A woman seeks treatment from an iridologist for a “cyst” on her head. The practitioner attempts useless treatments, never advising her to seek actual medical care. The wound was cancer. She dies. Now, a tribunal is taking place to assess what happened in this case.
Mrs Maine, a retired early childhood worker, had long styled her hair to cover up a lump that had been diagnosed by a GP about 40 years ago as a harmless cyst.
Growing irritation from the lump led her to seek out Mrs Nelson [iridologist].
Over 16 months, the iridologist, who is not a registered natural health practitioner and has no qualifications, “scraped and picked” at the wound, but discouraged her patient from visiting a doctor, Mrs Maine’s daughter, Carla Taylor, who was present at most of the treatments, claimed.
Mrs Nelson applied herbal poultices, oils and colloidal silver to the growing lesion. She also tried “emotional freedom tapping” – patting the patient’s forehead and repeating positive affirmations, the court heard.
By the time her family persuaded Mrs Maine to visit hospital in 2009, the lesion was an infected wound so deep her brain could be seen pulsating, Prof Tan said.
This is infuriating at several levels. An iridologist makes health diagnoses by examining a patient’s iris of the eye. They believe the structures of the iris reveals illness elsewhere in the body. There is zero scientific support for such claims. Zero. It’s nonsense. So, I’m furious that someone could buy into such nonsense and treat patients with it. I’m furious that this woman was so stubborn in her “faith” in alt med that she refused to seek out actual medical care even after her family’s urging. I am furious that Nelson did not pause to consider that this was outsider her expertise, was VERY serious and never recommended Maine see a doctor. Nelson is in her 70s.
You can’t get more harm than death from a baseless belief. I could say more but I won’t because that is the inquests job to consider the facts and the harm done.
Addition: Neurologica blog has a piece on this as well.
Tip: Jeff Palmer