GMC as ‘inadequate’ and ‘wrong’. This video describes the awful story.

    The GMC is a disgrace.

  38. Cybertiger said,

    @The jcd-thingy, who said,

    “People have said that the report of the GMC investigation was relevant, and interesting.”

    What people? Please evidence your absurd assertions. The GMC has recently been described as inadequate, irrational and wrong by High Court judges. I’m GMC registered and I don’t feel confidence in my regulatory body. I’m a patient too, and the GMC frightens me. Do you feel safe, punk?

  39. jdc325 said,

    “Jcd what does it take to get through to you?”
    A coherent agument that isn’t contradicted by the available evidence.

    “My blood tests came back to normal after being told by nhs I would never be well! What a condescending comment about watching ms marine!”
    Perhaps you’d be kind enough to enlighten me. Where have I made a condescending comment about “watching ms marine”?

    “Credit people with a bit of intelligence that they know when they are well! You must think everyone apart from yourself is stupid!”
    Not at all. It isn’t stupid to make a connection between a treatment and an improvement. It’s perfectly understandable. The people making such a connection may be mistaken but they aren’t stupid and I have not explicitly said (or even implied) that they are.

    “Explain to me how numerous parents saw improvements in their autistic children without the jargon! Autistic kids have never heard of placebo or regression to the mean so explain that.”
    You don’t need to have heard of placebo or regression to the mean for those to be relevant factors in perceived improvement. What makes you think that would be the case?

    “No doubt you’ll come up with some bs and won’t waste my time reading it! I’m just glad I have an open mind unlike you or I would still be house bound!”
    Pre-judging the content of my reply and refusing to read it doesn’t sound very open-minded to me.

    “Like I said earlier let the rest if us get on with the business of getting better!
    FYI mercury is a neuro toxin found in fish and amalgams, that is fact! That is how it is getting into peoples systems and impairing immune function!”
    Several testable claims there. I shan’t ask for evidence for all of them (I think it’s quite well documented that mercury, depending on the dose and the form, can be neurotoxic and that mercury is found in fish and dental amalgam). I would like to see the evidence that the mercury in fish and dental amalgam is harmful though. Oh, and the evidence regarding immune system impairment due to mercury. Which group(s) of people are we talking about here? Is there a specific condition that you think is linked to mercury toxicity?

  40. jdc325 said,

    “Oh jcdand your on about patient recovery not being Important again! First of all what a plonker!”
    You still seem to be missing the point. Patient recovery is important; asking a patient if they feel better after a treatment does not prove that the treatment caused the improvement. It cannot. For the reasons I mentioned earlier.

    “Secondly I w as in a controlled situation under the care of a professional. Gradually things improved with the treatment, sick before better after. FACT! Now open your mind a little and you might be a happier person instead of venting your spleen all over the net!”
    Did you read my link to the wiki page on randomised controlled trials? “The key distinguishing feature of the usual RCT is that study subjects, after assessment of eligibility and recruitment, but before the intervention to be studied begins, are randomly allocated to receive one or other of the alternative treatments under study.” The treatment you are studying is compared to a control – receiving another treatment, a placebo, or no treatment. That is what is meant by a “control”. When you refer to “a controlled situation” are you referring to a situation where patients such as yourself were randomly allocated to treatment or control groups?

  41. jdc325 said,

    @Cybertiger

    “And mercury is found in vaccines currently recommended for injection into pregnant women! Vaccines currently injected into small babies contain aluminium, another neurotoxin. Go figure!”

    And the evidence that this is harmful, cybertiger? Are you going to present it?

  42. jdc325 said,

    @Cybertiger

    @The jcd-thingy, who said,

    “People have said that the report of the GMC investigation was relevant, and interesting.”

    What people? Please evidence your absurd assertions.

    See comments #16 and #’17 in this thread. You seemed to be under the mistaken impression that people thought the GMC verdict was proof of the wrongness of Monro and Breakspear. I pointed out your mistake, and what had actually been said… and you ask me to provide evidence that what had actually been said had been said?

    I note that you have ducked the questions I posed in comment #31. Perhaps you found them too difficult to answer?

  43. Annette said,

    Jdc I meant your comment about watching ms marple not marine but it was spell checked!
    Firstly you just admitted mercury is a neurotoxin but then asked where’s the evidence is that the mercury in fish or amalgams is harmful?? Need I say more?

    Secondly as I have said the aim of medical treatment is to heal people, if I or most sane people walked into a doc and they told me that the success of the testament didn’t depend on if I was healed at the end of it, then I’d be out of there! As a patient that’s the concern. All I can say is thank god your not a doc!
    Also you never answered my previous question. If a person with an aggressive form of cancer underwent chemotherapy and cleared the cancer would you really say it wasnt the chemotherapy but you would have to look at placebo effects. When that was the only treatment they did.
    The other thing is just saw how acupuncture can be life threatening according to your other posts, well maybe if someone attAcked you with an acupuncture needle through he eye. But let’s explore this so your warning people off complementary therapies when even gp’s now recommend them and theyre used in medical centres alloyed the world along with western medicine.
    I have never heard of anyone dying from an acupuncture overdose as opposed to a drug overdose!
    Cybertigers evidence on autism is more relevant than anything you’ve said. Look on the numerous autism websites and talks by experts about removing toxins from the body!
    Toxins = poison= not good for you.
    Heavy metals such as mercury = neurotoxin= not good for you
    Treatment remove toxin from body = chelation or detox

  44. Cybertiger said,

    “And the evidence that this is harmful, cybertiger?”

    And the evidence that it isn’t, jcd-thingy? No evidence either way, because the safety testing hasn’t been done. Aluminium has been used in vaccines for over 80 years: the usual argument defending its use is that as it’s been used for so long it must be safe. But we actually know little about what happens to aluminium after it has been injected into the body, or what it does while it’s there. What we do know about aluminium is that it is toxic and is known to cause brain damage. Ever heard of Camelford?

