GUYLAINE LANCTOT WAGES FIGHT
OVER QUEBEC MEDICAL LICENSE
From The Cancer Chronicles #32-33
© June 1996 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.
[As it turned out, we were never called to testify.
A well-known QuÈbec physician, Guylaine LanctÙt, MD has had her medical
license challenged by the QuÈbec College of Physicians for statements she
made in her book, The Medical MaÞa. Her trial, well-publicized in QuÈbec,
but almost unknown in the US, began in the College¼s committee room in December,
1995, resumed in March, 1996, and has now been postponed until October.
The complaint accuses the 54-year-old mother of four of "misleading
the public in her capacity as a doctor by communicating false, misleading,
inciting information which contravenes scientiÞc medical thinking, without
also informing the general population of opinions which are generally
accepted by the medical community."
Five of the eight charges against Dr. LanctÙt relate to her outspoken
opposition to routine childhood vaccinations. SpeciÞcally, they accuse
promoting a campaign of fear and discouraging
people, especially children, from being vaccinated;
prejudicing the population's health and welfare;
exposing opinions not generally admitted in medicine.
But there is more to this than meets the eye. According to the well-respected
Toronto Globe and Mail, "for several years, the medical establishment
has been waging a behind-the-scenes battle against a network of concerned
parents and dissident medical professionals, who, like Dr. LanctÙt, question
the safety and efÞcacy of vaccinating infants" (12/16/95). This has led
to court cases.
The debate has spilled over into the cancer field as well. Her medical
colleagues accused her of discouraging cancer patients from following
recognized treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and instead
advocating non-recognized 714X treatment.
The Cancer Chronicles asked Dr. LanctÙt if it wasn¼t true that she had
already stated her willingness to give up her medical license."Yes," she
told us, "I retired from active practice in 1994. So I have nothing to
lose if they take my license away. I could simply have resigned, which
is what the College wanted me to do. But I refused. My objective is to
raise public awareness.
"It is an opportunity to disseminate information which otherwise is
suppressed or boycotted by the medical establishment. "I want the truth
to come out and the Disciplinary Committee is the ideal platform."
The defense asked the editor of this newsletter to appear as an expert
witness in the case. If accepted by the court, here are some of the remarks
we will make:
TO THE DOCTORS OF QUEBEC
Your charges against Dr. LanctÙt which relate to the question of cancer
claim that she has "discouraged cancer patients from following recognized
treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy; and instead advocating
non-recognized 714X treatment."
In my opinion, Dr. LanctÙt has played a valuable role in waking up the
Canadian public to the dimensions of the cancer crisis. It is only with
such increased public and political awareness that we are likely to Þnd
a solution to this scourge. The pace of progress has been agonizingly
slow. The so-called war on cancer was supposed to discover a cure in time
for the US Bicentennial.
But after 25 years, it has failed to uncover a cure for a single statistically
important form of cancer. Many cancer experts have expressed their disillusionment
with the approach you advocate. Chemotherapy in particular has been a
For even when it shrinks tumors, this rarely correlates with increased
survival. In your charge against her, you speak conÞdently of "scientiÞc
medicine." But treatment decisions in cancer are often made on the basis
of medical opinion, tradition, and hearsay, rather than well-designed,
properly conducted, multicenter clinical trials.
Proof of the effectiveness in prolonging life or improving quality of
life is thus lacking for cancer of the liver, kidney, pancreas, stomach,
brain, lung, etc.
I would therefore suggest that before you try to silence your critics
for their opinions, you get your own house in order. Have you ever brought
charges against an oncologist who has given unnecessary toxic treatments
to patients? Or those who deceive the families of such patients about
the value of such treatment?
I think Dr. LanctÙt is fully justiÞed in pointing out the enormous Þnancial
stake that conventional medicine now has in treating cancer. Cancer is
a $100 billion business in the United States alone. Treatments for individuals
can be astronomically expensive. $150,000 for a bone marrow transplantation
is not uncommon. Yet there is no evidence that it extends life for the
vast majority of cancers.
You say that Dr. LanctÙt's statements fly in the face of accepted wisdom.
Perhaps they do. Yet this so-called wisdom is itself always changing.
In the past, for instance, the value of bloodletting was so widely accepted
that testing its efÞcacy as considered to be unethical. For a century
it has been considered taboo. Now it is making a comeback in the treatment
of certain disorders of iron metabolism and as a way of decreasing the
risk of certain cancers.
For almost 100 years, North American doctors practiced the Halsted radical
for early stage breast cancer. We now know that Dr. Halsted, great as
he was, formulated this procedure on a faulty 19th century doctrine of
cancer. The Halsted was unnecessary in most cases.
In fact, this has been known since the 1930s. Yet this did not dampen
the enthusiasm of surgeons for this procedure. They went on practicing
it for Þfty more years, and condemned those (like Prof. Vera Peters of
Toronto) who warned them against it!
One of the pioneers of a more sparing form of breast cancer surgery
was Dr. Geoffrey Keynes (brother of economist John Maynard Keynes). He
"orthodoxy in surgery is like orthodoxy in other departments
of the mind....A dissentient view is regarded as a criminal subversion
of the truth, and the holder is sometimes exposed to slander and abuse."
Such words might well apply to your persecution of Dr. LanctÙt for her unconventional
home - moss
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