Patients loved board-certified doctor who administered weird vaccines (Updated: Hearing November 21)

UPDATED
According to a new piece in the Chicago Tribune Dr. Lin’s hearing will be November 21. This unfortunate piece by the Tribune showcases testimonials from patients, providing them the same weight as those statements from medical professionals, a fallacy that commenters here have also embraced. A boatload of anecdotes that “it worked for me” is no measure of validity. The doctor’s patients and the reporter do not seem to grasp the far more stringent standards required in modern medical claims today. In circumstances where there is a scientific conclusion that can be made, vying testimonials against scientific findings is false balance and is deceptive and fallacious. The body of scientific evidence about vaccinations and homeopathy is not a matter of opinion.

The article does shed more light on the charges against Dr. Lin. For one, he was inappropriately administering vaccines, orally or nasally, when that form does not provide adequate immunization:

Lin admitted that he usually administered several other vaccinations by nose or mouth. They included RV, which protects against rotavirus; DTaP, for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, or whooping cough; MMR for measles, mumps and rubella; and varicella, for chickenpox — among other vaccines.

Of those, the only vaccine approved for oral vaccination by the FDA is RV, or the rotavirus vaccine. The rest are approved for injection only, according to Dr. Ann-Christine Nyquist, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases.

Patients were not told that these methods of immunization would not work because Dr. Lin seems to think they do work. When the patients were tested to see if they were protected from these diseases, they were not. Dr. Lin’s response shows he does not understand how immunity works.

Lin told the investigator that he was not surprised that the blood tests were negative, because, he said, “they fight the body’s immune system in a different manner,” the complaint said.

This dangerous misinformation can result in illness and death. He does not appear qualified to be practicing immunology. The position in the Tribune article is not strong enough in stating the voluminous facts that show homeopathic treatments do not work. And, their use of personal testimonials with an emotional bent is deceptive, providing what could be perceived as a tacit endorsement that this type of alterative treatment is acceptable for children.

Editors note: Further testimonials from patients will not be accepted – this is a science-based site. Please read the guidelines.

Original (28 September 2016)

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has suspended the license of Ming Te Lin, MD in an emergency action today after discovering he was “modifying vaccinations” in his office in Flossmoor. Dr. Lin was investigated after complaints were filed by other health providers according to the Chicago Tribune. His office was described as unsterile by the investigators. The preparations described in the order against him are unconventional and sound unsanitary and potentially dangerous to children.

Lin added alcohol and sometimes cat saliva gathered with a swab from a cat’s mouth for patients with allergies, he told investigators, and he used a device called the “WaveFront 2000” to detoxify vaccinations from mercury.

As if nonexistent mercury was the threat in this situation… But wait, the WaveFront device provides a clue to what may be going on here. It is based on a completely pseudoscientific concept and is used to create homeopathic treatments. It is described as:

…an electronic device that detects the unique, subtle electro-magnetic frequency information of any substance placed in its input well and imprints the signal into a carrier fluid placed in the output well. The signal can be inverted to form an anti-allergen remedy.

cat-allergy1So, I suspect, but can’t be at all sure, that Lin used cat saliva in the preparation as a homeopathic treatment for cat allergies, but I’m just spit-balling here…

Treatments like this are called ‘nosodes‘:

A  nosode “is a homeopathic remedy prepared from a pathological specimen. The specimen is taken from a diseased animal or person and may consist of saliva, pus, urine, blood, or diseased tissue.”

And people complain about the alleged toxins in real vaccines.

There were no previous disciplinary actions against Lin whose speciality was as an allergist/immunologist. I can not currently access the order with the details about the preparations and how often he was using them or if he used actual vaccines in practice. The limited details in the news pieces suggest that the preparations were provided orally or nasal, not injected, but that is not clear. Use of the word “vaccines” and the inclusion of “cat saliva and vodka” as the main points to grab the reader suggests that that this was the mixture injected. But that is not clear from the information given and may be misleading.

Dr. Lin graduated from Medical College of Taiwan, completed his residency at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Hawaii and was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology [source]. The “Medical College of Taiwan” became the Taipei Medical University which appears to teach science-based medicine. His patients were typically full of praise for his manner.
screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-57-41-pm

His Vitals.com page shows several awards:
Patients’ Choice Award (2010 – 2013, 2015)
Compassionate Doctor Award – 5 Year Honoree (2015)
Compassionate Doctor Recognition (2011 – 2015)
On-Time Doctor Award (2015)

What could be worse, legally, is that Lin is accused of stating (possibly for school and day care requirements) that he provided conventional shots to his patients, including infants, when he actually did not.

What would be the explanation for a doctor to reject what appears to be basic tenets of immunology and ethics? It is not clear if Lin was a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner or a homeopath. Lin was cooperative with officials it appeared, saying he’d been practicing this way for decades. When trying to gain the full story via the mainstream media, we are left with more questions than answers and a great amount of disgust. There will be a disciplinary hearing on October 11.

Thanks to David for the heads up on this story.

Addition (29 Sept 2016): Several people have noted that “board-certified” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. A friend of DN, also a pediatrician in the Chicago area, informed me that board membership to the American Board of Pediatrics and Board of Allergy Immunology used to be granted for life after passing initial testing without the requirement for continuing education or testing.

