From The Cancer Chronicles #32-33
© June 1996 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

[As it turned out, we were never called to testify. --RWM.]

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 her of:

  • 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:


    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 tremendous disappointment.

    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 stated that:

    "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 ideas.

    Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. is director of the The Moss Reports for cancer patients. Dr. Moss is the author of eleven books and three documentaries on cancer-related topics. He is or has been an advisor on alternative cancer treatments to the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Urological Association, Columbia University, the University of Texas, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the German Society of Oncology. He wrote the first article on alternative medicine for the Encyclopedia Britannica yearbook. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in the East, and Who's Who in Entertainment (as a film documentarian). This Web site does not advocate any particular treatment for cancer. We urge you to always seek competent medical advice for all health problems, especially cancer. Before consulting our site please read our full Disclaimer statement.

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