July 16, 2003
For more information,
Rep. Sheryl Albers 608-266-853
Dale Schultz 608-266-0703
Albers Blast Chelation Therapy Witch Hunt
State Agency Spends $50,000 On “Expert” Witness With
State Capitol – Sen. Dale
Schultz (R – Richland Center) and Rep. Sheryl Albers (R – Reedsburg)
questioned today the legitimacy of a disciplinary process underway against a
state doctor using alternative therapies to treat patients.
The Department of Regulation and
Licensing (DRL) is currently in the middle of disciplinary proceeding against
Dr. Eleazar Kadile, in part for using chelation therapy as an alternative
treatment for patients with heart disease.
Similar arguments have been levied at LaValle resident Dr. Robert Waters,
who runs the Waters Preventative Medicine Center in Wisconsin Dells.
“We have constituents who swear
by this treatment. If they feel
better as a result of it, who are we to take that from them?” said Schultz.
“When it comes to health care, individuals should make these decisions,
not overzealous paper-pushers.”
Much of the attention surrounds
the state’s expert witness, Dr. Robert Baratz.
Baratz runs the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF), a
non-profit organization based near Boston, Massachusetts.
However, many individuals have questioned his professional credibility.
He has been accused of padding his resume as an expert in alternative
medicine so that he can collect fees for testifying before licensing and review
boards. To date, Baratz has
received $48,806 in state funds for his services.
According to Christopher Klein, DRL Executive Assistant, Baratz has
dropped off an additional stack of invoices to cover his fees for this
appearance. However, it is unclear
as to what further payments Baratz will receive from the state.
According to the NCAHF’s
2001 tax return, the non-profit organization reported just $17,967 in
contributions, including $13,000 from one individual.
“No matter how big or grand it tries to appear on paper, this
organization is hardly a major player in the medical field,” Albers said.
“As taxpayers, we are outraged
that a person with such a questionable record has soaked us to the tune of
$50,000,” Schultz added. “We’re
paying $50,000 to fly in some character from Boston who has entire websites
devoted to questioning his expertise. Sounds
to me like a bad investment of our tax dollars.”
At the request of Dr. Robert
Waters, Schultz and Albers have introduced identical bills in the Senate and
Assembly to allow physicians who practice chelation therapy to do so without
aggressive bureaucrats attacking their credibility. “Dale and I are both aware that studies are still being
done as to the effectiveness of chelation therapy for some conditions,” Albers
said. “The FDA licenses chelation
therapy for treating lead toxicity. Dr.
Waters provides chelation therapy as one option for his patients and properly
informs them of the potential risks. If
people want to spend their hard-earned money on this treatment, why shouldn’t
they be able to?”