  45. C said,

    Jdc325 you did say why would I need to know if Patients had recovered in order to assess if a treatment had worked! Now you are backtracking and saying it’s not the only thing to look at. It’s the only thing that matters to me as a patient!

    Makes sense if mercury is a neurotoxin you don’t want it in your body!

  46. Cybertiger said,

    @Comment 42

    I asked, “what people” and you referred me to comments made by a decerebrate newt and an “idiot with a keyboard”. However, I agree that comment 42 is cast-iron evidence for your continuing absurdity.

    PS. I dare say if Jean Monro appealed the ‘warning’, the High Court would eventually declare the GMC a bunch of tossers. But we already know that!

  47. Annette said,

    Oh and jdc have been in a trial before where treatment didn’t work so know what the score is!
    And I think it’s you that are missing the point, I am better which is the aim of treatment!
    You have no medical degree, have never experiences the treatment so arrant qualified to give advice!
    C
    Good point there, jdc bactrackibg as realised how his comment lost him all credibility!
    Jdc waiting on an answer in the chemical question!

  48. Annette said,

    Sorry meant to say waiting for an answer on chemo question!

  49. jdc325 said,

    @Annette

    “Firstly you just admitted mercury is a neurotoxin but then asked where’s the evidence is that the mercury in fish or amalgams is harmful?? Need I say more?”
    You don’t seem to understand that the dose makes the poison. Small amounts of a substance that is neurotoxic in larger amounts are not dangerous. With regards fish, in fact, it is advised that we consume at least two portions (including one portion of oily fish) a week. The advice distinguishes between fish that contain high levels of mercury and fish that contain relatively low amounts of mercury. Mercury being a neurotoxin doesn’t mean that all sources of mercury should be avoided.

    “Secondly as I have said the aim of medical treatment is to heal people, if I or most sane people walked into a doc and they told me that the success of the testament didn’t depend on if I was healed at the end of it, then I’d be out of there!”
    You misunderstand me. I’ve tried to explain my point, but you don’t seem to get it (perhaps I’m just not very good at explaining things). Simply recovering following treatment does not mean that the treatment caused the recovery.

    “Also you never answered my previous question. If a person with an aggressive form of cancer underwent chemotherapy and cleared the cancer would you really say it wasnt the chemotherapy but you would have to look at placebo effects.”
    I wouldn’t know whether the chemotherapy was the cause of the recovery in that specific case (spontaneous improvement does happen, after all). Now, chemotherapy has been studied (unlike the use of chelation in CFS) so there is evidence available on its efficacy. You can find out which cancers are most amenable to chemotherapy and how much of a difference it can make to the chances of surviving a particular cancer.

    “The other thing is just saw how acupuncture can be life threatening according to your other posts, well maybe if someone attAcked you with an acupuncture needle through he eye. But let’s explore this so your warning people off complementary therapies when even gp’s now recommend them and theyre used in medical centres alloyed the world along with western medicine.
    I have never heard of anyone dying from an acupuncture overdose as opposed to a drug overdose!”
    They wouldn’t have to attack you with an acupuncture needle through the eye. Try
    this for a start. 38 cases of pneumothorax following acupuncture, with one death. Your being unable to imagine the possibility that acupuncture might have rare, serious risks including death does not mean that acupuncture cannot cause death. If you want to compare acupuncture to drugs then you need to compare the benefits and risks of treatments, not just the risks.

    “Cybertigers evidence on autism is more relevant than anything you’ve said. Look on the numerous autism websites and talks by experts about removing toxins from the body!
    Toxins = poison= not good for you.
    Heavy metals such as mercury = neurotoxin= not good for you
    Treatment remove toxin from body = chelation or detox”
    If only it were that simple. There’s no evidence that heavy metals cause autism or that chelation can help. (See also the links in the post you are commenting on.)

  50. jdc325 said,

    @C

    “Jdc325 you did say why would I need to know if Patients had recovered in order to assess if a treatment had worked! Now you are backtracking and saying it’s not the only thing to look at. It’s the only thing that matters to me as a patient!”

    No, here’s what I actually originally wrote:

    I don’t see what I would gain by asking patients whether they felt better after treatment (I’d expect most would say they did, but then there are many reasons why they might and genuinely effective treatment is only one possible reason – see also placebo, regression to the mean etc) given that reliable evidence on the treatments offered is available. Why would I seek out less reliable information?

    I’ve since clarified my position. I’ve pointed out that in order to know whether a treatment is effective, i.e., is the cause of recovery, you need to do more than just ask whether patients seem to recover following treatment. You still don’t seem to understand my point. Perhaps you don’t want to? Perhaps it’s easier to argue with a position I haven’t taken rather than the one I actually have?

    “Makes sense if mercury is a neurotoxin you don’t want it in your body!”
    It might make sense to you, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. As I note above, fish contains mercury but we are advised to eat it – because the risks of eating fish containing small amounts of mercury are outweighed by the benefits. A small amount of mercury, as found in the fish generally recommended by the NHS (and formerly on the FSA website), is not harmful. Despite it making sense to you that it would be.

  51. jdc325 said,

    @Annette

    “Oh and jdc have been in a trial before where treatment didn’t work so know what the score is!”
    Good. In that case, perhaps you can enlighten me and answer my question. When you refer to “a controlled situation” are you referring to a situation where patients such as yourself were randomly allocated to treatment or control groups?

  52. jdc325 said,

    @Annette

    “And I think it’s you that are missing the point, I am better which is the aim of treatment!”
    I understand that is the aim of the treatment. Do you understand why it is impossible for you to know whether it was the treatment that made you better? That is my point. The one that you keep missing.

  53. Annette said,

    Jdc is not impossible to know if a treatment helped you get better. Have you ever experienced a serious illness. Treatment nd recovery yourself? If not how can you possibly say this.
    I know what helped me, no amount of waffle will change that. It’s proven by my medical records not that I need that!
    I have heard of spontaneous recovery from cancer through various methods no doubt about that. But still cancer, chemo treatment, no cancer means the chemo worked. If you took 10 cases of cancer recoveries with chemotherapy you don’t think it would be sensible to say the chemo worked? Even if the patients were not in a controlled environment? Come on jdc don’t lose all credibility!

