Thanks, Dr. Oz, for the terrible advice!

What happens when you listen to Dr. Oz’s advice?

Man sues Dr. Oz after show’s tip to fall asleep results in burned feet – NY Daily News.

An insomnia cure promoted by TV’s Dr. Oz left a New Jersey man with grotesque burns on his feet, a new lawsuit charges.

Frank Dietl, 76, claims Dr. Mehmet Oz’s so-called “knapsack heated rice footsie” left him debilitated instead of energized as promised.

“He wound up with third-degree burns on his feet and was confined to his bed for weeks,” Dietl’s attorney, Dominick Gullo, told the Daily News on Monday.

During an April 17 episode of “The Dr. Oz Show,” the popular cardiothoracic surgeon touted a segment dubbed “Dr. Oz’s 24-Hour Energy Boost.”

Oz encouraged viewers to fill the toes of a pair of socks with uncooked rice, warm up the footwear in a microwave oven and slip them on.

Even though Oz apparently warned of overheating, Dietl tried it and was left with burns after he fell asleep. Dietl suffers from a numbness condition as a result of diabetes so he did not realize he was being burned.

Now, this is a tricky subject. This story is ALL over the place right now as people point and laugh and experience Schadenfreude. But it’s more complicated than that. Dr. Oz is an ass for giving people stupid, pointless AND bad advice on a TV show. But people are gullible for taking it.

Is Oz completely at fault? I’m not sure. I would like him to be held accountable for the SCORES of bad advice and nonsense he dishes out every day. But in this case? It’s not just black and white. You are responsible for what you decide to do with information you get. Maybe some of you will disagree.

Tip: Todd Stonewall and Ray Gorman

  15 comments for “Thanks, Dr. Oz, for the terrible advice!

  1. Chris Howard
    March 19, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    What are the exact legal requirements for malpractice?

  2. RDW
    March 19, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    I, personally, would consider “Dr. Oz” culpable. Having a sleep disorder myself, I’ve found some seemingly safe remedies. A hot bath with a few drops of mineral oil and a couple of tablespoons of Epsom Salts, a cup of Chamomile Tea, and a Valerian capsule. If I’m tense and can’t sleep, these always work. I might toss an aspirin in the mix as well.

  3. Lisa Barth
    March 19, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    It seems to me if you had a numbness problem in your feet related to Diabetes you would use caution with this advice. And ,maybe I’m missing something, but if your toes are numb why do you need to warm them anyway?

  4. March 19, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    I never watch these shows, but I guess I assumed that since they give so much medical advice that there would be a disclaimer before or after stating, “Never do any of these things without checking with your physician first”. Is there? If not I’d think he’d be on the hook for all kinds of insanity.

    I would never wish harm on anyone, but maybe if more cases like this show up it will force shows like Oz and Dr. Phil to make some changes for the better.

  5. Kristen
    March 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    It seems like bad advice, because although there are warming pillows filled with rice which are supposed to work quite well, you are protected from touching the heated rice through the fabric of the pillow. Heating the rice and then strapping it to your feet seems like a terrible idea – akin to heating anything in a microwave and then jamming your hand in it – it will be HOT. How much responsibility does someone have if they have as assumed authority (Dr.) and give bad advice to the public, vs the responsibility of someone who takes the advice even though their judgement may be somewhat impaired due to age or illness? I’m guessing a jury would come down in favor of the doctor on this one.

  6. Adam
    March 19, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Dr Oz might be a promoter of quackery and be a general scourge on common sense but I really don’t see this as his fault here. Applying hot rice to your feet without checking if its too hot and falling asleep is self inflicted injury.

  7. March 19, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Although it was bad advice, the key here is that Doctor Oz did warn about overheating, But this person, because of his diabetes, was oblivious to the temperature until the damage was done. While I’m not a fan of Doctor Oz, it does sound like he gave a reasonable warning. The person who received the injuries should take responsibility for his own condition.

    That said, there are heating pads with automatic shut-off timers, and THAT’S what Doctor Oz should have recommended, not some cockamamie do-it-yourself microwave rice socks. Not all heating pads have an automatic shut-off, so even with those, the safety responsibility is with the user, and not the manufacturer.

  8. Gary
    March 19, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Is it even possible to get third degree burns that way?

  9. Janie
    March 19, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    I’m a diabetic and am aware that you are to be causes because of nerve damage . His Doctor undoubtly must have told him the same. You have to be responsible for your own actions

  10. One Eyed Jack
    March 20, 2013 at 5:32 AM


    FWIW, many aspirin formulations contain caffeine. Check the bottle before taking one if you’re trying to get to sleep.

  11. March 20, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    While I dislike Oz and his quackery, I dislike lawsuits like these a tad more. Dr. Oz was not a direct contributor to a person’s inability to think about the dangers of leaving a heat source on their body for prolonged periods.

  12. March 20, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Let’s really think about this. If this person went to Dr. Oz in his medical office, which would be unusual since Dr. Oz is a surgeon, and Doc Oz told this patient to do this treatment, would he be culpable? Yes he would. The expression “always get a second opinion” does not get Oz off the hook. Is that a fair comparison to a doctor giving advice over the television? i would say if Dr Oz were a responsible physician, he would realize that people would treat it that way. After all, he is presenting himself as an authority figure, a knowledgeable physician, and if the words are coming out of his mouth, he is responsible for the consequences. He definitely should be censured by the medical community and have his llicence to practice medicine taken away. Dr Oz warned about overheating, but did Dr Oz give the temperature that would cause third degree burns? Did the Dr. give specific directions on using a thermometer and what temperatures would be best for this procedure? Otherwise, did Dr. Oz act in a responsible way when dealing with a potentially harmful practice or did he just say ‘don’t overheat’? Does that average person even know the temperature of boiling water much less the temperature that a grain of rice can burn you? If you’ve ever gotten a piece of onion on you that you’ve been frying, its more like napalm than just a regular burn. His time has come, make him responsible for the advice he is giving either with money or take away his licence.

  13. March 20, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    A good point – after all his nonsense, he gets sued for this thing.

  14. March 21, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    God knows I am no fan of Dr Oz, but… if a masseuse advises you to draw a warm bath when you get home and immerse yourself in it and you literally do so, drowning yourself in the process, who’s to blame? Oz didn’t tell this guy to cook the rice to steaming, and the man knew he had diabetic problems that made his feet insensitive to heat. This wasn’t by any stretch dangerous advice; [edited]

  15. Sussieq
    March 29, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    I don’t watch Dr. Oz for a variety of reasons. First of all I’m not looking for answers from a physician on television. My personal physician is my go-to guy. Secondly, I’ve heard really bad advice on his show. One huge problem with the show is Dr. Oz doesn’t tell viewers not to try anything before consulting their personal physician. As a physician it is his obligation to do so. So a 76 year old man, a diabetic with cold feet is looking for a solution. Because of neuropathy, his feet aren’t sensitive to heat, cold, or pain. When offering up this remedy for cold feet, it was negligent of Dr. Oz to advise diabetics to consult their physician. The people who get anything out of this show are definitely those with NO medical knowledge. Those of us who are recognize it as a bunch of nonsense.

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