doctor disease

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Fri May 11 14:03:25 PDT 2001

Kevin Robert Dean wrote:

> > It would be interesting to study how much medical cultism exists in
>> Cuba.
>Green medicine" and other "alternative" treatments.

This sounds excellent. I don't doubt that there's a lot of value lurking in herbal and other traditional/alternative approaches. The problem is that most quacks don't share patient info with outsiders - like that major cancer-treating fraud, the now-dead Dr Emanuel Revici, a favorite of Gary Null's, who charged my uncle $500 for several vials of mysterious liquid, and a 5-minute personal consultation. (So much for the "whole person" approach.) My uncle died (of prostate cancer) soon afterwards. How many patience enter Revici-style treatment, with what cancers at what stage, and how many emerge healthy, and how many in a pine box? We don't know, and they ain't tellin'.

Null's show is full of people who testify that they were diagnosed as hopeless and were saved by one of his stable of quacks. This is a literal instance of what in financial theory is known as survivorship bias.

I just did a Google for Revici, and came across this article: <>. There was a banner ad for an astrologer at the top of the page.

According to Quackwatch <>, Revici's schtick was this:

>Revici Cancer Control (also called lipid therapy and "biologically
>guided chemotherapy") is based on the notion that cancer is caused
>by an imbalance between constructive ("anabolic") and destructive
>("catabolic") body processes. Its main proponent, Emanuel Revici,
>M.D., prescribed lipid alcohols, zinc, iron, and caffeine, which he
>classified as anabolic, and fatty acids, sulfur, selenium, and
>magnesium, which he classified as catabolic. His formulations were
>based on his interpretation of the specific gravity, pH (acidity),
>and surface tension of single samples of the patient's urine.
>Scientists who have offered to evaluate Revici's methods were unable
>to reach an agreement with him on procedures to ensure a valid test
>[52]. However, his method of urinary interpretation is obviously not
>valid. The specific gravity of urine reflects the concentration of
>dissolved substances and depends largely on the amount of fluid a
>person consumes. The acidity depends mainly on diet, but varies
>considerably throughout the day. Thus, even when these values are
>useful for a metabolic determination, information from a single
>urine sample would be meaningless. The surface tension of urine has
>no medically recognized diagnostic value. In 1993, following a
>lengthy struggle with New York State licensing authorities, Revici's
>medical license was permanently revoked. He died in January 1998 at
>the age of 101. His treatment is still available at the Revici Life
>Sciences Center, which reportedly is overseen by Keith Korins, M.D.,
>and Revici's niece.


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