Abubakar Tariq Nadama – More Quackery Revealed

Death of an Autistic Child: Chelation without Indication.

This is the title of an important commentary written by Dr Kimball Atwood about the recent decision by the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine to take action against Roy Kerry, the doctor who administered the fatal dose of disodium EDTA to Abubakar Tariq Nadama. I am especially grateful to Dr Atwood for providing a link to the original order made against Roy Kerry.

At the time of Abubakar’s death supporters of chelation as an autism treatment made much of the fact that Kerry used the “wrong” sort of EDTA (Endrate versus Versenate). The Autism Research Institute (ARI) was also quite adamant that chelation was a safe treatment because it did not add toxins to the system, it removed them. It also pointed out that its DAN! protocol for autism treatment recommended transdermal and oral chelators as opposed to the intravenous method used by Roy Kerry.

Dr Atwood points out that according to the Pensylvania Board’s factual allegations

“Respondent stated…that Disodium EDTA is the only formula of EDTA he stocks in his office”; he “admits that CaNa2EDTA is available but that he has never used this agent.”

So there is no question that he used the wrong chelator by mistake. As I argued in my previous post, Roy Kerry was using his chelation agent of choice. He knew what he was doing and even then he did it wrong.

The instructions that come with Endrate are crystal clear. The dose for children is 1 gram per 55lbs of body weight. Kerry injected 1 gram of Endrate into a child weighing only 42lbs.

You have to dilute it properly – no more than a three per cent solution. According to Kerry, We diluted it 1:1 with saline. That is a fifty percent solution.

You never give an IV push of Endrate to children. The label recommends a minimum of three hours for an infusion. Kerry gave an IV push lasting 5 minutes.

From Abubakar’s chart dated July 22nd 2005

Started the IV with saline. After a good blood flow in the right antecubital fossa with 3 other assistants and his mother controlling him and the papoose board. Had a good IV return flow. We then introduced the EDTA. Checked return flows frequently during administration. Gave the IV over approx 5 minutes. Then rinsed with saline. He had no difficulty toleration (sic) it.

No difficulty tolerating it with 4 adults controlling him and a papoose board! ml5401.jpg

DAN! Doctor shares the blame

The Pennsylvania Board document sheds light on ARI/DAN’s invovement in this tragedy. It quotes from Abubakar’s patient chart, written by Roy Kerry,

But we have been in communication with Dr Usman regarding EDTA therapy. He apparently has a very high aluminum and has not been responding to other types of therapies and therefore she is recommending EDTA, which we do on a routine basis with adults.

  • Dr Usman is a DAN! practitioner. She sent Abubakar to Kerry for chelation with Endrate, “the only formula of EDTA he (Kerry) stocks,” to chelate, not lead, not mercury, but aluminum!
  • Moreover it was Usman who recommended a dose of 50mg per kilo when the recommended dose is 40mg per kilo.
  • Kerry, quite rightly is under the hammer for killing a child. But Usman sent the child to him and prescribed the treatment. When will she be punished?

Meanwhile DAN! has further mired itself by admitting Kerry to a DAN! conference after he killed Abubakar, and, on completion of its eight hour, intensive medical training, registering him as a DAN! practitioner!! Just in case you think this is an unfortunate oversight on their part, please check out the case of Dr Schwartz, the chelationist with the Holistic Resource Center in Agoura Hills, California who is also DAN! certified and also uses Endrate, the drug that killed Abubakar.

We are not dealing with a medical error here. Kerry did not use the wrong chelator. There is no right chelator for autism. Chelation is quackery, plain and simple, and it extends far beyond the practise of Roy Kerry. DAN! is the largest organization that promotes “alternative” therapies for autism. Its uncritical endorsement of chelation places it firmly on the side of quackery. DAN! protocols and DAN! practitioners are as culpable as Roy Kerry for the death of Abubakar Tariq Nadama.