  68 comments for “Patients loved board-certified doctor who administered weird vaccines (Updated: Hearing November 21)

  1. Kenshin
    September 28, 2016 at 8:53 PM

    As someone who has 1 current speciality board certification, will be taking his 2nd subspeciality board exam next week and his 3rd exam the following year, I think, unfortunately, the general public ascribes too much significance to board certification.

  2. Hiram
    September 29, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Looks like another con-artist. I just wonder if those “patient reviews” are genuine. It doesn’t matter (or does it?), though, because he has won so many “Compassionate Doctor” (should be “Ducktor”) awards.

    Quacks posing as doctors almost always come across as more “compassionate” than real doctors to the unsuspecting. This shows, I think, that people tend to make health decisions based on their emotions, rather than reason and science. That, of course, is understandable. We are all hardwired to believe at some level. This is why it is so important to root out quackery that poisons the medical well, so that people don’t have to deal with false choices.

  3. Suzanne
    September 29, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    As a patient of dr Lin I can tell with that his methodologies are based in science and do work! And yes, he is a compassionate dr who cares enough not to just offer toxic drugs that only suppress uncomfortable symptoms.

    Prior to establishment of the AMA, homeopathy was widely used in Europe and the United States. In a nut shell likes cure likes, this is a simplified definition of homeopathy. For the cat saliva mentioned in the original article about dr Lin was used to prepare an allergy remedy for someone who is allergic to cats. The homeopathic remedy basically stimulates the body to heal itself. Google homeopathy before you make crude, demeaning comments please. You’ll see how well it works and amazing it is.

    Big pharma is behind all of this. Don’t be shocked when your local health food stores start closing down too. We are losing our freedom of choice and free speech in our country.

    I’m glad dr Lin was my children’s pediatrician for so long. His homeopathic remedies worked with no negative side effects.

    Signed,

    A patient who knows the real truth

  4. September 29, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Suzanne:

    This is a science-based site. Homeopathy is magical-based. It is not scientific or natural, it makes zero sense with regards to how nature works and the results of testing homeopathic cures (as you would test medication and other treatments) is utter failure.

    I’m sad and disturbed that you did not consult doctors who use modern medical techniques for your children. People have died by foregoing real medical treatment for sham promises by alternative practitioners. By using fake vaccines, a child can have suffer from or die of whooping cough, measles, chicken pox, mumps, tetanus and in other countries diphtheria, polio, rotavirus, influenza, just to list the most common.

    The reason why homeopathy APPEARS to work is clear but it is not why the practitioners say that it does. People perceive the cure has worked because your body has fought off the condition itself. You have been fooled into thinking the treatment was effective. Please do not post that you “know it works” because it does not. I’ve done more than a Google search on this. But, a quick Google search will also reveal reputable sites that show how and why homeopathy certainly DOES NOT work. Even the most basic search, Wikipedia, reveals that homeopathy is nonsense. I know you don’t want to believe that a person you trusted has deceived you but that is apparently exactly what happened. I’d guess Dr. Lin believes it’s true too. Even he is deceived along with the millions of others that continue to use a useless, potentially dangerous form of treatment.

    Don’t you think you should consider the overwhelming scientific opinion and the fact that physics, chemistry, germ theory and human physiology knowledge ALL SHOWS that homeopathy is nonsense. Aren’t children worth that much? PLEASE research what homeopathy really is for the sake of your children then decide if you should continue to use it.

    https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/homeopathy/

    http://www.1023.org.uk/what-is-homeopathy.php

    http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/homeo.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/nov/16/sciencenews.g2

  5. Shirley L. Higgs
    September 29, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    You have no idea what or who you are writing this nasty, uninformed opinion about. Dr. Lin was my son’s pediatrician & is currently my Dr. of choice. He immunized my son against his own poison ivy reaction when my son used to suffer horribly every time he was exposed. He is by far the best doctor i’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Unfortunately uneducated, uninformed ignorance is rampant in this country & the world at large.

  6. Shirley L. Higgs
    September 29, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    Scientific based on whose science funded by whom. Homeopathy was huge prior to its decimation by the AMA & APA. Unfortunately for them, people got well & that did not fit into the big business model based on total greed & not ethics nor morality. Please conduct further research yourself prior to making statements presented as absolutes.

  7. September 29, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    “Unfortunately uneducated, uninformed ignorance is rampant in this country & the world at large.”

    VERY TRUE.

    And uneducated, uninformed ignorance about health care will get you in trouble eventually. See my response to Suzanne.

  8. September 29, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Hiram: I would not call Dr. Lin a con-artist. Many smart people have been taken in by homeopathy and believe it works even though it certainly does not work they way they say it does.

  9. Lori
    September 29, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    We have know Dr. Lin for many years. Family members and friends that go to him all have the same opinion as ourselves. He is a good doctor, and a good man. And his methods of practice work for us. He gives the community a sense of trust and wellness. Once again the media does not have all the facts, but needed drama for their article. Judgement should not be included in any article. It takes away a professional trust. If you are unaware of how eastern medicine is practiced then do not waste your time on the the rest of the public who is. We are aware.We practice a natural way of living on a daily basis. And we teach to our children and grandchildren this way of life. This is our life. Dr. Lin is a great physician who actually heals his patients and is a godsend. Bless you Dr. Lin. Sending prayers to you and your family.

  10. September 29, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    We are aware that Traditional Chinese Medicine and Homeopathy DO NOT WORK as you have been told. They are no better than placebo which is no treatment at all.

    Seems there is some coordination for Dr. Lin’s patience to visit and leave comments. Your anecdotes are not a substitute for the body of evidence that shows you put your kids at risk by using an alternative to standard medical care.

