In what can be considered a minor victory for medicine and public health Dr. Christine Daniel was brought up on fraud charges. Daniel pushed crazy remedies on those who were in the most desperate phase of life. Facing life-threatening cancers these patients were looking for any answers they could get and Daniel was willing to provide them with very expensive advice. Too bad none of that advice was based on any sort of science or evidence based medicine and ended any chance that these people had of living.
Take Minna Shakespeare, who contacted Daniel in December 2002 after seeing her on TBN’s “Praise the Lord” TV program espousing the effectiveness of her herbal treatment. Daniel told Shakespeare to stop her chemotherapy “because it doesn’t work” and to pay her $13,000 for her herbal cancer treatment. Shakespeare told Daniel she didn’t feel that the treatment was working so Daniel told her to go back on the chemotherapy. But I thought that chemotherapy was ineffective Dr. Daniel? I don’t understand the change of heart. Of course what Daniel doesn’t want to say is that she knows the chemo is effective and had a chance to keep Shakespeare alive longer. If Shakespeare stays alive longer then Daniel can charge for her herbal treatment longer and continue raking in the profit.
This is absolutely despicable and a good example of what happens with cancer quackery and all types of medical woo. Daniel even claimed that her herbal medicine could treat and cure multiple sclerosis, hepatitis, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. There is absolutely no feasible biochemical mechanism that could explain how an herbal extract, even one that contains tons of different chemicals, could cure that many different mechanisms. In fact, there is no single medication, herbal or otherwise, that can cure “cancer” as it is hugely wide range of diseases that fall under one category of cancer.
I’m glad to see this type of action taken against a quack as these people offer hope that is not there and cost desperate people tons of money for treatments that don’t work. True, conventional treatments cost a lot of money as well, but there is proven science behind them that they may cure your disease, or at least extend your life. The report says Daniels made $1.1 million from 55 families, a fortune for any person. This is pretty sick, but it will not stop many of the quacks out there and the patients that seek them out. I hope that this sets a precedent of prosecuting fraudulent activity and actively spreading medical lies. I’m sure it won’t set off a firestorm of prosecutions, but one can always hope.