  54. Annette said,

    And look I agree that different levels of mercury have different levels of toxicity. TKe my example, child gets acute lead poisoning rushed to hosp for chelation. Another person gets a constant but much lower dose of lead feeding into the body which in total adds up to a big dose which makes the person sick.
    If someone ingested a large quantity of bleach obviously a toxic chemical. They would be in trouble right? Smaller quantity of bleach may not be fatal but defo not good for you! Mercury still a poison so of course it’s less dangerous in smaller doses but still a poison. Then if he person has any issue detoxing, it’s stuck in the body!

    And going back to your earlier point why on earth would anyone seek treatment if it couldn’t be proven that the treatment worked.

  55. Annette said,

    Oh and ps jdc I’m not missing the point I just couldn’t disagree more!
    You cant preach medicine from facts pulled off the net, medicine is about real people and the benifets that their health will receive. It’s obvious you have no knowledge of this!
    Anyway it seems everyone on this blog now disagrees with you so put that into your statistics and see what it means. Let me see one jdc vs 3 others. So statistically the 3 are more likely to be right which means jdc is wrong, even incorporating some deviation from the mean into the equation!

  56. Calmdownjdc said,

    Thats quite good annette! If I’m not in the 3 make it 4 even less margin for error and deviation from the mean!

  57. Cybertiger said,

    I know the jcd-thingy won’t watch this video lecture on aluminium – cos it’s so difficult to prise open the closed mind.

    Of course, if the thingy did watch it, it might learn something about the toxicity of aluminium adjuvants on the brain.

  58. ChrisP said,

    Tiddles, research by youtube! How novel.

    Munro used a test on a patient that was ineffective and inappropriate to diagnose lead poisoning. She then prescribed a potentially harmful treatment of chelation therapy for CFS of all things.

    Seems to me that Monro’s approach to evidence in medicine is greatly flawed – rather like yours. Maybe that is why you are trying to defend her? But then, I don’t think she is quite the box of frogs you are. I might be mistaken mind.

  59. ChrisP said,

    Oh, and the fact that someone with such poor judgement is the medical director of a hospital should be seriously disturbing.

  60. Calmdownjdc said,

    Chrisp you said the test was ineffective and inappropriate. Tell me about the test then, in what way is it not valid? How is it inappropriate to test metals? Do you know?

    Dr munro has a majority of success stories. Do you not think this is important?

    Have you ever been to Breakspear? And seen what they do? Or just forming an opinion from what jdc has said.

  61. Calmdownjdc said,

    Have you ever had Cfs or treated it as a qualified md? If not how do you know what works for Cfs? Just the facts please chrisp

  62. Annette said,

    For the record I think dr monro is an excellent doctor who does what is best for her patients. Have we heard any of them complain?

  63. ChrisP said,

    The test used was a ‘provoked’ urine test. What such a test does is give the patient a chemical (the ‘provoking agent’) that grabs on to metal ions in the blood stream and gets them excreted via the kidneys. What this does is briefly and artificially raise the levels of metal ions in the urine over what they would normally do. There is no evidence that this test is in any way useful for determining heavy metal toxicity. Secondly, and more importantly, the levels of metal ions excreted in the urine are then compared to the levels in normal unprovoked urine. This is totally inappropriate, but for Ms Munro has the benefit of ensuring that patients will be regularly over the ‘normal’ threshold and require treatment.

    The fact that Ms Munro prescribes these tests and chelation therapy based on the results, suggests very strongly to me that Ms Munro approach to medical evidence is greatly flawed. I don’t need jdc to tell me that. I could read in the account of the treatment of the patient referred to in the GMC proceedings.

    I don’t need to have had CFS to know that there is no evidence chelation therapy is an effective treatment for the condition. I can read the scientific literature to find that information.

  64. Annette said,

    Actually Chrisp you do need to have some form if involvement in Cfs treatment to make an informed Opinion. I could read up on heart disease, doesn’t make me qualified as to what the best form of treatment for heart problems are! I’m not that arrogant.
    And common knowledge metals such as mercury get deposited on various parts of the body when they are ingested and not detoxed out of the body. That is why a chelating agent is needed. Do draw out these deposits that are causing harm. If it want there in the first place it wouldnt come out. And a high level is only high as compared to a majority healthy population. So if no metals there the results will be within range. My WBC was low as compared to a healthy population so same principle. No metals in body means the chelating agent won’t draw any metals out so no metals in urine.
    Also blood tests are done in Breakspear along with urine tests and the majority of patients who have high metals in blood have high levels in urine. If you got lead poisoning and went to a and e you would have this blood test done do you disagree with that?

  65. Annette said,

    Oh and Chrisp how can it artificially raise levels of metals? If it’s not there in the first place it won’t come out. Or do you think there is a conspiracy where patients are fed mercury and then subjected to the urine test so they can use chelation on them.
    And how do you explain that it is also on the blood? And that test is done before any chatting agent is used.
    Also how do you explain the fact that patients improve after this treatment? We can’t all be having a placebo effect when it’s a full recovery.
    Also why have none of her patients complained. If I underwent all that treatment I did with no benefits I would be complaining.
    People with Cfs are among the most medically clued in of people sick with various illnesses. They abbé to be because the nhs offers no effective treatment.

  66. Annette said,

    Also it is fairly obvious from the info that cybertiger has shared that the gmc Are not always right! Please have a read, it’s quite scary.

  67. C said,

    Yes I don’t understand how it would come out if it wasnt there. Isn’t that why a chelating agent is needed to draw out the metals. We can all agree on that at least.

    If you used chelation for arsenic poisoning surely no arsenic would come out unless it as there. How could they artificially raise your arsenic levels, same goes for mercury or lead.

  68. C said,

    And blatantly obvious gmc get it wrong!

  69. jdc325 said,

    @Annette,

    “People with Cfs are among the most medically clued in of people sick with various illnesses.”