About these ads

53 thoughts on “Abubakar Tariq Nadama – More Quackery Revealed

  1. Have any DAN! doctors decried Kerry’s method? I haven’t heard any. Rashid Buttar made some kind of snarky remark about Kerry soon after Abubakar’s death, but he’s not with DAN! To me, it looks like honor among thieves. I think this is why Kerry joined DAN! after he had killed Abubakar. He wanted them to feel some kind of impulse to protect him because he’d be one of THEM officially. Any DAN! doctors opposing the use of oxygen concentrators with mild HBOT bags? None that I know of. If one started criticizing another’s quackery it would all fall apart.

  2. “We are not dealing with a medical error here.”

    Nope. I was disgusted with the original supporter notion of a ‘wrong chelator’… it was not medical error at all: it was at the very least reckless endangerment and manslaughter.

    “Kerry did not use the wrong chelator. There is no right chelator for autism.”

    Absolutely. No evidence exists to suggest that heavy metal poisoning is the basis for autism. One is a medical issue out-and-out, and needs a medical solution. The other is a developmental issue and requires an educational solution.

    “Chelation is quackery, plain and simple, and it extends far beyond the practise of Roy Kerry. DAN! is the largest organization that promotes “alternative” therapies for autism. Its uncritical endorsement of chelation places it firmly on the side of quackery.”

    No question about it. Quackery.

    “DAN! protocols and DAN! practitioners are as culpable as Roy Kerry for the death of Abubakar Tariq Nadama.”

    Agreed.

  3. What you’ve written here makes it very clear Mike. It’s just wrong in so many ways what happened to that child, and what is continuing to happen now.
    I had a look at the DAN ‘practitioner’ list recently; there’s a guy from Dublin on there. He’s Ireland’s premier chelation man; been using it for years to fleece patients with heart disease and then saw the gap in the market and the profit to be made from autism. How can these people go on doing this? Is money that important to them?

  4. I have no qualms with you knocking Kerry but all the kids who are recovering with proper chelation make you a liar. Chelation is the proper treatment for mercury poisoning.

  5. You are entitled to your opinion John. Have you heard any of the DAN! practitioners doing “proper chelation” speak out against Kerry or Usman or Schwartz? Has anyone questioned their right to be on DAN! list?

    It strikes me that if ARI/DAN! was a bit more rigorous with its selection criteria it would be easier for them to be taken seriously. Right now, it seems a priority for all of us, whether we favour neurodiversity or biomedical, to weed out the quacks, the incompetents and the crooks who are endangering autistic children

    How many more Kerrys are out there and how many more Usmans are advising them?

  6. Kerry’s malpractice does not make anyone but Kerry incompetent. Your condemnation of all chelation due to one case of malpractice is not accurate and you know it.
    Weeding out actual quacks based on what they actually do wrong is one thing. Condemning a practice that helps poisoned children just makes you look foolish.

  7. John,
    You believe that autism = mercury poisoning and is treatable with chelation. I do not. I see no point in us pursuing that argument here.

    We both agree that the type of chelation practised by Kerry is unacceptable and we both condemn him for it.

    I am interested to know if any of the DAN! practitioners who use chelation methods that are acceptable to you have joined you in condemning Kerry.

    I am also concerned that there may be other DAN! practitioners like Schwartz and Usman who support the use of the same disodium EDTA that killed Abubakar. They should not be on the DAN! list.

    I may not be able to persuade parents against chelation. But they should be able to expect that any doctor on the DAN! list is not going to perform treatments that endanger their children. That is not the case at this moment.

  8. Weeding out actual quacks based on what they actually do wrong is one thing. Condemning a practice that helps poisoned children just makes you look foolish.

    John,
    Kerry is no better or worse than any of the other DAN! dox and chelationists you wish to defend. They all take unnecessary risks treating autistic children with dangerous chemicals when there is no evidence of actual metal toxicity.

    The only thing that separates Kerry from the other quacks is the fact that he was slightly less responsible and a child died as a result. Do you really think this was the first mishap at the hands of a DAN! doctor?

    If killing children is the only way to “weed out actual quacks,” what will it take to weed out doctors who promote harmful treatments while still managing not to kill any patients?

