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Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 17:58 GMT 18:58 UK
Alternative cure doctor suspended
A doctor who practised alternative medicine has been suspended for a year after advising a patient to stop heart medication which led to her death.

Dr Marisa Viegas, 50, who operated from a private clinic in London, had asked the patient, known as Ms A, to follow only her "homeopathic remedies".

Ms A died just days after being on Dr Viegas' treatment in September 2004.

The General Medical Council (GMC) tribunal found the doctor guilty of professional misconduct.

Integrated treatment

The hospital where Ms A died concluded that she died of "acute heart failure due to treatment discontinuation".

The tribunal heard that Dr Viegas she advised the patient by e-mail and telephone, without a prior physical examination or a proper assessment of the patient's condition.

The doctor was aware that her advice to discontinue any other medication was contrary to treatment Ms A was undergoing, the panel heard.

Dr Viegas's clinic draws patients from many countries who are promised integrated healthcare based on acupuncture, homeopathy and hypnotherapy, the hearing was told.

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