    If the comments on this thread are representative of how ‘medically clued in’ people with CFS are then I’m afraid I must disagree. You think that the terms ‘placebo’ and ‘regression to the mean’ amount to nothing more than jargon and waffle, and believe that any recovery following a treatment proves that the treatment was successful. You couldn’t be more wrong.

  70. jdc325 said,

    “Also it is fairly obvious from the info that cybertiger has shared that the gmc Are not always right!”

    As Cybertiger well knows, I have a pretty low opinion of the GMC and have criticised them on this blog. You (Cybertiger, and however many of you comprise Annette / C / Calmdownjdc) can continue to argue against positions I don’t hold if you wish but I don’t see what use it will be.

    Note for casual browsers: C, Calmdownjdc, and Annette are all posting from the same IP address and using the same email address. Perhaps it is one dogged advocate of Jean Monro using multiple identities, perhaps not. It doesn’t matter. Either way, I’ve yet to see a single convincing argument from any of them.

  71. ChrisP said,

    Annette and your various other identities, contrary to your claim, assessing the evidence for treatments for CFS is no harder than assessing the evidence for treatments for other conditions. Have you heard of the Cochrane Collaboration? I would not go so far to claim that I could treat CFS adequately, but that is far different from understanding that treatments with no evidence base have no evidence base: something I can extract from the scientific literature.

    Everyone has heavy metals in their bodies. They enter through both diet and environmental exposure. Some of them are very necessary. For example, we need small amounts of copper to run certain key enzymes. We would die without it. Large amounts of copper are toxic. The dose makes the poison. Using chelating agents to assess the amount of metals in the body is fundamentally flawed, because it changes the equilibrium between available and unavailable compounds. Comparing those values to the values in people not exposed to the chelating agent is thoroughly useless (unless you want to sell chelation therapy).

    Whether the GMC is sometimes right, sometimes wrong or often right is of no importance here. What is present in the GMC documents is clear evidence that Ms Munro prescribed a provoked urine test and on the basis of that treated the patient with chelation therapy. Ms. Munro admits that this was the case. That information is sufficient for me to conclude that Ms. Munro’s approach to medical evidence is most likely deeply flawed.

  72. Cybertiger said,

    jcd352 twittered,

    “As Cybertiger well knows, I have a pretty low opinion of the GMC and have criticised them on this blog.”

    As a self-confessed “idiot with a keyboard” you’re serious aren’t you!!?? The GMC are a big bunch of clowns and you’re an ace comedy act. But I’m not laughing.

  73. Annette said,

    Look we know we need copper in our body. Chelation is for the removal of TOXIC metals from the body, lead mercury cadmium etc. Ones that are not supposed to be there. Yes everyone probably has a certIn amount due to the fact that we have poisoned our environment and a lot of us have amalgam fillings. But some for various reasons have high levels and need to get them removed. That is why there is a reference range on the test, to see if a persons levels are higher than most and are at levels that will impair health.
    Jcd I as talking to Chrisp when I referred to the gmc comment not you.
    If you guys don’t agree with this it’s up to you, all I am asking is that you at least take patients testimonials on board when you are criticising Breakspear. You don’t seem to think that’s important which to me seems mad.
    And jcd I do understand the terms placebo etc And of coursethere have been cases in medical history where people have improved with placebo. What I am saying is that all Breakspear helps people and gets results. That’s what matters to me and if you had ever been there or had direct knowledge you would know that.

  74. Annette said,

    Oh and I have a question jcd. Seeing as you have never been sick or had medical treatment and you just pull info that suits you off the web. What would you see as proof that a patient recovery was due to treatment if they wearnt part of a study?
    Why would any patients undergo treatment if it want obvious to them that the treatment as helping.
    Also just saw you earlier nasty comment, we are not the same person, actually members of the same family and one of these is my sister undergoing treatment as well as we have the same genetic issue so that is why we have the same ip address, same laptop. And we all thought you were such an idiot that we had to reply to you! And thanks for the invasion of privacy there jcd. Cybertiger is right you really are a toad!
    And had an eRlier question what is your purpose on posting this blog. Surely not to help people. Are you being paid?

  75. Annette said,

    I also got 2 second opinions before I started chelation and both told me to go ahead with it.

  76. Annette said,

    Jdc if you have a low opinion of gmc why do you have a link attached to Their ruling on this blog? You take evidence from them to support your claims but yet have a poor opinion of them??
    Makes no sense!

  77. C said,

    There is one main point that jdc is missing. What patients say is important. As jdc stated that why would he need to ask patients how they feel after treatment. That is the point of treatment that the patient feels better.
    Also jdc has stated he has a poor opinion of gmc but uses them as evidence and has their ruling on his blog!
    On the other hand we have patient recovery stories from people who attended Breakspear. Im just hoping anyone thinking of going to Breakspear will form their own opinion and not be scared off by jdc.
    I’m signing off this blog now as it’s getting quite malicious and it’s fairly obvious jdc and the like can’t even open their minds to see that patients testimonials are so important.

  78. jdc325 said,

    “If you guys don’t agree with this it’s up to you, all I am asking is that you at least take patients testimonials on board when you are criticising Breakspear. You don’t seem to think that’s important which to me seems mad.”
    Patient testimonials aren’t very reliable.

    “And jcd I do understand the terms placebo etc And of coursethere have been cases in medical history where people have improved with placebo.”
    I’m not sure quite what you are trying to say here. There aren’t just “cases in medical history” where patients have seen improvements that are partially or wholly due to placebo effects. It’s a very, very common and well-documented phenomenon. It’s one of the reasons why controlled trials need to be conducted. To account for this very, very common phenomenon.

    “What would you see as proof that a patient recovery was due to treatment if they wearnt part of a study?”
    You can’t possibly know for sure if a patient recovery was due to a treatment they received. I’ve already said this, and pointed out some of the reasons why this is the case. You don’t seem to be listening.

    “And had an eRlier question what is your purpose on posting this blog. Surely not to help people. Are you being paid?”
    No, as I pointed out here I’m not a pharma shill. I’ve never received a penny from anyone for anything I post here. I’m happy to have now clarified this point for you.

