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Kenyon Confronts Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Con quacks exploit regulation gap
Kenyon Confronts reveals some unscrupulous individuals are exploiting the sick and dying
Paul Kenyon was told his blood was infested by parasites
The British public spend millions each year on alternative medicine and therapies but, as the Kenyon Confronts team discovered, not all will be good for your health.

Many believe the UK's love affair with complementary and alternative medicine is a result of growing disillusionment with conventional medicine.

One patient with the most awful skin cancer was treated for three months with a buttercup ointment...she died

Prof Gordon McVie, Cancer Research UK
Consequently, we now spend hundreds of millions of pounds a year on alternative medicines and therapies.

You might think there's nothing better for your physical and mental health than a session of acupuncture, aromatherapy or homeopathy - but that very much depends on who you see for what complaint.

Cancer patient died

Because the industry is not formally regulated there are some unscrupulous individuals who are able to cash in on your health concerns, sometimes with tragic results, as the Kenyon Confronts team reveals.

In fact, Professor Gordon McVie, Joint Director General of Cancer Research UK, says he has seen cancer patients die because they had gone to a quack therapist instead of a qualified doctor.

He told the programme: "I remember one patient with a most awful skin cancer which was treated for three months with a buttercup ointment.

"By the time I saw the patient the cancer had spread all over her body and she died a couple of weeks later."

Kenyon Confronts wanted to find out how widespread this problem is.

Healer "sees cancer"

The programme uncovered a bogus healer based in Nottinghamshire, Mr Adrian Lowe, who claimed he had X-Ray vision and could see disease in a person just by looking at them.

A perfectly healthy Kenyon researcher posed as a cancer patient and visited Mr Lowe who told the undercover researcher his prognosis was not good.

He then went on to demonstrate his X-Ray vision and claimed he could "see" the cancer had remained unchecked, despite the fact our researcher was not suffering from cancer at all.

Mr Lowe said: "You want a cure...I guarantee you a cure and the word is guarantee. I have the curse or power or skill or ability to be a medical intuitive." However his skills don't come cheap - the cure would cost 50,000.

Paul Kenyon set out to find others abusing the public's trust and didn't have to look too hard...

Dodgy diagnosis

He visited David Schweitzer's practice in London who treats people by examining their blood under a microscope. He claims he is a doctor, a professor and Knighted to boot.

Mr Schweitzer claimed Paul's blood was infested by parasites
Mr Schweitzer examines Paul Kenyon's blood
Paul Kenyon claimed to be suffering from extreme fatigue and asked "Professor, Doctor, Sir David Schweitzer" for his diagnosis.

Mr Schweitzer took a sample of Paul Kenyon's blood and found an extraordinary explanation for Paul's fatigue.

According to Mr Schweitzer there were small parasites present in Paul's blood and, worse still, these creatures' excretions were thickening his blood.

He said: "The cells are stuck together already, which is a sign there is already quite a lot of excretion of the parasites, which makes the blood sticky."

The Kenyon team investigated further and found not only were virtually all his qualifications entirely fabricated but his diagnosis was clinically impossible.

Paul Kenyon confronted Mr Schweitzer at his practice but he wasn't able to offer any explanation as to how he arrived at his diagnosis.


Kenyon Confronts: Con Quacks was broadcast on BBC One on 18 June 2002.
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