Friday, 11 May 2012
WIN AGAINST FALSE HOPE CANCER CLINIC
Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien has welcomed a Court of Appeal decision that found that the Hope Clinic, an alternative medicine clinic, misled and deceived terminally ill cancer sufferers into believing its dubious and controversial methods could “kill” cancer cells and prolong the life of sufferers.
The Court today has made orders against the four defendants, Noel Rodney Campbell, Operation Smile (Australia) Incorporated, Operation Hope (Australia) Pty Ltd (which operates The Hope Clinic at Finchley Avenue, Glenroy) and Hope Research Institute Pty Ltd.
This reverses the decision of the Victorian Supreme Court handed down in April 2011.
Mr O’Brien said today’s outcome prevents Mr Campbell from misleading vulnerable consumers. Final orders will be issued later today.
The Court has declared that Mr Campbell and Operation Smile engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct under the Fair Trading Act 1999, by falsely claiming, on its website www.smile.org.au, that the clinic’s treatments, services, techniques or procedures:
can cure cancer, or reverse, stop or slow its progress;
can prolong the life of a person suffering from cancer;
can benefit cancer sufferers; and
are supported by generally accepted science, and are evidence based therapies.
“This outcome is significant as it will protect further cancer sufferers and their families from being exploited and preyed upon at a time when they are already facing tragic circumstances,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Court has confirmed that Mr Campbell – who has no medical qualifications beyond dentistry – traded in false hope through his flimsy and scientifically unsound medical methods, at times taking tens of thousands of dollars from the terminally ill.
“In the case held before the Victorian Supreme Court in 2011 Consumer Affairs Victoria put forward expert testimony from an eminent oncologist to prove that Mr Campbell’s methods were not supported by generally accepted science and were not evidence-based therapies, after the Health Services Commissioner drew our attention to his practices in 2009,” Mr O’Brien said.
At no time during the trial did Mr Campbell deny his representations that his treatments could kill cancer or prolong the life of sufferers. He also acknowledged that Patient Consent Forms required his customers to
acknowledge, in writing, that the treatments were experimental, non-validated and not approved for use in Australia.
In February and March 2010, Consumer Affairs Victoria wrote to Mr Campbell requesting him to remove certain representations from Hope Clinic's website and to provide written undertakings in relation to the Clinic’s conduct.
After Mr Campbell declined to provide the requested undertakings, Consumer Affairs Victoria commenced action in the Supreme Court in May, securing an interlocutory injunction against Hope Clinic and Mr Campbell. Consumer Affairs Victoria was unsuccessful at trial in the Supreme Court and
These “complementary treatments and therapies” have now been ruled as being extremely unlikely to provide any anti-cancer benefit to anyone and could potentially cause harm:
Photodynamic Therapy, using a special light and ingesting chlorine-based photo-sensitisers;
Radiowave & Microwave Therapies, ultra-high frequency radio waves combined with glucose blockers;
Ozone Therapy, administered through saunas, cupping and insufflation;
Electrotherapy, determining and raising the electrical frequencies of cancer cells;
Neuron-immunology, using chemicals from the brain to affect the immune system;
Insulin Potentiation, implementing insulin with chemotherapy drugs;
Sono-dynamic Therapy; using low level ultrasound;
Ketogenic diet, starving the cancer cells; and
Vitamin C, intravenous use of very large doses of vitamin C.