    “Jdc if you have a low opinion of gmc why do you have a link attached to Their ruling on this blog? You take evidence from them to support your claims but yet have a poor opinion of them??
    Makes no sense!”
    There is a link to their ruling on this blog because ChrisP posted it. I have not used the GMC ruling as evidence for anything, and I have already clarified this point upthread in response to Cybertiger. You don’t seem to be listening. I did post some links to relevant evidence in the blog post itself. But you don’t seem to have addressed that evidence.

    “There is one main point that jdc is missing. What patients say is important. As jdc stated that why would he need to ask patients how they feel after treatment. That is the point of treatment that the patient feels better.”
    No, the point of treatment is for the treatment to improve the health of the patient. Patients can feel better after taking an inert substance – as you can see from the vast literature on placebo. Simply asking patients whether they feel better does not provide information on the effectiveness of a treatment.

    “I’m signing off this blog now as it’s getting quite malicious and it’s fairly obvious jdc and the like can’t even open their minds to see that patients testimonials are so important.”
    I don’t think that my post or my comments here can be fairly characterised as malicious. Perhaps you’d like to point to my malicious comments both in the blog post and in the comments section so interested readers can judge for themselves? And I think you may be overestimating the importance of patient testimonials which are, you won’t be surprised to see me write, notoriously unreliable. For various reasons. Which I’ve attempted to explain already.

  79. jdc325 said,

    By the way, Annette / C / Calmdownjdc, I have to say that I have found this discussion interesting. I note that C states in their latest comment that they are signing off this blog. Perhaps you’ll pop back the next time I write about the Breakspear. Which I intend to do quite soon.

  80. Cybertiger said,

    I’ll be back too … punk!

  81. jdc325 said,

    Glad to hear it Cybertiger. I look forward to reading more of your incisive analysis.

  82. Cybertiger said,

    Always happy to oblige the toad, the weasel and the idiot with a keyboard … with the sharpness of my incisors.

  83. Annette said,

    I’m not sure interesting would be a word to describe this chat. I think it’s all getting a bit pointless. And we’ve all exhausted the topic.
    Anyway despite all our discussion the people attending breakspear continues to grow. And why is that, because it delivers good results.
    And also note the people using alternative medicine instead of gp’s and antibiotics is also growing so that being the case I’m happy.
    Cybertiger happy to hear your opinion any day.
    Jcd or invader of privacy have had enough of your bigotry so rant all you like.

  84. Annette said,

    Oh jcd just to clarify something you said the point of treatment is to improve the health of the important. I totally agree that is what I have been saying all along. I don’t mean a short term respite I mean a long term recovery, return to full health.

  85. Annette said,

    So saying that I’m signing off.

  86. ChrisP said,

    Annette, lead, mercury, cadmium are all natural and therefore are all meant to be in our bodies in small amounts. Humans evolved being able to tolerate small amounts of these ions. The problem arises when large amounts are there, as is the case with copper.

    One problem with the ‘provoked’ urine test Ms Munro prescribed was that the amounts are compared with normal unprovoked amounts. This almost guarantees a diagnosis of high metal ions, even when the amounts are perfectly normal. Personally, I would describe this practice as unethical.

    Annette, some of us didn’t need jdc to point out your various sock puppets. It was obvious from the phraseology used that you were all one person. Your ‘sister’s name is not Chloe is it? Given you have ‘signed off’ three times so far and one of your sock puppets has also ‘signed off’ I am not sure whether there will be a response to this.

  87. Annette said,

    Chrisp you are a bit weird and a lot nasty.

  88. jdc325 said,

    @Annette,

    I’m struggling to see how you can characterise ChrisP as nasty on the basis of the comments posted in this thread. I’m tempted to ask you to point out what is so nasty about his posts here. Then again, I did ask you to point out where I’d been malicious and you have been unable or unwilling to do that…

    Perhaps you are just throwing mud and hoping that some might stick?

  89. Cybertiger said,

    jcd wibbled,

    “I’m struggling to see how you can characterise ChrisP as nasty …”

    The evidence is conclusive: ChrisP is basic pondlife … and there are some very nasty, slimy creatures swimming in jcd’s putrid pond, including the ‘big spotted brainless newt’ of course.

  90. Swordfish said,

    This thread may have died, and perhaps Annette and her family members with the same e-mail address (and a need to address comments to each other through a blog rather than over the shared keyboard) have indeed signed off. But perhaps some comments might be useful for others.

    An anonymous testimonial delivered via the Internet is not evidence, since it IS the Internet, and there is no guarantee that the person writing it is telling any part of the truth. It is not therefore meaningful to demand that a blogger or blog reader accept such testimony.

    However, it is not the anonymity that is the problem (in fact, I would strongly recommend not de-anonymising such testimonials, even if one were prepared to do so). This is because the person offering the testimony may be genuinely mistaken about the course of events.

    The place for such information is in a Case Report. A good Case Report provides clear evidence that the condition existed beforehand, at a described degree of severity. It clearly describes in medical terminology the course of management involved. It describes, again with full medical detail, the subsequent course of events (not ‘the consequence of the treatment’: this cannot be deduced from a single case report, for the reasons jdc325 has enumerated). The level of detail required is the reason why anonymity must be maintained in the Case Report.

    The Case Report is the lowest level of medical evidence. If a number of Case Reports suggest there might be a pattern, then a proper study must be done to explore the relationship between the condition and the course of management. Ideally this is a double blind randomised controlled trial. Sometimes this is very difficult: for instance, where very long term outcomes are involved, where the treatment is overt (such as major surgery), or where the intervention is socially very complex. Other research methods must then be used. Even a report of a successful outcome from such a trial is not enough: there must then be repeats of the process, under other hands, and with essentially similar results.

