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No names given, but the numbers are frightening:

Herbal supplement Kratom blamed for 36 deaths

Kratom, a plant grown naturally in countries including Thailand and Malaysia, is widely sold in smoke shops and other locations as a powder that can be used in tea to slow the effects of opioid withdrawal.

Citing 36 deaths, the Food and Drug Administration chief will warn consumers today not to use the herbal supplement kratom to ease opioid withdrawal and announce plans to step its regulatory oversight to combat the opioid epidemic.

The FDA public health advisory on kratom follows the Drug Enforcement Administration’s reversal or at least delay of plans to classify kratom as a controlled substance on the same level as heroin and LSD. Gottlieb says the FDA plans to work with the DEA to determine how kratom should be classified.

And, yes, it has been confirmed. Kratom is 100% natural.


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The mistaken belief that natural equates to harmless, even beneficial, is being laid to rest, along with some who believe it:

Woman dies after drinking poisonous herbal tea

The deadly ingredient turned out to be aconite. CNN further notes that aconite also goes by the more famous names of monkshood, helmet flower, and wolf’s bane.

In the future, look for more, especially regarding medicinal supplements.

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Prevailing medical quackery breeds false belief, leading often to unnecessary death:

Doctor blames Andrew Wakefield and anti-vaxxers for her baby son catching measles

Disgraced former doctor’s discredited 1998 research paper claiming to show a link between the MMR jab and autism led to a heavy fall in uptake among parents

Katie Forster @katieforster

A doctor has said public reaction to Andrew Wakefield’s discredited study linking the MMR vaccine to autism was to blame when her baby son caught measles.

Dr Eleanor Draeger told medics at the British Medical Association’s (BMA) annual meeting in Bournemouth that her 10-month-old was not yet old enough to receive the vaccination when he developed the disease – which should now be confined to history, she said.

“The reason he had measles is because of the fall-out from Wakefield’s paper,” said Dr Draeger at a debate on parents who choose not to vaccinate their children, sometimes known as “anti-vaxxers”.

Who needs Jesus when you have people like Wakefield, and those who believe.

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Score one more for Jesus. Sooner or later Jesus will be around to visit your family. Should you let him in?

‘God makes no mistakes’: Couple ignores warning that baby could die, rejects doctors, police say

, Lansing State Journal Published 3:49 p.m. ET Sept. 28, 2017

LANSING, Mich. — A mom refused to seek medical treatment for her newborn daughter even after a midwife warned that the infant’s jaundice could lead to brain damage or death, according to a police detective.

“God makes no mistakes,” Rachel Joy Piland told her midwife, according to court testimony last week from Peter Scaccia, a Lansing Police detective.

Two days later, infant Abigail was dead.

His touch is soft, and deadly. Sleep well.

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Not all death due to false belief can be laid to Sweet Jesus. Some people do it themselves:

Mom’s death blamed on bodybuilding supplements ahead of competition

A 25-year-old fitness enthusiast in Western Australia died last month due to complications from bodybuilding supplements, according to Perth’s Sunday Times.

Meegan Hefford, a mother of a 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son, in the coastal city of Mandurah, was reportedly found unconscious by a real estate agent inspecting her apartment on June 19. Doctors at Fiona Stanley Hospital declared her brain dead three days later.

My take, employing extreme measures against your body without prior investigation can be dangerous. She had a genetic disorder that prevented assimilation of her mega intake of protein supplements.

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Wait. I need to check my calendar. Yes! This is the 21st century. Let’s see what the new world of science and reason have brought us:

The Daily Star reported that 9 children have died in Tripura Para of Sitakunda during the last week. At least 46 other children in the remote hilly area are suffering from the same unidentified disease which has not yet been identified. The children aged between one and 12 suffer from fever and other symptoms include body rash, breathing problems, vomiting and blood in stool.

None of the fatalities was taken to a hospital, and two of them were treated homeopathically. The three-year-old Rupali had fever and a rash all over her body for three days. “We took her to a man who practices homeopathy. He lives some two kilometres away. He had given Rupali some medicines”, said her uncle. Asked why they did not take the child to a hospital, Pradip said the next health complex was 15 kilometres away from their home. Besides, they did not have money to buy medicines which would have been prescribed by doctors.

Yes, once again we have demonstrated that nothing can kill. That is, something that is nothing can be as deadly as something that is something. Rest in peace.