    I know you don’t want to hear this but your opinions don’t make a difference.

  11. September 29, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    Wrong. And ridiculous.

  12. Peebs
    September 29, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    It didn’t take long for the ‘Pharma Schill Gambit’ to raise it’s ugly head, did it?

  13. September 29, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    It never does. They have nothing better.

  14. Peebs
    September 29, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    Ironically, if homeopathy was ever proven to be effective it would be ‘Big Pharma’ who’d clean up financially.

    I mean, how many doses can be made from 1ml/mg of active ingredient (I did once try to work it out; but I was very drunk at the time!).

  15. Kathleen
    September 29, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    TCM and “natural” approaches, address ROOT cause of illness whereas some of today’s “modern medicine” actually treat symptoms. I have a lot of respect for the specialists in the world who treat trauma and do surgical interventions when that is necessary. Diagnostic equipment has come along way, which is great, but in that process a lot of human touch has been lost. Holistic practitioners are bringing that back.
    However, the ignorance of professionals who seem to think there’s only one type of medicine to be practiced overwhelms me. Dr Lin and those who practice as he does address underlying issues. I am fortunate that I utilize many types of physicians when I and my family need, and those practitioners that are open to both are by far the modern medicine practitioners we need today.

  16. September 29, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    Again, this is nonsense. You are confusing Dr Lin’s apparent good manners and caring with the credibility of the treatment. They are COMPLETELY different things.

    There may be other techniques and approaches in medicine but if you want one that has actually been shown to work reliably, you must choose science based medicine.

  17. September 29, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    I reported Dr. Lin to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation 5 years ago based on information given by a mutual patient of ours. Dr. Lin was administering a clear oral liquid to this 2 month old infant and telling the mother that this would create immunity equal to traditional vaccines. The concoction had no label or list of ingredients. The mother did not know the ingredients either, yet willingly fed it to the baby. All of this was disturbing enough, but then she showed me a standard Illinois proof of vaccine form that was filled out and signed by Dr. Lin attesting to immunity from hepatitis B, DTaP, polio, HiB, and pneumococcal disease. That’s really where he crossed the line. That is fraud. Families may choose to refuse vaccination, but falsifying vaccine records and status puts us all at risk. That’s when I reported him. Justice is not always swift, but I was very satisfied to see this day come.

  18. September 29, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    Bleeding people was an accepted practice for ~800 yr’s and people swore by it too. As a nurse, I watched a 10 yr, born to enlightened parents who weren’t going to be taken in the bug pharma lies, die of measles. It was ugly, painful and they absolutely -they neglect – murdered their child. You want to watch your kid get sick or die-be ready to go to jail for it & make sure & keep your kids away from everyone who complies with good health practice & gets real immunizations. By the way, out taxes paid for real immunizations, he billed for real immunizations-that’s also call fraud.

  19. Karen H.
    September 29, 2016 at 4:09 PM

    I’m sorry but as a parent whose child and the rest of my family has been a patient for 12 years I do not call this justice. He is the most competent, caring, compassionate doctor I have every been to. Because of him hundreds of parents have been able to make informed alternative choices to keep their children safe and healthy. Using homeopathic medicine which is regulated by the FDA he has be able to help our daughter and keep her off of antibiotics and heavy medications. He has helped other members of our family out of serious conditions without dangerous medications. And he has helped us and hundreds of other patients using homeopathy, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine when others have not been able to help. He is not a quack, he is not a fraud. . His approach may be unconventional but it is not careless either. Though it may may appear so by those who do not know him or understand the methods of medicine he is practicing . What has been written in the press about him is very one sided and slanted. He has been very misrepresented. He is a very gifted, compassionate doctor and a good man who has helped hundreds and hundreds of patients when others could not. Putting an end to this is not justice it is sad and a huge loss for many.

  20. September 29, 2016 at 4:34 PM

    Homeopathy is NOT regulated by the FDA. It is not tested like conventional medicine and regardless of your anecdotes, it STILL does not work.

  21. G
    September 29, 2016 at 6:03 PM

    Homeopathy, by its own definition (IF it worked), “cures” *only* symptoms.

    The idea goes, you take something that causes a symptom–like poison ivy causes a rash–dilute it until there’s nothing left, and then that water “cures” any rash.

    There is nothing in that concept that allows homeopathy to address the root of an illness. It only, strictly, was designed for symptoms.

    It doesn’t work, of course; you can dramatically overdose on any true homeopathic “remedy” with no effect at all, which is an easy demonstration. But even if sympathetic magic worked, it still has no mechanism for “curing” disease–only “treating” symptoms.

  22. September 29, 2016 at 6:24 PM

    He is accused of FRAUD. Not being a meanie.

    You are biased because you think he is a good, caring guy, obvious. You are confusing Dr Lin’s apparent good manners and caring with the credibility of the treatment. They are COMPLETELY different things. I realize you do not wish to learn about homeopathy and the reems and reems of evidence that shows it does not work and that it makes no logical sense but stop insinuating that other experts in medicine and science are trumped by your personal experience.

    There may be other techniques and approaches in medicine but if you want one that has actually been shown to work reliably, you must choose science based medicine. Anecdotes are a dime a dozen and they mean nothing. The hearing will show if he’s been represented or not.