  9. Mike; That’s why you should refer those parents seeking information about chelation to Generation Rescue where they will gain accurate information. Telling anyone all chelation is quackery is absurd in light of the fact that it has cured many children. So, if you’re really that concerned, send them to us and we’ll make sure they hear the useful information.

  10. If killing children is the only way to “weed out actual quacks,” what will it take to weed out doctors who promote harmful treatments while still managing not to kill any patients?
    Sorry, here’s your answer. It will take parents exposing the truth about thimerosal so it doesn’t harm any more babies at the hands of the idiots who never tested it for safety. Is that better?

  11. Over on ABFH’s blog you state:

    “There is no time limit on chelation that I’m aware of.”

    Brad Handley, head of Generation Rescue, stated on television that a child being chelated would be 100% recovered in no more than two years.

    Do you consider that accurate information?

  12. Kevin;
    I realize that, unless I say “Yes”, you will take whatever I say and use it as a headline for your blog, “Internal Strife for GR” or something like that. Who cares?
    There are too many variables to hold to any timeline for chelation. Age of the child, severity of the autism, frequency of chelation cycles, which chelators are used all play a factor. There’s also the small percentage whose autism is not caused solely by mercury. (Boy, you can nail me with that statement, Kev. Have a ball.) We’ve also seen HBOT being of some help.
    [edit ad hominem deleted]
    In general, Mr Handley is accurate, especially if the chelation is begun before age five. The good results that we’ve seen for the majority of children using chelation demand that we get a better handle on how to use it so that all practitioners are following a protocol that will benefit the majority of kids. I’m in agreement that guys like Kerry should be given the boot from DAN and jail time would be a good thing.

  13. “I realize that, unless I say “Yes”, you will take whatever I say and use it as a headline for your blog, “Internal Strife for GR” or something like that.”

    Very doubtful John. As you yourself say, when it comes to to GR:

    “Who cares?”

    “There are too many variables to hold to any timeline for chelation. “

    That’s not what Brad said. He said a child would be 100% recovered in no more than two years. I’m going to have to conclude based on your utterances here that you don’t agree that is accurate information. As he is the head of GR, its difficult to square what he says with your belief that GR is a good place to send anyone interested in accuracy.

    “There’s also the small percentage whose autism is not caused solely by mercury. (Boy, you can nail me with that statement, Kev. Have a ball.)”

    I think you grossly overestimate your own importance. I already knew your stance that autism was invented by Eli Lily in 1931 was rubbish. It’s nice to see you’ve finally come around to that opinion too. Will you be recommending to Brad that he changes the GR site to be more accurate as you seem interested in the accuracy (or lack thereof) of GR.

  14. The “no time limit for chelation” claim is a tell-tale sign of pseudo-science. If the double-blind trials come back showing no benefit of DMSA relative to placebo, the chelators will say the trial should last twice (or whatever) as long as it did. Goalposts will just get shifted. What if the trials come back with significant adverse effects? Then I’d like to see what the excuse is.

  15. Joe; I’ve asked before if Adams’ study is using ALA. Nobody seems to know. It will be useless if it isn’t.
    No time limit is not any sign of pseudoscience. Kids have differing levels of mercury and are different ages and sexes.
    Kevin; LOL, you never give up trying to twist words.

  16. “you never give up trying to twist words.”

    What words have been twisted? It seems pretty clear to me. Brad says one thing, you say another. As I say, its good to see you’re finally realising that not all autism is mercury poisoning. I’m just asking if you could pass that on to Brad as you believe he’s interested in accuracy.

  17. Kev; Stating that some autism is not caused solely by mercury does not void the fact that autism was invented by Eli Lilly in 1931. That is twisting words Kev, but you are well aware of that. As a mole on the EOHarm list, I’m sure you’ve noticed that Mr Handley has mentioned other causes there. I’ll bet you have his post all set to quote out of context.

  18. John:

    “Stating that some autism is not caused solely by mercury does not void the fact that autism was invented by Eli Lilly in 1931.”

    No, logically, it does. Isn’t that obvious?

