TORONTO - The director of a Florida health spa was ordered to stop practising medicine after a concerned citizen filed a complaint about an alternative cancer therapy two aboriginal girls received from the spa.
The Florida Department of Health sent a letter earlier this month to Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Health Institute, saying it has "probable cause" to believe he is practising medicine without a licence.
"Two Canadian girls with leukemia either have been, or are currently being treated by Clement with unproven and possible dangerous therapies," read the department's investigative report.
In an email to The Canadian Press, Hippocrates Health Institute denied the allegations and said that at no time has Clement claimed to be a doctor or practised medicine.
"We deny these allegations in their entirety and will vigorously contest these allegations through the administrative process," the email said.
The Department of Health launched an investigation last fall after Jann Bellamy filed a complaint about Clement and the Hippocrates Health Institute, after she learned two aboriginal girls with leukemia had received treatment at the spa.
The report said the department of health issued a notice to cease and desist in the past for using the title of naturopathic medical doctor.
Kevin Lapham, an investigator with the department of health, went undercover and met with Clement last November, according to the report, to discuss a medical condition and provide blood specimens.
"Lapham said that Clement did not diagnose him but indicated that Hippocrates' medical team would review Lapham's file," the report said. Lapham showed up later, identified himself as an investigator with the department of health, and served a cease-and-desist letter along with a fine of $3,738.
Makayla Sault, an 11-year-old member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, located near Brantford, Ont., made headlines when she abandoned her cancer treatment to go to the Florida spa.
Her family blamed chemotherapy for the stroke that killed her last month, but oncologists said that untreated leukemia can in fact cause strokes.
In a second case from the Brantford area, a judge ruled an 11-year-old girl with cancer had a constitutional right to opt for traditional medicine over chemotherapy.
The girl, whose name cannot be revealed due to a publication ban, was receiving chemo before her mother removed her to take her to the Florida spa for alternative therapy, which involved herbal treatments and lifestyle changes.
A order issued to Clement on Feb. 10 states he is to "cease-and-desist from practising medicine in the State of Florida" until he is "appropriately licenced."
The Hippocrates website says it offers a Cancer Wellness Program that changes "a person's vibrational frequency or bioenergy field ... so that it is more difficult for their cancer or tumour mass with its own specific vibrational frequency to be sustained."
It added in the email: "What we’ve said repeatedly and consistently is that we don’t believe we reverse cancer or any other disease at Hippocrates. What we do is educate people about the benefits of raw foods and exercise, and how a healthy lifestyle arms the body to fend off disease and in many cases heal itself."