Natural health practitioner faces legal consequences for mistreatment

Natural health practitioner failed cancer patient.

A natural health practitioner who treated a woman with a lesion on her head for 18 months, even though recognising the lesion “looked cancerous”, faces Human Rights Review Tribunal action.

By the time Yvonne Maine sought hospital treatment, the lesion was 10 x 11cm and some underlying bones were damaged, the Health & Disability Commissioner (HDC) said.

Maine was diagnosed with cancer and underwent major surgery but died a year later.

Maine consulted Te Horo iridologist and natural health practitioner Ruth Nelson about the lesion in February 2008. At the time Maine thought the lesion was a cyst.

Despite being aware that the lesion was likely to be cancerous, Nelson did not inform Maine of her opinions about the severity of the condition or that the lesion was worsening during the course of the treatment, the HDC said.

Nelson knew that she had exceeded the limits of her expertise and that Maine needed advice from another practitioner, but she did not appropriately communicate that or discontinue her treatment, and she gave Maine information which accentuated the woman’s fear of conventional treatment.


Tip: Jeff Palmer

This is simply another example of trust placed in a medical practitioner that is NOT a medical doctor. The WORST part is at the end when she made the clinet FEAR conventional treatment. THAT is unethical. To deny someone the full explanation, why the consensus of professionals agrees that certain treatment is preferred, is a grievous mistake and SHOULD be called out.  There are far too many of these stories.

  2 comments for “Natural health practitioner faces legal consequences for mistreatment

  1. Megan
    September 5, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    This practitioner did NOT make this patient fear conventional medicine. This patient already had a fear and flat out refused to go to a doctor. The practitioner actually told her repeatedly to see a doctor but was ignored and did not feel she could just walk away. This patient was a sane woman. She had a husband living with her (note that he never called 111 as he was obviously not too concerned with what was happening) and a daughter who did nothing. She was also well enough to regularly care for two intellectually disabled adults who would come and stay with her. There is MUCH more to this story than has been reported.

    • September 5, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      That’s typical that there is more to a story that is not detailed. Thanks for pointing that out.

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