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Continuing from last week, I’m posting more on death by alternative medicine. Some time ago I chose Tuesdays to carry the sad news about people dying from false belief. Alternative medicine (AltMed) is one of today’s significant mass murderers. Today I note the death of Paul Howie of South Mayo, Ireland:

A 49-YEAR-OLD picture framer died from a tumour in his neck after a homeopath warned him and his wife that he would die if he turned to conventional medicine.

A 49-YEAR-OLD picture framer died from a tumour in his neck after a homeopath warned him and his wife that he would die if he turned to conventional medicine, an inquest heard yesterday.

Paul Howie died at his home in Lakelands, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, on April 22, 2003, after he was suffocated as a result of the tumour obstructing his airway. He had been attending Mineke Kamper (72), a self-styled natural health therapist living at Mulrany, Co Mayo.

Those who believe the United States does not have this problem may need to check some on-line sources. Reliance on homeopathic remedies is a world-wide phenomenon. Keep reading. There will be more.

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Continuing from last week, I’m posting more on death by alternative medicine. Some time ago I chose Tuesdays to carry the sad news about people dying from false belief. Alternative medicine (AltMed) is one of today’s significant mass murderers. Take the case of Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States:

Beginning on June 20, 1923, the Hardings sought to escape the heat and scandal of Washington on a 15,000-mile transcontinental train trip and voyage to Alaska. The president was 57 at the time. The recently unsealed diary and notes of naval physician Joel Boone reveal Boone’s grave concerns about the president’s heart condition. The warnings were ignored by longtime Harding homeopath “Doc” Sawyer, who made no effort to stop Harding from speaking in the blistering heat, driving the golden spike to complete the Alaska Railroad, or doing other arduous tasks. In this Sawyer had the absolute approval of the first lady, who was now enjoying the height of her national popularity and didn’t want the trip canceled. She viewed the incompetent Sawyer as her own Rasputin, who’d miraculously kept a chronic kidney ailment from killing her.

When Harding suffered a bout of food poisoning from tainted crab meat at Cordova, Alaska, Doc Sawyer ultimately weakened the president’s sick heart by treating him with heavy doses of purgatives to flush out the toxins. On Aug. 2, 1923, when Boone was out of the sickroom in San Francisco’s Palace Hotel, Sawyer plied one too many purgatives – in Florence’s presence – and Harding died. There was a quick coverup regarding who was in the room and at precisely what time the president died. Mrs. Harding refused to permit an autopsy or a death mask, protecting her beloved Sawyer. “Now that is all over,” she told Evalyn McLean after Harding’s death, “I think it was all for the best.”

You don’t have to be poor and stupid to fall to quack medicine. Often the victim is rich and stupid.

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Continuing from last week, I’m posting more on death by alternative medicine. Some time ago I picked Tuesdays to carry the sad news about people dying from false belief. Alternative medicine (AltMed) is one of today’s significant mass murderers. Take the case of Mahendra Gundawar:

Alleged abuse of homoeopathic drugs by mixing them with liquor has taken four lives in Vidarbha over the past six days.

While two died in Nagpur, two more died in Bhadravati town of Chandrapur district, one of them being a homeopathic doctor himself. Two persons are fighting for their lives in Bhadravati and one from Nagpur is being treated for serious complications in a hospital.

Brother of the homoeopath and owner of a homeopathic pharmacy (name not yet on police record) and Pravin Khedkar, a cable TV worker, died in Nagpur, and Mahendra Gundawar, a homeopath and his friend Bandu More, died in Bhadravati.

Prashant Lakhe, who is fighting for his life in a private hospital in Nagpur, suspected to have consumed a “tonic” with Khedkar and the unnamed victim by mixing it with alcohol in a party on December 11. The brother of the homoeopath died first while Khedkar died on December 13. Gundawar died on December 11 and More succumbed to the effects on Sunday.

Those who believe the United States does not have this problem may need to check some on-line sources. Reliance on homeopathic remedies is a world-wide phenomenon. Keep reading. There will be more.

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Continuing from last week, I’m posting more on death by alternative medicine (alt-med). Some time ago I picked Tuesdays to carry the sad news about people dying from false belief. Homeopathy is a wrong-headed notion put forward by Samuel Hahnemann (see above) in 1796. It continues to kill 221 years later. Today I present the case of Ralph Gonzalez:

The Arizona Medical Board will take up an administrative law judge’s recommendation that Normann’s medical license be revoked permanently, an action that could prohibit him from practicing medicine in the United States again.

