Doctor fined $25,000 for claiming to cure cancer with green tea

The Australian Medical Board has fined a doctor $25,000 because he told patients he could cure their cancer with a special diet, along with supplements and green tea. This landmark case could help discourage other fake cancer treatments, and save lives.

William Barnes, a doctor based in Perth, advertised online that he offered "non toxic herbal and nutritional treatment" for cancer, which began with a "hair analysis" (deemed unscientific by a medical review board) and ended with Barnes prescribing "green tea polyphenols, genistein from soy beans, curcumin from turmeric, quercetin, vitamin C, selenium, anti-cancer herbs, and mineral replacements."

According to Byron Kaye in the Medical Observer:

Dr Barnes was formally reprimanded for acting "improperly", banned from advertising unproven cancer treatments and ordered to pay the fine.

He was also ordered to have any patients with cancer read a form stating that he supported "treatment provided by oncologists [including] chemotherapy and other drug therapy".

The consent form states that the patient "understand[s] that there is no evidence that taking any of these substances or receiving them intravenously will cure my cancer or slow the progression of my cancer".

It seems a fitting punishment that this doctor should be required to tell his patients about cancer treatments that have been proven to work. Though some doctors think green tea could be a useful supplement to go along with other cancer treatments, the American Cancer Society says there is no definitive evidence that it can slow or stop cancer.

(Spotted on Doubtful News)