    It is not necessary to suffer from a condition in order to determine the outcome of such trials (and it may even be unhelpful, since sufferers understandably lose some objectivety). It is certainly not necessary to visit an Institution claiming testimonials, although it might be interesting. Such a visit is most useful when two institutions or research groups have published appropriate controlled trials of the same phenomenon, but found different results. The reasons for the discrepancy can then be explored (I have been involved in such a visit, and it was most helpful).

    As I say, ‘testimonials’ on the Internet are no form of evidence at all. I would be very grateful to be directed to Case Reports in the medical literature relating to the Breakspear, or better still, the results of trials. If the hospital has highly successful treatments and evidence of these, it is not merely helpful, but a moral imperative, that they publish this evidence. In the absence of evidence, a degree of discretion in making claims is required, particularly where the treatment is provided on a for-profit basis. I look forward keenly to Annette or family, or Cybertiger, or indeed anyone, providing sources of such evidence.

  91. Cybertiger said,

    Professor John Walker-Smith was struck from the register in 2010 for being party to a ‘Case Report’. Of course, the GMC got it all dreadfully, miserably wrong …

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthadvice/jameslefanu/9149338/James-Lefanus-Doctors-Diary-The-exoneration-of-Prof-John-Walker-Smith.html

    … but the damage had been done. As a paid up member of the medical establishment, your appeal for case reports, lacks any sort of reasonable credibility.

  92. Swordfish said,

    Dear Cybertiger,

    Actually, I don’t think I am a ‘paid up member of the medical establishment’, but in any case it doesn’t matter: asking for evidence would still be appropriate no matter who was doing the asking. If evidence exists, why would anyone be reluctant to provide it? Indeed if evidence for the effectiveness of the Breakspear’s approaches exists, it will be most helpful to their case, to the DIrector’s case and to this discussion, to provide it. Who could object to that? And while Case Reports are the lowest level of evidence, they are still better than anonymous Web westimonials, wouldn’t you agree?

  93. Cybertiger said,

    Dear Dr Swordfish

    That all sounds very reasonable, fine and dandy, but I think you’re ignoring the elephant in the room, the Dumbo that was pointed out to you in my last post. What have you got to say about that?

  94. Swordfish said,

    I’m sorry Cybertiger, I genuinely don’t see the relevance of your link. Yes, Wakefield was fraudulent, in that Case Series and approach to research. Walker-Smith was originally judged to have been involved, but then that judgement was overruled. The GMC are erratic in their decisions sometimes. Do we agree all that?
    Now, what I was asking for was evidence from the Breakspear, even Case Reports. It is overwhelmingly in their interest to provide it if they have it. It is their strong moral responsibility to provide it if they have it. If they fail to provide it under these imperatives, what should one conclude?

  95. Cybertiger said,

    Dear Dr Swordfish

    To put it politely, you’re a lot of cold air and wasted of space.

  96. Swordfish said,

    Dear Cybertiger,

    I’m genuinely curious about your internet discussion strategy. When I’m participating in an online discussion, I rarely believe that I can convince those who are disagreeing with me (cognitive dissonance being what it is). But I do imagine a neutral reader, who might be really curious about the issue, who wishes for further information, and who might possibly be swayed by reasoned arguments. I therefore avoid abusive or petulant comments, in favour of rational propositions (such as asking for evidence, in an open minded way). You on the other hand often evade answering questions, and very frequently express personal abusive comments, as above. Do you think this makes your arguments more compelling or less compelling? Can you help me with your thinking on this?

    And can you or any other reader direct me to any evidence from the Breakspear on the efficacy of their practices, as requested above? (Evidence other than anonymous web testimonials, of course!)

  97. scrk said,

    Have you contacted Breakspear to ask for published papers or indeed to discuss this with a member of their medical team?

  98. The Breakspear Hospital and Jean Monro v the ASA and the GMC « Stuff And Nonsense said,

    [...] October 2011, I wrote that the Breakspear hospital was offering chelation therapy for coronary and cerebrovascular disease, CFS, autism, and for [...]

  99. Smile said,

    I would like to say that Breakspear gave me my life back with Low Dose Immuneotherapy. I was sensitive to most things and my energy levels were negligible for years. It also impacted on my thyroid hormone output. My GPs (it was years!) and Consultant did nothing because as my very sympathetic Consultant said, “I am bound by convention”. He understood what my basic problem was but felt unable to do anything for me because of the criticism he could receive. Four to five weeks after my testing completed and I was taking the injections I was walking on air. Now I can work again and see a great future ahead of me. To me that is what a doctor is about and Jean Monro is a doctor of the greatest esteem because she is not afraid to be criticised. What I would also like to say is that Low Dose Immuneotherapy is a well accepted treatment for dealing with sensitivities and allergies and that there is research carried out by medical professionals including doctors within this field. I would also say that my Consultant was very happy that I did it and that I improved so dramatically. Yes it costs but every penny is worth it. As for chelation – although I have not carried it out I know a few things about it and therefore certainly do not knock it. It’s time to open your mind and let other people have the opportunity to live their lives.

  100. resurgam said,

    Thank you Smile. I was researching Breakspear to see if they can help my sister. I was prepared for bad reports and although I would have been disappointed if I found them it is not sensible to put your trust in any medical team without first conducting your own research.

    The patient testimony that says this hospital gave them their life back is good enough for me.

    It’s usually the NHS in the face of possible litigation that falls back on that lame excuse for their own failings as ‘It must have been a placebo effect’.

    Never heard so much rubbish in all my life.

    If the NHS was effective people wouldn’t need to spend their own life savings and go to alternative sources for help.

    Your case has been lost – I’m going to Breakspeare!

  101. jdc325 said,

    @resurgam

    If you want to place your trust in patient testimonials rather than reliable evidence then that’s up to you. I don’t think that’s a good way to work out what the benefits and risks of treatments are but it’s your call.

    It’s usually the NHS in the face of possible litigation that falls back on that lame excuse for their own failings as ‘It must have been a placebo effect’.

    I have no idea what you’re rambling about here. What possible litigation? When has the placebo effect been wheeled out by the NHS as an excuse for their own failings?