  23. Margaret Wilson
    September 29, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    Absolutely not a quack, since you don’t know you should not render an opinion. My family has seen him for over 25 years. He has helped us and countless people I know who’ve gone to him. Homeopothy is completely different than main stream western medicine. If someone doesn’t understand the theory behind it or wrap their brain around it then stay with your typical MDs

  24. Margaret Wilson
    September 29, 2016 at 8:16 PM

    Agreed there is a place for both

  25. September 29, 2016 at 8:28 PM

    It must NOT be misrepresented as reasonable medical treatment. People need to clearly understand that homeopathy has no mechanism to actually work from a molecular, chemical or physical means. To employ it for children in lieu of ACTUAL medical care, such as immunizations against real diseases is harmful.

    http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html

    U.K. man dead after choosing homeopathy over heart meds

    Australia officially states that homeopathy is baseless

    Parents charged with mistreatment after ill child treated with homeopathy and prayer

    A terrible price for bad decisions. Everyone suffers in homeopathy tragedy.

    Boiron settlement – just the start of admitting there is nothing to homeopathy? (UPDATED: Call to remove products)
    Child death probed after Italian parents rely on homeopathy

    There is more, but I’d be here all night linking. Search on Homeopathy on this page for more.

  26. September 29, 2016 at 8:36 PM

    I already included the aspect that Dr. Lin was popular and was beloved by patients. I totally get that and, honestly, I have not disputed that. Therefore, your endless praise of how wonderful he was is NOT relevant. You come here to call this a witch hunt and me a shill with an agenda without having ANY reasonable response to the facts about homeopathy. I have looked at both sides, having no agenda for or against homeopathy, and reported based on the facts provided by the Illinois investigative board. You have not addressed the scientific side at all or the alleged claims specifically. Instead, you doubled down on your belief, obviously in denial of the concept that he is accused of committing fraud and doing something potentially dangerous under the guise of compassionate care. It would behoove you to deal with those issues objectively if you possibly can, however difficult that may be.

    All first time visitors who wish to comment on this site need to read the commenting guidelines. This is not your blog or your free space to insult others or deluge us with your personal experiences. Further comments like this will be excluded.

    http://doubtfulnews.com/about-doubtful-news/

  27. September 29, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    Someone just tried to post a link to Natural News. I’m not kidding. It’s impossible to have any sort of rational discourse with these folks.

  28. Peebs
    September 29, 2016 at 10:41 PM

    It does give a good idea of their credulity and cognitive dissonance.

  29. Hiram
    September 30, 2016 at 5:50 AM

    I agree with you, actually. I probably shouldn’t have jumped to the conclusion that this guy was being deliberately unscrupulous, without clear evidence for the same. However, I find it extremely hard to buy the idea that an immunologist trained in science-based medicine would merely be “taken in” by disproven and unproven quack remedies, so much so that he would sell them to his unsuspecting patients without bothering to check for safety and efficacy. He should have known better. But yeah, no judgment without evidence.

    And I think most of the commenters (assuming they are not trolling) here kind of prove my point, about how “compassionate” doctors/quacks tend to have more fans than science-based practitioners of medicine. They have just provided anecdotes/belief-based, evidence-free philosophies as defense, rather than scientific evidence that homeopathy, TCM etc really work. I actually feel sorry for them.

  30. September 30, 2016 at 8:42 AM

    ScienceAlert (AUS) has an article out (http://www.sciencealert.com/a-chicago-doctor-just-got-busted-for-using-vaccines-made-of-cat-saliva-and-vodka) that pretty much has the same information as I put in this one. There has not been any new info released. Though they link to the above piece, they say that the patients will be turned off by the cat saliva. I don’t know. As from the comments here, the parents are completely trusting. Being that the doses may be diluted to the point of nonexistence, that may not be a problem. People already subscribe to the bogus idea of water memory. As I noted, it was confirmed that the cat saliva bit was related to treating a cat allergy.

    But, there are only a handful of patients who came here to defend the doctor, I think most people are rational enough to be outraged and seek out another doctors (they really have no choice). I just hope it’s a doctor who follows the standards of care.

    Finally, I’m thinking that the hearing will only end up suspending the doctor and he will eventually go back to practicing. Without having the full story, maybe he will return to science-based medicine instead of homeopathy. I do wish that homeopaths were banned from treating children but I don’t think that will happen soon.

  31. September 30, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    BTW, a few other replies have been rejected because some commenters can’t follow simple rules I’ve listed. They continue to disregard facts that have been stated, instead making ad hominem attacks. That defensive discourse is not tolerated here.

  32. Grumpy
    September 30, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    “There is nothing in that concept that allows homeopathy to address the root of an illness. It only, strictly, was designed for symptoms.” Well said, G, well said.

    Very much like religion, skeptics often know and understand the dogma better than the believers.

  33. Chris
    September 30, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    Those who commit fraud are usually very likable. That is how they work. The serial killer Ted Bundy was considered to be a very nice guy, which is how true crime writer Ann Rule described him in her book The Stranger Beside Me. She met him while they were both working at a crisis hotline.

    I have had personal experience being taken in by one of these people. Almost thirty years ago I spent several weeks serving jury duty on a civil case. The judge was just lovely, funny and very personable. I could not say enough good stuff about him, and then a few months later a co-worker showed me the front page of that day’s newspaper. That judge had committed suicide in his chambers because it had been revealed he sexually abused several young boys at a private school:
    http://www.historylink.org/File/4298

    I know these are just two extremes. The the theme is repeated over and over and over again. Lots of people love Wakefield (I find him swarmy), and loved John Brinkley the goat testicle “doctor” (the subject of Penny Lane’s documentary “Nuts”).