  19. Joseph; The MMR vaccine was not available in 1931. The fact that you can’t show me a horde of 75 year olds voids your position.

  20. And around and around we go again…

    “Stating that some autism is not caused solely by mercury does not void the fact that autism was invented by Eli Lilly in 1931″

    Care to explain how that could be?

    re your 75 year old’s John. The average age of death for the UK and US is 73 for males. As the autistic population is approx 75% males I think you can assume that the majority of your desired horde are dead.

  21. Kev; If these dead autistics actually existed, there would be some record of them somewhere. Surely, someone who can dig up dead autistics in the 19th century can find some from the 20th.
    I already painstakingly explained the difference between genetic conditions that are lumped in with autism and the autism that is actually mercury poisoning. If you need more detailed instruction, I’m going to have to charge you for my time, Kev. Autism caused by the MMR could not have happened until after that vaccine was invented which was later than 1931.

  22. Right now I do not see Joseph or Kev either persuading or being persuaded by John Best over the question of autism and mercury poisoning. John, to his credit, has unequivocally condemned Roy Kerry for the death of Abubakar Tariq Nadama. Has anybody else in the autism = mercury poisoning camp joined him? Because, as well as the question of effectiveness, there is also the question of safety.

    If I thought my child had been mercury poisoned, and I believed that chelation therapy could cure him, how would I find a therapist who was not going to harm my child? Where is the quality control in the biomed movement?

    Being DAN! certified is no guarantee. They certified Kerry after he killed Abubakar! DAN! doctor Usman sent Abubakar to Kerry. She even prescribed the lethal dose.

    This is an honest question, John. Does Generation Rescue have a recommended method of chelation and do you have a list of approved doctors who can treat children safely?

  23. John Best said: Sorry, here’s your answer. It will take parents exposing the truth about thimerosal so it doesn’t harm any more babies at the hands of the idiots who never tested it for safety. Is that better?

    No. As usual, you haven’t answered the question at all.

    John, if autism was invented by Eli Lilly in 1931, why were there zero cases of autism recorded in some states (including your own) before 1990? Didn’t children in these states receive thimerosal containing vaccines?

  24. Mike; I have no background in science and do not use a DAN doctor except to obtain prescriptions. I’ve done 55 rounds of chelation safely following the advice of Andy Cutler. My son keeps improving.
    I advise everyone that contacts me through GR to read what Cutler has to say and consider his protocol over what some DAN doc’s say. He has answered all of my questions at no cost and this chelation for a severely autistic child is working. I would give you the same opinion.

  25. NM; It’s a small state, less than a million population in 1990.There were a few babies affected at that point who weren’t counted until they reached school age in 1994.

  26. “Kev; If these dead autistics actually existed, there would be some record of them somewhere. Surely, someone who can dig up dead autistics in the 19th century can find some from the 20th.”

    And how would you get these dead autistic people to speak? What records would you consult?

    “I already painstakingly explained the difference between genetic conditions that are lumped in with autism and the autism that is actually mercury poisoning.”

    No, you didn’t John. You never do.

    “My son keeps improving.”

    Hey my daughter does too. Never chelated at all. Weird huh?

  27. John:

    “Autism caused by the MMR could not have happened until after that vaccine was invented which was later than 1931.”

    I’m confused. Is MMR interchangeable with thimerosal-containing vaccines for you now?

  28. Kevin; Hasn’t your kid always improved some? My kid stayed the same for 7 years, just like having an 8 year old infant.

    Joe;
    No.

  29. to notmercury, starting around 1990 the # of vaccines increased to include HIB and HEP B add that to all the others and by 2000 the total # of vaccines ( not # of shots) was somewhere between 28 and 32 by the age of 2 yrs. Compare that to the 7 vaccines a child received in 1970. do the math. Now you can see why even though thimerisal has been in vaccines for a very long time, it is the cummulative affect of soooo many of them that has brought this topic to so many. I think the diagnosis of autism is multifactorial. The cause is not always the same for everyone and the causes can be many. One of which I beleive is mercury poisoning

  30. Mike, thank you so much for the extensive fact gathering that went into creating this post and displaying those facts so concisely. After reading the order entered against Dr. Kerry by the state medical board, I can only feel sorry for the parents that trusted him.

