Treating Autism is hosting the two day Autism-Biomedical Conference at the Bournemouth International Centre with funding from the National Lottery this weekend. (Friday 9th and Saturday 10th February)
Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that I have misgivings about this. Basically the DAN! protocol is being promoted in a big way in England for the first time. This follows on from the success of Action Against Autism in setting up a DAN! clinic in Scotland under the leadership of Lorene Amet following their biomed conference in Edinburgh in October 2005.
I have three major objections to DAN!
- They accept as fact that there is an epidemic of autism caused by environmental toxins.
- They claim that by using chelation to remove these toxins children can be recovered from autism.
- Any charlatan or quack can become a DAN! practitioner merely by doing an eight hour training session at one of their conferences. Children have been sexually abused, injured and killed by DAN! practitioners whose details are still up on the DAN! website with no warnings about their professional misconduct.
I am particularly surprised that Anju Usman is such a prominent speaker at this conference. Dr Usman was the DAN! practitioner treating Abu Bakar Tariq Nadama after his mother took him from Britain to America seeking a cure for his autism. Dr Usman referred him on to Dr Kerry. Tariq subsequently died as a result of the treatment prescribed by Kerry. According to Kerry’s case notes, published by the Pennsylvania State Medical Board as part of their case against him,
“We don’t have the entire record at all. Mother left her entire volume of his records home. 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. We therefore checked him to it … But on testing for the deficiency indicator we find him only indicating the need for EDTA at the present time. Therefore we agree with Dr. Usman’s recommendation to proceed with the treatment. She recommends 50mg per kilo. He is 42 pounds today. So we’ll treat him with a 20-kilo child and give 1 gram of EDTA.
Later on Pennsylvania State Medical Board reports that Usman actually recommended calcium disodium EDTA.
43. A physician who previously treated Tariq. recommended treatment with CaNa2EDTA as recently as June 2005.
There are two forms of EDTA. Disodium EDTA is used for the emergency treatment of hypercalcemia and in control of ventricular arrhythmias associated with digitalis toxicity. Tariq did not have either of these illnesses. Calcium disodium EDTA can be used to treat aluminum poisoning but is more commonly used for lead poisoning. The calcium is added because disodium EDTA on its own also binds to calcium. Tariq died because the disodium EDTA depleted his body levels of calcium to such an extent that his heart stopped.
The Pennsylvania State Medical Board also notes that Tariq had low levels of iron. And Usman had referred Tariq to Kerry because of high aluminum levels. Deferoxamine is often used to treat aluminum poisoning. It also binds to iron. If Usman was using that to treat Tariq it would explain his low levels of iron. It does not explain why she sent him to Kerry, a doctor who never ever used calcium disodium EDTA. He only ever used disodium EDTA
Even if I was a true believer in biomedical cures for autism, before I ever invited Dr Usman onto a conference platform, I would want to know
- Did she use Deferoxamine on Tariq? Was she monitoring his iron levels?
- Did she specify CALCIUM disodium EDTA to Kerry when she referred Tariq?
- If so, would he not have told her that he never used it and did not have it in stock?
- Did she understand at the time how different the two forms of EDTA are?
- Did she object when Kerry was granted DAN! status AFTER he killed Tariq?
We know that Kerry is unfit to practise medicine. Until questions about her role in the death of Tariq are settled there are serious doubts about Dr Usman. Will she answer these questions in Bournemouth? Will they even be asked? for Tariq’s sake, and for the sake of all the potential Tariqs, I hope so.