    By the way, I have a “recipe” for homeopathic Nat Mur that I occasionally post. It seems to get true believers even angrier, so I won’t post it here. Truthfully it is kind of long, it starts with:

    Recipe for Nat Mur or Natrum Mur or Natrium Mur or Natrum muriaticum:

    1) Take ½ teaspoon of sea salt and dissolve into 1 cup of distilled water in a bottle.

    2) Shake well.

    3) This is a 1C solution (ratio 1/100).

    And then goes on for a total of 90 steps for a 30C dilution, with the ratio being a 1 divided by a number with sixty zeroes.

  34. September 30, 2016 at 2:48 PM

    Eww. It’s totally inappropriate to compare psychopaths to misinformed people.

  35. Lagaya1
    September 30, 2016 at 3:36 PM

    These comments upset me for multiple reasons. for one, they seem to almost always come from women. Is it because they have a more active role in the child rearing? Or are women just expected to steer clear of science education? It is increasingly embarrassing to me that it’s women who become the activists in this type of nonsense.

  36. Chris
    September 30, 2016 at 5:26 PM

    My apologies. Is Dr. Lin just misinformed?

    Perhaps a better comparison would be to Boyd Haley who pushed getting rid of amalgam fillings in the 1990s, and then switched to finally promoting an industrial chelator (OSR) to cure autistic children. Perhaps he was just misinformed.

    Or perhaps Rashid Buttar who has all sorts of odd treatments. Including his own transdermal chelator which was a cream that was supposed to remove the bad effects of vaccines.

    Forgive me if I see a similarity to Dr. Lin. Though the point still stands, the engaging personality of successful pseudoscience practitioners is often part of their success.

  37. One Eyed Jack
    September 30, 2016 at 6:15 PM

    I think it’s important to remember Lin’s background. Being Asian, there is a good chance (though no certainty) that he was raised in an environment where TCM and similar treatments were not only accepted, but more common than Western Medicine. Given that potential background, he may view things like homeopathy as merely complementary and not contradictory.

    You don’t have to be scientifically literate to be an MD. You can memorize anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology without understanding the science behind it. So it’s not hard to imagine someone that embraces both Western Medicine and unscientific, fringe treatments.

  38. One Eyed Jack
    September 30, 2016 at 6:22 PM

    Please explain the mechanism of homeopathy, since you say we don’t understand it. While you are at it, please provide evidence (anecdotes are not evidence) for its efficacy. Keep in mind that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If it really works, this should be easy.

  39. Hiram
    October 1, 2016 at 2:32 AM

    I think it’s important to remember Lin’s background. Being Asian, there is a good chance (though no certainty) that he was raised in an environment where TCM and similar treatments were not only accepted, but more common than Western Medicine.

    The article suggests that he was trained in science-based medicine. If his “Asian” background were responsible, then significantly high percentages of first-generation immigrant MDs of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Israeli, Indian and Iranian (to name a few) backgrounds would also believe and practice hooey they learned where they were raised. Also, I tend to cringe at this frequent mischaracterization of modern science-based medicine, which has nothing to do with culture, as “Western medicine”. There are medical professionals in the East as well. They are not known to “vaccinate” (at least I have seen no evidence that they do) their children with nosodes. Finally, there is enough pseudo-medicine in the US (naturopathy, homeopathy, chiropractic, quacky supplements, you name it) to warrant the formation of redundant bodies such as the NCCIH to bring all the quackery together, and that keep being funded handsomely despite near-zero output. These faithful “patients” of “Dr.” Lin weren’t made in China, after all.

    You don’t have to be scientifically literate to be an MD. You can memorize anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology without understanding the science behind it.

    I suppose you are right. But being an MD also requires learning principles of medical ethics by rote, which are actually easier to conceptualize for even laypeople.

  40. Patrick O'Neal M.D.
    October 1, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    I missed the part where Vodka and Cat Saliva became FDA approved. Falsifying state forms is fraud. He has committed fraud. In addition, parents that knowingly turn in fraudulent state forms are complicit in the fraud.

  41. October 1, 2016 at 5:38 PM

    Sharon,
    I commend your patience in moderating this particular issue. It does appear that there has been a coordinated response from Dr. Lin’s patient base, but that’s not necessarily a wrong thing. It’s good for people to speak up for someone they think has been unjustly dealt with.

    Apparently, the patients are dealing in good faith with Dr. Lin, unaware of the scientific need to set aside anecdotal evidence. I have no doubt that he has a kindly and caring attitude toward his patients. But illegally modifying vaccines and administering unlabeled modified chemicals (as Dr. O’Neil points out) and possibly falsifying medical documents overrides a kindly bedside manner.

    It’s always an issue in any kind of pseudoscience — be they psychics (esp. those who talk to animals), astrologers, faith healers, tent evangelists, empaths or alien abduction hypnotherapists — whether the practitioner is actually a true believer, someone who got caught up in their own shenanigans and started believing (the LDS prophet Joseph Smith is a likely example) or is simply a scammer.

    In the meantime, I wonder when homeopathy was, as a couple correspondents mentioned, “widely used” and “huge” (unless the latter term is used in the Trumpian sense).

  42. Justpassingby
    October 2, 2016 at 3:39 AM

    Oh man. If Louis Pasteur lived in this era, he would have been in jail for long long time because of his unproven quack.

