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Media Release: Scientology in Quebec faces another College of Physicians complaint

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Health

A formal complaint filed this morning against Scientology in Quebec, may slam the cult and participating physicians with another serious investigation by the Quebec College of Physicians.

By David Love

WireService.ca Media Release (01/22/2015) Quebec - Two deaths and numerous injuries are alleged to be related to Scientology's junk-science, Purification Rundown program that happened some time ago. The dangerous practice continues today inside the Scientology organizations in Quebec and across Canada.

This is round two for Scientology facing an investigation by the Quebec College that strikes hard at one of the cult's programs. According to Scientology, the Purification Rundown is a detoxification program which enables an individual to rid himself of the harmful effects of drugs, toxins and other chemicals that lodge in the body and create a biochemical barrier to spiritual well-being.

The Purification Rundown program forms the basis for drug rehabilitation and detoxification programs operated by church-affiliated groups such as Narconon, Criminon, Second Chance, and the International Academy of Detoxification Specialists. The Purification Rundown is promoted as having physical and mental benefits such as lowering cholesterol, relieving pain, and improving memory. Scientology's promotional materials claim it can boost IQ by up to 15 points.

However, it appears Hubbard was wrong on all counts, and according to Dr. Mark Palmer, "although minute quantities of some drugs may appear in the sweat it is such a small fraction of drug elimination that no matter how much a patient were made to sweat it could not significantly increase his clearing of most drugs."

The Purification Rundown program is based on unproven (and disproved) theories and practices that have significant risks and have attracted strong criticism from the medical profession as a result.

Scientology's 100 bed drug rehab in Quebec was shut down by the Mauricie and Central-Quebec Health and Social Services Agency on April 17, 2012. The health agency decided the sauna Purification Rundown treatment was unsafe when combined with massive doses of vitamins and 4-5 hour long sessions in a hot sauna. Of the fifty-five criteria required for certification, the Quebec Accreditation Council identified forty-six deficiencies - twenty-six of them were considered high-risk.

There is a Quebec College case precedent decision handed down on July 27, 2011, against Dr. Pierre Labonte of Montreal for being in breach of several of his ethical obligations by associating himself Scientology's Narconon in Quebec, a drug detoxification center administering treatment not scientifically recognized in current medical literature. Dr. Labonte was chastised "by way of a written accord with the College, that Dr. Labonte put an end to all of his relations with Narconon."

One Scientology member stated in a video interview before her death that they "endured the Scientology Sauna Purification Rundown for 5-6 hours per day, and consumed massive doses of vitamins. I had already had thyroid gland problems and I was treated with radioactive iodine. I had also had liver problems. So taking massive doses of vitamins would have been inadvisable for me. When I was doing the Purification Rundown, no one was monitoring us, no doctor, no psychologist. There was no nurse to check our blood pressure or check our pulse," she said.

"Narconon and the Church of Scientology come from the same place. They come from the same founder. To say that Narconon is one thing and the Church of Scientology another would be a lie. In hindsight the negative effect is even worse than I thought because of the massive doses of vitamins I took during the Purification Rundown and afterward, as I was told to do by the person in charge of the Purification Rundown, were very harmful because I already had liver and thyroid gland problems. So there were constant imbalances.

Today I have cancer, which has metastasized, and the prognosis is terminal. There's nothing that can be done about it," she cries in the video.

Before death, the last words she spoke were: "If what I'm telling you about what happened can help inform others, it will be at least worth that."

The two deaths cited in the Quebec College complaint are most likely past the Statutes of Limitations for any personal lawsuit, but does give the College evidence of the ongoing health risks and deadly practices inside Scientology organizations in Quebec.

As one deceased victim stated, "the only prerequisite that I remember for the Purification Rundown was that we had to obtain a note from our doctor saying that we were fit to take the Purification Rundown."

UNDER THE NEW Quebec College of Physicians Code of Ethics, a physician's paramount duty is to protect and promote the health and well-being of the persons he attends to, both individually and collectively. A physician must practise his profession in accordance with scientific principles.

Scientology's dangerous Purification Rundown program is in fact, not science-based whatsoever. Rather, it is a quackery set of ideas put forth as scientific when they are really nothing except L. Ron Hubbard's ideas and things based on his observation and dogmatic authority, and now what his followers claim to be sacred text and policies.

Under the Quebec College of Physicians CODE OF ETHICS OF PHYSICIANS, a physician, in the practice of his profession, must not consult a charlatan, nor collaborate in any way whatsoever with him. A physician must be judicious in his use of the resources dedicated to health care. More importantly, a physician must refrain from taking part in a concerted action of a nature that would endanger the health or safety of a clientele or population.

A physician must, with regard to a patient who wishes to resort to insufficiently tested treatments, inform him of the lack of scientific evidence relative to such treatments, of the risks or disadvantages that could result from them, as well as the advantages he may derive from the usual care, if any.

 


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