    I also found it interesting that he was certified as a DAN doctor “after 8 hours of intensive training”. That is unbelievable. A full 8 hours! Can you imagine what would happen to an airline that invited you to fly with a pilot that had one day of training on a new aircraft?

  31. 4kidsmom
    the situation you describe is only applicable in the USA. In many other western nations with similar increases in rates of autism the thimerosal burden was either much lower or decreasing during the time period you mention.

    IF AND ONLY IF this increase does represent new cases (rather than reflecting the changes to diagnostic criteria and administrative changes that encourage more rigorous diagnosis, which is the preferred explanantion for many autism professionals) there are two logical conclusions.

    EITHER it is not thimerosal, but some other environmental influence OR different factors began operating simultaneously in a number of countries to produce identical increases. If it was thimerosal in the USA what was it in Canada?

    Saying that autism is multifactorial does not mean we are free to choose which factors we believe in. It means we have to do the science and identify those factors. I have yet to read a scientific paper that provides convincing evidence that thimerosal is one of those factors.

  32. Mike
    you have identified the problem. Practitioners carrying out experimental treatments on autistic children should be experts at the top of their field, backed by top flight university hospitals.

    Instead DAN offers nutritionists and homeopaths who have completed eight hours training with a retired sex therapist! They have no quality control whatsoever, as witnessed by the fact that instead of disciplining Usman for her part in Abubakar’s death they recruit her henchman!

  33. Mike: “I also found it interesting that he was certified as a DAN doctor ‘after 8 hours of intensive training’. That is unbelievable. A full 8 hours! Can you imagine what would happen to an airline that invited you to fly with a pilot that had one day of training on a new aircraft?”

    I conducted a week-long intensive training course for the Kerava Asperger-patrol Project workers in January 2005. That was from 9am to 4pm, with an hour for lunch: 30 hours, all tolled. I made it clear to the course members that there was no way on Earth that a 30 hour scheme of training would be enough to qualify them to work with autistic adolescents and adults; at best it would constitute an introduction to the field of autism work. It would need another 120 hours of concentrated effort on their parts to get them the 5sw they’d need for a part one course module to go along with another three such modules needed to get a basic university certificate (20sw).

    How the hell does an 8-hour study day (presumably with no meaningful assessment of knowledge) manage to qualify someone in a very divergent and unorthodox form of medicine?!

  34. Pingback: Biomedical interventions in autism - a reply « Action For Autism

  35. Pingback: Left Brain/Right Brain » Autism extremists

  36. I read the comments in this chain about the dangers of using chelation on kids and about it being quackery. My 11-year old son is not autistic, but he has been fighting a series of disorders since he was 3 1/2, including ADHD, auditory processing, sensory integration disorder, and dyslexia. Last week we received word that a test he was given for metals returned positive for lead and cadmium. The lead was 2 1/2 times the highest norm and the cadmium almost 4 times the highest norm. Arsenic, mercury and aluminum were all low. We have been told to consider chelation, primarily for the lead. Is it also quackery to chelate for proven lead poisoning? (By the way, the test was a 24-hour urine test using a chelating agent.) Thanks for any help you can offer here.

  37. I’m not a doctor, mind you. But I’ve read about double-blind studies on chelation with DMSA, and as I recall, when a child has 2.5 times the highest lead reference, DMSA treatment will not result in any cognitive gains compared to a placebo. The problem is that DMSA may itself be toxic. I understand environmental remediation (finding out where the lead comes from) is what is often recommended. Pica is a possibility. There might be some type of supplementation that could be helpful.

  38. Hi Ed
    why did you test for heavy metals? Has your son been exposed to them or started displaying symptoms of heavy metal poisoning?

    I was a bit concerned that the test was provoked. This is usually a sign of quackery. It gives elevated levels even in subjects whose ctual levels are normal. You really should be consulting a board certified toxicologist if you think your child is being poisoned.