  43. October 2, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    Not comparable. What about “fraud” do you not understand? You can openly practice as a homeopath. You can give nosodes. It’s not illegal. The cat saliva is a bit of a red herring- it distracts from the main points. None of these Lin supporters are grasping that. He’s accused of lying, falsifying forms. Think a little more carefully before commenting.

  44. October 2, 2016 at 4:42 PM

    I’m not clear how someone like Pasteur, working with the science of his time and discovering many important medical principles using the scientific method, would be considered a “quack” and jailed. Heck, we don’t even jail the real quacks nowadays. Though Pasteur, in retrospect, is now thought to have been arrogant, secretive, possibly unethical for his time and at times deceptive, there’s no denying that he and his lab were using real science to obtain verifiable results.

  45. Jasmine Lin
    October 3, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Hiram — please think twice before posting a view that is unsupported. You have no idea who Dr. Lin is, or what his medical practice consists of. Dr. Lin is certainly none of these things you call him. He has a large, devoted following of patients who owe him their lives. He is a board-certified MD and has more knowledge than most doctors out there. I would highly recommend him to anyone who is serious about improving their health.

  46. Jasmine Lin
    October 3, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    Homeopathy is a philosophy and practice of medicine founded by Samel Hahnemann in the 1700’s. It’s based on the doctrine that the body had the ability to heal itself.

    Homeopathic doctors typically consider patients as a whole, taking into account their physiological, psychological, and emotional make-up, past, personality, etc. as well as focusing on their particular current symptoms.

    Anyone interested in learning more about homeopathy may find the following books informative:

    The Organon of the Healing Art
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Organon_of_the_Healing_Art)

    Homeopathic Materia Medica
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathic_Materia_Medica)

  47. Jasmine Lin
    October 3, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    idoubtit:

    To some folks, homeopathy may not sound “scientific”.

    But what is the meaning of “science”? It’s “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”.

    If homeopathy has proven effective for so many people, than it has certainly withstood the study of the behavior of its principles through observation and repeated experiment. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we need to respect each other’s choices.

  48. October 3, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    It not only “sounds” unscientific. It IS unscientific. No question. Please read the other comments where I provide references to this.

    Science as a practice has conclusively shown homeopathy does not work. And even more, it CANNOT work. It has no plausible mechanism. Scientific facts are reliable. The “respect other’s choices” is absurd in this context. Childrens’ health is at stake. You are certain free to believe any sort of nonsense you wish but I am certainly free to think they are ridiculous and say so. What respect I give to such claims is based on their merit, not because you say so. (Should I respect people who beat their children or pets because it’s their choice?)

  49. October 3, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    Homeopathy is based on Hahnemann’s doctrine of “like cures like”, not the body’s ability to heal itself. That idea – that a bit of what ails you will cure you, is unfounded.

    I reject your insinuation (fixed, I blame auto-correct) that you know a whole lot about homeopathy since you miss this fundamental distinction.

    https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/homeopathy/

  50. Jasmine Lin
    October 3, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Dr. O’Neal,

    I appreciate your efforts to keep medical practices safe and lawful. However, administering non-FDA approved remedies to patients who find them beneficial is not against the law.

    There are good arguments behind both sides of this debate, but neither side deserves to speak with complete authority about the other unless they have devoted long hours of research to both homeopathic medicine and allopathic “conventional” medicine.

    I don’t pretend to be well-versed in either, but I do know that my father, Dr. Lin, has many patients who feel that they have been helped by him. If there are people who like his work, he should be allowed to continue it. For everyone else, I would never presume to take away their freedom in their health choices.

    I know that my dad respects your and other doctors’ work very much. He may not always choose the most diplomatic words when speaking of his own views, but he is a respectful, compassionate man, and this is a situation in which mutual acknowledgement of our differences is needed. I don’t think he is doing anything to threaten your livelihood, and since he has not done any harm, I don’t think that his livelihood deserves to be threatened, either.

    To everyone else posting: Please make your comments in a thoughtful, respectful tone. Rudeness is not appreciated here.

    Jasmine Lin

  51. Jasmine Lin
    October 3, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    Hi idoubtit,

    Please state your views in a respectful tone. You may have good intentions, but brusque language gets exponentially blown up online, as you know.

    We all have our own strong beliefs, but we need to acknowledge the fact the others, with their set of beliefs, are people like us — people with their own background, education, philosophy, and world view. Before you use words like “nonsense” to describe my beliefs, please think about how it would make you feel.

    I don’t mind your stating your views; in fact, I’m very open to learning more about them. But if you express them with what comes across online as a dismissive tone, it actually does them more discredit than credit.

    Thanks,
    Jasmine

  52. October 3, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    When it comes to promotion of treatments that can result in harm, especially to children, and that these treatments have been conclusively show to not work and not even be PLAUSIBLE, and that Dr. Lin has been accused of not following important rules for health and safety, I am going to be angry. Justifiably so.

    My initial post was not brusque in tone. I have responded to the tone of patients that have come on my website to accuse me of being a shill. I and others have provided information they can check themselves. I encourage them to do so. Instead, they do not engage with that information and attempt to sway via emotional pleas. They do not respond to the issues presented but dodge them. That is not rational discussion, it is rhetoric.

    This is a science-based site. If you wish to respond with solid evidence and statements to the claims presented, please do so. Otherwise, I will not be receptive.