  102. Karen Barrow said,

    The things about mercury that are relevant but left out are 1. Mercury will never be studied as a cause of illness because of potential lawsuits – it’s still in use. However, it’s been known since 1883 that it was a bad idea to put it in people’s mouths. 2. The reason everyone doesn’t get sick from mercury fillings is because the relatively benign, elemental form of mercury used in tooth fillings is converted by certain yeast and bacteria into the vicious, very harmful methyl mercury form. People who haven’t had yeast issues or dysbiosis probably won’t have a problem with it. 3. The tests for mercury are difficult to understand. Mercury binds to body tissues. That’s why it’s so difficult to remove. So when you test someone’s hair, blood, urine or feces, it won’t show a high level of mercury. Because it’s stuck inside the body, it isn’t floating around in the blood or it would be filtered out or detoxified like most other poisons. It’s only when you subject someone to a chelator that binds with and grabs mercury and then do testing that you can show relatively high levels. The mercury is stuck to tissues and lodged in receptors. It has to be pulled out with chelators and then you can only measure what is leaving the body as it’s leaving. You can never measure how much is in the body, where it is, what it’s doing or where that mercury originated from. Criticizing a hospital for offering mercury free vaccines is irresponsible. If you haven’t done enough homework and the subject is still over your head, you should not be passing on inaccurate information. You could cause potential harm to people.

  103. jdc325 said,

    Hi Karen,

    Lots of interesting claims there, but no references. Perhaps you could indicate the source(s) of your information?

    Criticizing a hospital for offering mercury free vaccines is irresponsible. If you haven’t done enough homework and the subject is still over your head, you should not be passing on inaccurate information. You could cause potential harm to people.

    Just on this point: I didn’t criticise the Breakspear for offering mercury-free vaccines, I criticised the wording of their paragraph on MMR and their offering an alternative vaccine schedule. They offer the single vaccines for measles and rubella instead of MMR (offering single vaccines for measles and rubella instead of the triple vaccine MMR means that children are left unprotected against mumps). None of these vaccines have ever contained mercury.

  104. nina mynk said,

    But they cured my Lyme Disease (not in my head – positive Western Blot) where no treatment is available through the NHS or through private doctors working in the NHS. My experience of the Breakspear has been of the utmost professionalism and care. So not all bad then.

  105. Lesley Tagg said,

    Lesley Tagg
    Hi nina would really like to talk to you further on your treatment for lyme at Breakspear. I have recently been diagnosed with lyme there.

  106. S Grant said,

    i would just like to say my grandmother is apart of this and i am not amused, she is a celiac and is getting treatment for lymes and candida from this place and she desperately needs a hip replacement and this so called hospital has told her she is allergic to the stuff the NHS use so she is refusing to have the op she needs. now breakspear are treating her for this LYMES. but not the candida and they now refuse to treat the candida and are only treating the lymes as the medication is more money for medication.

    if anyone has anything else i can go by then please tell me as my grandmother is injecting herself everyday and we dont know what it is :/ we (me and my grandfather) are extremely worried!

    thankyou. if you have any info please email me

    forever_love_you@hotmail.co.uk

  107. peter dinan said,

    Magic bullet treatments never work unscrupulous people market them. As a chronic sufferer I have learnt this the hard way

  108. Joanna Bentham said,

    I can only comment regarding the treatment i have received from Breakspear Hospital over the past 8 yrs. Dr Jean Munro is an AMAZING, PROFESSIONAL, CARING doctor!! The staff & drs she trains are trained to her high standard of care! Breakspear Hospital & in particulare Dr Munro (& before her Dr Heard) have saved my life!! On the NHS I was left to rot from the age of 26yr when I went parcially blind & spent some days in a wheelchair. I couldn’t eat a grape without literally passing out in pain!! Dr Heard saw me first & was so concerned about my health They offered me £6,000 worth of treatment and tests FREE under their new charity trust fund!! So anybody that says they are out to rip people off are completely ignorant of their work!! WITHOUT BREAKSPEAR & DR MUNRO I WOULD BE DEAD!! How do I know this? It’s too personal to say on the internet. But I know 100% that if my Occupational Therapist had not of recommended Breakspear after seeing Michael Ancram’s daughter in an article in The Times Magazine, stating that Breakspear found out what was wrong with her & cured her so she was no longer in a wheelchair…well without this knowledge I know I would not be here to tell you the truth!! I know there is a “witch hunt” out on Breakspear Hospital & Dr Munro & her staff & this is all because Dr Munro is bringing to light things the government & NHS would rather be left hidden!! And Dr Munro (or “Jean” as she is known by her patient) will not sit back & keep quite & watch innocent people suffer & die due to politics!!! THIS IS A TRUE DOCTOR!! Anyone that says otherwise is just “misinformed & plain wrong!!”

  109. Joanna Bentham said,

    P.S. THERE ARE NOT 11 people in accounts!! That made me laugh out loud! Obviously you havent even been to the hospital!! There is 1 person in credit control, 1 person in accounts & 1 assistant!!! There are approx 9 nurses & approx 5 drs & 2 people in patient liason (1 being a highly qualified & trained nurse)!
    You guys on here complaining about Drs without having the FULL FACTS ARE MESSING AND ENDANGERING PEOPLES LIVES!!
    I have been a patient for over 8yrs, i wish i found it sooner & i wouldnt be as ill as i am now!
    My M.E. nhs specialist FULLY AGREES AND SUPPORTS MY TREATMENT AT BREAKSPEAR!! Alot of her patients go there. I have found out Chronic Lyme Disease has hammered my immune system and caused M.E. I also have Coeliac Disease & Underactive Thyroid (tests carried out at Breakspear, took the results to my M.E. specialist & she agreed with Dr Munro’s findings)!!!
    Incidently after a car accident I was sent by the insurance company to see Prof Findley, an M.E. specialist…he was horrendous & the appointment cost the insurance company £3,200.00!!! I was there 1/2hr an hr!!
    People when you are sick & go to see a dr it is NOT A PERSONALITY CONTEST!! Dr Munro IS VERY HUMBLE & n

