Monday, May 19, 2008

The Rebel

"Steve McQueen's death ended a bizarre drama in which he surreptitiously traveled to Mexico for an unorthodox cancer treatment.

The medical profession largely derided McQueen as a victim of fraud, but to some people with cancer, his pursuit of an alternative treatment seemed heroic.

What lessons does his unconventional journey provide today?"

-- Barron H. Lerner, writing about how Steve McQueen's cancer odyssey misled, and ultimately popularized quackery, in the New York Times

"The program was sort of shady. We’d sit in a van in the back of a building, in a parking lot in San Fernando Valley, and Steve would get his vitamin chelation, I think they called it. If Steve believed in something, he wasn’t going to let the fact that it was not approved by the government stop him.

I remember the veggie juice he was always drinking and the calf liver blood. Yuck. I’m sure you know about the coffee enemas. I don’t remember him ever taking laetrile, like some people reported. There was other stuff, too.

$375,000? I don’t know if it was that much. But it was all about money – Steve McQueen was a big paycheck, a celebrity. A bank account. Now it’s more easy to see it, but then we were along for the ride. [The quack] was better at promoting himself than curing anyone."

-- Barbara McQueen, 26 years after the death of her husband, in an interview with Roger G. Worthington, P.C..

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