  53. Jasmine Lin
    October 3, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    I am aware of the doctrine of “like cures like”. I did a presentation about homeopathy in Munich a few years ago and did some extensive research on the topic at the time. Here, I chose to keep my comment brief and therefore only offered the idea that, because homeopathy does not subscribe to the aid of certain stronger drug prescriptions, it encourages the body’s natural immune system to have free range, as opposed to some chemical and drug treatments which reduce natural immunity.

    I would add that my father is a board-certified MD who practiced allopathic, conventional medicine for decades, administering conventional allopathic remedies and performing surgeries. It was only in more recent decades that he turned to more natural alternatives.

    By “insulation”, do you mean “insinuation”? I don’t think you should reject too much insulation, since it’s getting colder every day.

  54. Kirk Shellko
    October 3, 2016 at 4:01 PM

    I have read through most of these comments and I want to comment myself. There are some things I have left out by necessity. I agree with One Eyed Jack in one sense, and I know Dr. Lin. I have seen him as a patient. He practiced western medicine for nearly twenty years and then became interested in homeopathic medicine. He did not learn the skill of medicine by rote; he knows what he is doing. I have benefited from Dr. Lin’s medical knowledge and advice. He would only administer a remedy that he thought was efficacious and non-harmful. Taking away his ability to help others will harm the community, not help it. Also, it ought to be noted by those who think that his medicine must be scientifically verified what is a reasonable assessment of homeopathic medicine. There is no accepted proof that such medicine is effective, which means nothing. It is a fallacy to say that no proof of God exists, so God doesn’t exist. Homeopathic medicine (as far as my experience with Dr. Lin goes) also treats the entire patient, meaning there is an effort to understand the lifestyle and experiences of the patient. One’s environment, physiology, psychology, and emotional make-up, experience, personality and complaint are taken into account, and that approach conventional medicine ought to incorporate into practice, not label it pseudo-scientific. These aspects of homeopathy are more sound than the standard conventional medicine that my family doctor practiced. It has even been the case that conventional medicine has incorporated into it some of these aspects, which it had neglected. Again, I caution. No-one here knows all the facts needed to make a proper assessment and saying there is no evidence means nothing more than there is no evidence. That is where things stand as far as proper assessment is concerned. It is illogical to make that assertion; one cannot argue from a lack (Argumentum ad Ignorantiam http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/ignorance.html). So, when you say that homeopathic medicine is a pseudo-scientific endeavor, and yell with capital letters, you are engaging in the very emotion-think that you seem to despise. I am an instructor of ancient science and I have an homeopathic veterinarian for my beloved animals, who have lived long and healthy lives. I have benefited from homeopathic remedies myself, though I am a thoroughly western-thinking person. I do not reject science-based medicine because I believe in some aspect of homeopathic medicine. I do not dismiss homeopathic medicine because some part of it may not be as efficacious as other parts. Certainly, there are over-prescribed medicines and useless aspects of science-based medicine, yet no-one flatly rejects it overall and labels its proponents. An open mind and imagination are absolutely necessary for any scientific advancement.

  55. October 3, 2016 at 5:58 PM

    Everyone commenting is missing the point of this post:

    Dr. Lin is accused of fraud. I still wonder if he informed his patients about the potential drawbacks of the treatment he was providing. It would appear not because those patients who have commented hold a belief in homeopathy that fails to consider its implausible basis.

    This comments section was not intended to be a debate about the merits of homeopathy. This is a science-based site, not a forum and not a platform to bolster Dr. Lin’s now tarnished reputation. Provide evidence for your claims and refrain from even more anecdotes and personal opinions. There is a very good reason why we use science and evidence-based medicine over alternative treatments for serious medical conditions. It’s because scientifically tested treatments are generally more reliable, predictable and efficacious.

  56. October 3, 2016 at 7:13 PM

    “Allopathic” seems to be a term invented by homeopaths to carve out a supposed distinction between their “like cures like” philosophy and…well…something else. The quarrel many of us have (other than with Dr. Lin’s fraud) is that of the ridiculous dilution theories — “water memory” and the like — and the substandard methods of “provings”as well as the totally unsubstantiated claim that homeopaths somehow treat the “whole person” as opposed to scientific medicine’s purported focus on ailments and maladies. It’s a vague and essentially false distinction, much like the homeopath’s attempt to earn a place at the table by inventing terms like “allopath” — as though there were a real distinction.

    Of course we would always do well to keep our discourse civil, but, as with anti-vaccination proponents, when people are being scammed, price-gouged or simply misled with placebo therapies and kindly bedside manners, it takes on a new level of importance that might call for more fervent expression.

  57. October 4, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    This just in from the UK Good Thinking Society — NHS Wirral CCG to cease funding for homeopathy. I post this as a response to the many here who claimed homeopathy has a valid place in medical treatments. GTS’s comments reinforce my above responses to these claims. Voices more influential than mine are saying the same thing. http://goodthinkingsociety.org/nhs-wirral-ccg-ends-funding-for-homeopathy/

    “It is hugely encouraging to see the CCG make a clear statement that homeopathy has no place on the NHS.

    “The evidence is unequivocal in showing that homeopathic treatments are no more effective than placebo, and the public consultation shows that the people of the Wirral want to follow the evidence, and preserve limited NHS funds for treatments that are shown to actually work.

    “We feel that in taking into account the ineffectiveness of homeopathy, as well as the view of the respondents to the survey, the CCG has made the right choice today.

