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Doctor known for unconventional cancer treatments faces board

Ohio residents may have heard that a doctor who has been promoted by such celebrities as Dr. Oz and Suzanne Somers is facing a medical board seeking to strip him of his license. With no oncology training, since the 1970s Stanislaw Burzynski has treated more than 2,000 patients with drugs known as antineoplastons. While his supporters say that he is a visionary, his critics says his methods are dangerous and even deadly.

Starting in the 1990s, Burzynski got approval from the Food and Drug Administration to run trials in which he treated patients with sodium-rich antineoplastons. At least six died from sodium in the blood. Burzynski now has increasing difficulty signing up patients for trials, but he has turned to other methods that critics say are just as dangerous. One involves using chemotherapy drugs at high levels that the medical board says are toxic.

Grand juries, medical boards and the FDA have brought numerous investigations and proceedings against him. In the current hearing, the Texas Medical Board alleges that his clinic misled patients into traveling to the clinic while knowing they probably would not qualify for the antineoplaston therapy. The clinic then ordered other treatments, overcharged patients and made errors in record keeping and interpreting tests and scans. The medical board says patients suffered or were at risk of effects from toxicity.

Alleged medical malpractice may occur on a large scale as in this case, but it also may happen within a conventional hospital with conventional treatments. Medication errors, surgical errors and misdiagnoses can all result in significant harm to patients. Such a patient may want to have the help of an attorney in seeking compensation. In some cases, a medical facility may offer an out-of-court settlement. If the settlement is rejected and the case proceeds to trial, a determination will be made as to whether the medical professionals failed to provide a reasonable standard of care.

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