Friday, September 28, 2007

Go To Nevada: Gamble With Your Life

I wrote recently of Frank Shallenberger, a homeopathic "doctor" in Nevada, who claims, oh so sympathetically, that it's a "clash of medical belief systems" that is the cause of Susan Gallagher's distress - not the fact he killed her sister. (Homeopaths do show much more concern than regular doctors, right?) Well, the story gets better:

Dr. Shallenberger's other victim was David Horton, an attorney who worked as a lobbyist for the Alternative Therapy Support Group (An organization that doesn't seem to have a website.). Mr. Horton was crazy about homeopathy, which doesn't sound too unusual these days, until you discover Mr. Horton also had a number of children who all grew up to become real doctors or did some other work in legitimate medicine. Crazy, huh? As his son, Robert Horton says, "It is ironic,...that my dad kept going back to (Shallenberger), but you talk to any medical doctor about this case and they will have trouble believing it because it's so wacky."

Yea, welcome to my world. "Wacky" is hardly the word for what's going on. "Surreal" works better for me. (Or "maddening" - take your pick.) I found the March 2nd, 1995 minutes of the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor - a session that Dr. Shallenberger, and David Horton, attended. They were discussing insurance coverage in Nevada for homeopathy, and - surprise, surprise, surprise - everyone present thought using water as medicine was fine, including:

Senator Ann O'Connell (above) who knew homeopathic medicine is widely accepted in England and is the medicine of choice by the Royal Family. But didn't know homeopathy is just that little bottle of water on her desk.

And Senator Sue Lowden - a former news personality who is now the Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman - who "commented she is in favor of homeopathic medicine and is treated by a homeopathic doctor, though her regular doctor is not in favor of her choice." When a Mr. Hunter Gibbs said his wife wanted to try homeopathic treatment for her carpal tunnel syndrome, Senator Lowden "stressed the operation for carpal tunnel is not guaranteed to work."

Incredible. You've got to read it to believe it. These are Senators. Supposedly-smart people - with power. Which begs the question:

Exactly how many U.S. politicians believe water (H2O) is a cure-all?

Seriously, regarding medicine, what is going on out there politically - except for cultism? Especially in Nevada (which has "one of the five worst medical boards in the country" but has also declared "we can make Las Vegas the No.1 destination for alternative medicine") is anyone watching the store in Sin City?

Anyone?

Like, maybe, Satan?