    “With the end to homeopathy funding in Wirral, the CCG joins the overwhelming majority of health bodies in the country in recognising that homeopathy is not a valid use of limited NHS resources. The basic expectation of patients is that the treatments they are offered on the NHS actually work. Homeopathy has clearly failed to meet this expectation.”

    Wirral CCG is part of the national public healthcare system in the UK.

  58. One Eyed Jack
    October 4, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    First –

    Homeopathic doctors typically consider patients as a whole, taking into account their physiological, psychological, and emotional make-up, past, personality, etc. as well as focusing on their particular current symptoms.

    That is holistic healing, not homeopathy. Although some homeopaths practice holistic healing, homeopathy does not require a holistic approach. It is a distinction I would expect you to understand, since you present yourself as knowledgeable on the topic.

    Second, you have completely ignored the original questions. I asked for a mechanism and proof of efficacy. You haven’t provide either. Please don’t comment further on this thread unless you intend to answer the original questions.

  59. Peebs
    October 4, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    To Be honest, the whole; ‘Allopathic doctors only treat symptoms’ is pissing me off a bit.

    I’m not a doctor but spent many years in the Royal Naval Medical Branch, where it was accepted that I would work independently in frigates and destroyers and was trained and guided accordingly by the best medical staff in the Fleet; From admirals down to guys who just had more experience

    The most important lessons were in diagnostics, where the first thing carried out was a patient history. That included talking to the patient and noting down his or her signs and symptoms. This included onset and other relevant information. Their medical documentation was also scrutinised.

    Then came the physical examination and, where relevant, tests, like taking specimens, bloodwork and looking through a microscope (though in fairness, that was usually for diseases caught in a more, er, exotic manner). I would then diagnose and treat appropriately.

    In fairness some maladies were treated symptomatically, the common cold and other viral conditions spring to mind. But a massive infection, or something like appendicitis, the root cause of the condition is treated.

  60. One Eyed Jack
    October 4, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    Having followed the comments here for the last week, something is apparent — there is some confusion between the terms homeopathy and holistic.

    Homeopathy – a system for treating illnesses that uses very small amounts of substances that would in larger amounts produce symptoms of the illnesses in healthy people. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homeopathy

    Holistic – Holistic health (or holistic medicine) is a diverse field of alternative medicine[1] in which the “whole person” is focused on, not just the malady itself. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holistic_health

    Dr. Lin apparently connects with his patients using a holistic approach. This is the caring that many patients expressed. This is not the same as homeopathy. Homeopathy is a specific type of treatment, while holistic is an overall approach to medicine. Several of the exchanges here seem to hinge on one side using homeopathy and holistic interchangeably (Dr. Lin’s advocates) and the other side speaking exclusively about the practice of homeopathy (science based medicine advocates). They are two separate things and it is important to not confuse them.

    All of this is secondary to the fact that the story is about fraud as Sharon has stated repeatedly.

  61. Karen H.
    October 6, 2016 at 7:36 PM

    One Eyed Jack –

    “That is holistic healing, not homeopathy. Although some homeopaths practice holistic healing, homeopathy does not require a holistic approach. It is a distinction I would expect you to understand, since you present yourself as knowledgeable on the topic.”

    I can see where you might think that there is some confusion of homeopathy vs. holistic because there is some overlap as “homeopathic doctors do consider patients as a whole, taking into account their physiological, psychological, and emotional make-up, past, personality, etc. as well as focusing on their particular current symptoms”. A trained homeopathic doctor will take an extensive history of the patient including all of the above information Jasmine stated earlier. Often they will have patients fill out an extensive questionnaire prior to the visit so they can get a broad picture of the patients personality as well as their physical, emotional, psychological make up. They use this detailed information to determine which homeopathic medicine is the best match for that person. In order for a homeopath to prescribe the right medicine for that person they must take all of this into consideration. I believe this is what Jasmine was referring to.

  62. October 6, 2016 at 8:57 PM

    A completely unsupported idea… that your personality dictates if a certain made-up treatment will work.

    Well, wait, maybe it will. If you show you are prone to magical thinking, then pretend treatments may work well.

    Doctors take a more reasonable medical history, though, not based on subjective personality traits.

  63. Patrick O'Neal M.D.
    October 13, 2016 at 1:41 PM

    He HAS done harm. Alcohol is harmful.
    It IS against the law to give alcohol to minors. I had to call DCFS on this nice mother thanks to your father.
    It IS against the law to falsify state immunization forms.
    It DOES do harm to tell people they are vaccinated, when they are not. Haemophilus influenza B can KILL a baby. It puts the child and all contacts at risk.. It puts innocent children at risk.
    It is willfully reckless.

  64. October 13, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    I’ve not been able to find out the results of the hearing. Any news?

  65. windsun33
    October 21, 2016 at 7:25 PM

    You have been asked several times to explain the actual science behind homeopathy and the mechanism for how it works. You have so far failed to do that. Instead you keep avoiding the question and giving answers that have zero relevance to the question. So once again – “how does homeopathy actually work?”.

  66. windsun33
    October 21, 2016 at 7:31 PM

    Not really inapproriate in this case, as he was comparing the fact of being “a nice guy” vs being trustworthy or competent.

  67. DANIEL GAUTREAU
    October 22, 2016 at 7:17 PM

    Infinitely many, considering that you may dilute until there is literally nothing left.

  68. AndrewZ
    November 13, 2016 at 6:01 PM

    People believe guy who tells them what they want to hear, part 39,118,234 of a probably infinite series.

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