  110. Joanna Bentham said,

    …. & non assuming! We are use to pompus drs that act like God. Dr Munro does not, but then she will come out with some recent Lancet report finding or will totally hit the nail on the head with something that will blow your mind!! She literally NEVER ceases to amaze me!
    ANYONE OUT THERE WITH CFS/M.E PLS PLS PLS GO TO BREAKSPEAR!! It will change your life! I sit there in the clinic with normal people, ladys & lords & actresses (that you getting chatting to & you discover they have been to every dr in Harley St with no joy until they found Breakspear)!!
    Unfortunately the Lymw IV treatment is expensive, but it is expensive on the nhs!! Dr Munro is fighting with the government fir oatients to be allowed treatment at Breakspear on the NHS!! She got INVITED to the House of Commons to speak on “Environental Health!”
    Many MP’s go to HER for treatment! Michael Ancram’s MP) daughter helps raise charity for the hospital!!
    Unfortunately, you are all use to BAD DRS & when a hear of a humble dr that is treating & curing people you think it’s a con or she must not know what she is doing!
    All the patients at Breakspear are like 1 big family! It is not like being in a hospital, it’s friendly, helpful & u know when u ate critically sick u DO NEED A HUG!! And Dr Munro gave me the biggest hug after my mum died of cancer (she had treated her throughout & i could ring her direct WITHOUT ANY CHARGE)!! Ron Leon the Nutritionalist, gave me a big hug too & his eyes filled up with tears!! The nurses were the same! This isnt fake…this is empathy, cate & love! But my mums drs & surgeons were grateful if the work Breakspear did for them. Mum’s Colon surgeon said HE WOULD GO THERE TOO IF HE GOT CANCER!!
    THIS IS AN AMAZING PROFESSIONAL BUT FRIENDLY HOSPITAL!! Do not hesitate to go!!

  111. Hughes Maundy said,

    I agree wholeheartedly with Joanna .
    My wife has been a patient at the Breakspeare for over three years and when she went there she could hardly walk; she is highly sensitive to certain foods and other products, she even passed out after having eye drops to dilate her pupils for an eye test at the Moorefield clinic. After having low dose immunotherapy she can now eat more or less anything and if she gets a reaction she takes a bespoke Histamine vaccine. As Joanna has said the staff are all dedicated and caring people and hold Jean Monro in high regard. I have met many patients there who have been greatly helped by chelation and very much regret that the Breakspear has had to give it up. Lots of people getting better apparently is not regarded as evidence by the Monkey eating an apple! The GMC as has been said is an appalling place that feels like a masonic lodge and is not a body that has patient care as its mission. It is a trade union for Drs. You can be struck off and reapply 6 months later!!

    I do have one concern however and that is the sub clinic within the Breakspear headed up by Dr Peter Julu MBCHB , MSc, PhD. When testing for allergies patients can have their breathing upset whilst finding the right end-points for their vaccines, and some , my wife included, have had to have oxygen and CO2 on occasions to help them recover. Dr Julu is a specialist in autonomic responses e.g. breathing and recommends a re-breathing mask to teach the brain to breath correctly again. My wife had low CO2 and very little energy for a while and this treatment worked . Subsequently she has had low oxygen levels and the treatment of wearing the mask for up to 6 hour a day has produced some worrying effects including, uncontrollable jerks, weakness and transient loss of speech. Dr Monro together with a new member of the team a Dr specialising in respiratory medicine recommended that she come off the mask and she has since made a full recovery. Dr Julu who practices in a London Hospital and also has a clinic in Sweden is undoubtedly a pioneer in this field and his treatment can work , but it is a somewhat blunt instrument and they need to be able to do more tests at the clinic in particular arterial blood gas to precisely determine the O2 and CO2 levels. Wearing a full face mask can be very challenging and we have met some patients who could not tolerate it at all. My wife became very depressed indeed initially as it affects the brain etc. I must emphasise however that this is a sub-clinic with the Breakspear and does not detract in anyway from the excellent work they do in particular in treating Lyme disease and allergies. We have met people from all over the world who come to the Breakspear, Australia, South Africa, Germany, US, as well as France, Italy and Spain and they come back regularly for treatment. These are facts and I would suggest that that they are evidence. Medicine indeed requires a rigorous scientific approach but as my excellent GP told me the other day medical practice is not a science!! What works for one patient may not work for another.

  112. Elspeth Guyan said,

    I have been a patient at the Breakspear for 8 years. It is indispensable for me as I had become intolerant of all foods and just felt terrible. I just didn’t know what to eat to feel better. So the desensitisation programme has helped me and I can now eat a reasonable range of foods. It is expensive but I have to do it. If anyone thinks it is the placebo effect they are dead wrong. I have tried countless treatments over 30 years and this is one of the few that have helped.
    Having said that I have criticisms. I have spent an appalling amount of money on treatments at the Breakspear to try to cure the cause of my illness and am not better. They recommend an awful lot of tests which are so expensive and I am not convinced they are necessary. If they are the results of the treatment arising from them has been neglible. So there is good and bad. It is possible that I am difficult to treat because I have met people at the hospital who have progressed – although in some cases progress takes years. But if you can afford it, some progress is better than none. So like some commentators above I think you should check it out before you judge. When your health is ruined and the NHS isn’t helping, it is worth trying things out to see if it helps.

  113. Goldilox said,

    Reblogged this on elspethann.

  114. mythbuster said,

    “Medicine indeed requires a rigorous scientific approach but as my excellent GP told me the other day medical practice is not a science!! What works for one patient may not work for another.”

    Well medical science is not science at all, at best it’s guesswork for most of chronic medicine and most of the chronic/degenerative conditions are the result of acute palliation!

    The quote above is a typical medical ‘believer’ statement, it’s rigorous but has no idea what it is doing. That excellent GP needs to do some real learning instead of spending all his time in the Pubmed.

    Here is a challenge for Chris P or J20, Insert homeopathy in the place of medicine and see if it reads any different.

    Voodoo?

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