  39. I know that my son was poisoned by vaccines. He was diagnosed at 3 1/2 as PDDNOS, then at 4 as autistic.
    Now at age 7, he is totally recovered thanks to the DAN protocol.
    Yes, totally recovered and is very far ahead of his classmates (yes, regular school) in reading and math.

  40. Just want to throw my 3 cents worth in.
    My son has never had the MMR, he is autistic. So that would indicate the thimerosal in the MMR was not a contributory factor….ie the mercury. But then you look at the fact that my wife has a full mouth of mercury fillings then you see that my son has high mercury in his blood stream.
    Now please, anybody who thinks that heavy metals do not contribute to autism, tell me what the effects of mercury poisoning are? And lead?
    Personally, I believe heavy metals tip certain children over the edge. Autistic children have major methylation issues, and have depleted glutathione. This affects the ability to detox. The ability to detox the metals, that most people accomplish reasonably successfully, causes the Myelination process to suffer….which in turn causes the nervous system to be degraded in the way messages are passed within the body.
    We have been supplementing our boy with Mb12 and L-Glutathione successfully, and are very interested in the latest research from Dr. Amy Yasko, with alternatives to the aggressive chelators being used.
    Removal of heavy metals from an autistic child, is an absolute must. To say chelation doesn’t work is incorrect…..yet it must be performed carefully for it to work. Using ALA before DMSA for example, merely moves the metals across the blood brain barrier and makes it worse!
    I do understand scepticism in medicine, particularly where large amounts of money are changing hands, but surely there are far more things out there that are in common use, that are much worse.

  41. Hi Eric,
    there never has been any mercury in the MMR vaccine. Personal beliefs are one thing but science depends on evidence.

    Where are the published studies that support your assertions about methylation and glutathione? And where can I read Yasko’s latest research? Is it peer reviewed and published in a reputable journal?

  42. Pingback: Kerry charged over Tariq’s death « Action For Autism

  43. “Now please, anybody who thinks that heavy metals do not contribute to autism, tell me what the effects of mercury poisoning are? And lead?”

    Mercury poisoning:
    classic triad is tremors, gingivitis, and erethism (a collection of insomnia, shyness, memory loss, emotional instability, depression, loss of appetite, vasomotor disturbance, uncontrolled perspiration and blushing)
    may also have headache, vision problems such as tunnel vision, peripheral nerve damage, salivation and/or staggering.
    chronic exposure results in renal failure, dementia and often acrodynia (erythema of palms and soles, swelling of hands and feet, rash, hair loss, pruritis, diaphoresis, fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, sensitivity to light, irritability, loss of appetite, insomnia, low muscle tone and constipation or diarrhea)

    http://www.emedicine.com/EMERG/topic813.htm

    Lead poisoning:
    in children, irritability, sleeping too much or too little, poor appetite, headaches, abdominal pain/vomiting, constipation and changes in activity level. often anemic.
    long term effects (even after proper treatment, including chelation) include seizures, hyperactivity and poor school performance and learning disabilities. more severe cases with ‘lead encephalopathy’ can die or have severe neurological damage (which is generally more CP with MR and seizures than autism).

    http://www.emedicine.com/EMERG/topic293.htm

  44. I think chelation represents a valuable technology- just not one that has any known or plausible value for autism in particular. Its most appropriate and promising application, if/when it can be developed into something practical and safe, is cleaning up large-scale mercury pollution. Its improper and frivolous use now can only harm its future development.

  45. I am a mother of two autistic children, I would strongly advize you all to look into what is actually in the vaccines and to actually study each individual ingrediant. You can find info aout vaccines on the CDC website. From what I have experienced my children progressed normally until the day after their 15 month vaccinations. From my own experiences I have spoken with many physicians including DAN doctor’s and I have not had any poor feedback about chelation, never, so this leads me to believe that this doctor did infact use a drug specified for adults on a 45 pound child causing his death.

  46. It’s because of DAN! ‘doctors’ advocation (and sometimes pushing) of potentially fatal ‘treatments’ that I believe that DAN! stands for Destroy Autistics Now!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s