According to testimony in the administrative hearing, Normann created “a surgical nightmare” at his office in Anthem, where work was so shoddy that three patients died during or after liposuction.

Normann performed only one of the procedures, allowing unlicensed individuals to do the others.

Unsealed exhibits from the Arizona Medical Board’s case against Normann are mostly uncontroversial, although the exhibit list itself reveals some interesting information.

Evidence was taken in regards to 13 patients, including the three who died. A separate document reveals that Dr. Greg Page, a homeopathic doctor who was unauthorized to perform invasive surgeries, conducted procedures on at least nine patients, including one who died.

I am wondering how a homeopathic surgeon works. Does he use a scalpel without a blade?

Dying to Believe

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Following up from last week, I’m posting more on death by alternative medicine (alt-med). Some time ago I picked Tuesdays to carry the sad news about people dying from false belief. Homeopathy is a wrong-headed notion put forward by Samuel Hahnemann (see above) in 1796. It continues to kill 221 years later. Here is the case of Isabella Denley:

Last year in Melbourne, Australia, Isabella Denley, an epileptic toddler, died after her parents ditched the anti-convulsant medication she had been prescribed by her neurologist. The drugs had terrible side effects, including sleep loss and hyperactivity, so they turned to alternative therapies, visiting a vibrational kinesiologist, a cranial osteopath and a psychic who told them Isabella was suffering from a past-life trauma.

An inquest heard that when she died, the toddler was exclusively on homeopathic medication. Her parents believed they were doing their utmost. But clearly the potential pitfalls of Cams go beyond ruthless charlatans. Indeed, the real peril may be our faith that alternative therapies will inevitably reach – and cure – the parts that allopathic medicines will not.

A spokesperson for the Research Council for Complementary Medicine is quoted as saying, “There is certainly evidence to show that some therapies are effective for certain conditions.” This person goes on to say that it can be confusing to figure out which therapies work and which do not. From the article: “Often several studies of the same therapy will contradict each other, and since funding for research is hard to come by many studies are considered flawed.”


All right. There are many reasons to die. This one seems to be among the least heroic.

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Death from stupidity—pernicious as a burlap bag full of chiggers:

Deadly measles outbreak spreads in Europe as vaccinations fall

Romania has seen nearly 2,000 cases of measles since February 2016, World Health Organization data shows.

The country’s vaccination rate is 86 per cent, well below the 95 per cent recommended for “herd immunity” against infectious disease.

Romania’s measles outbreak has killed 17 children there, none of whom were vaccinated.

Romania’s vaccination rate has fallen sharply over the last decade, driven in part by a vocal anti-vaccination movement there. The country now has Europe’s highest measles infection rate, and its fifth-lowest vaccination rate.

Measles is preventable. Apparently stupidity is not.

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You don’t have to be a Bible thumper to die in the name of closely-held belief. Step right up to the New Age of false promises:

WASHINGTON — Case 7682299: Aug. 1, 2010. A mother gives her toddler three homeopathic pills to relieve her teething pain. Within minutes, the baby stops breathing.

“My daughter had a seizure, lost consciousness, and stopped breathing about 30 minutes after I gave her three Hyland’s Teething Tablets,” the mother later told the Food and Drug Administration. “She had to receive mouth-to-mouth CPR to resume breathing and was brought to the hospital.”

There are eight cases of death involving babies who took these products. It is not been determined if there is any connection with the product and the fatal outcomes. In true fashion homeopathic products contain no active ingredients. What then, is the issue with the FDA requiring Hyland’s reformulate its products?

The report from STAT News points out that some doctors blame these products directly for children’s deaths.


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It’s Tuesday again. That means somebody had to die. Whose death at the hands of religion do we honor this week, Larry? Why, it’s none other than Robyn Twitchell, who would have been 22 years old this year, but for religion:

In 1988, Massachusetts prosecutors charged David and Ginger Twitchell with manslaughter in the 1986 death of their two-year-old son Robyn. Robyn Twitchell died of a peritonitis caused by a bowel obstruction that medical professionals declared would have been easily correctable.

The Twitchells’ defense contended that the couple were within their First Amendment rights to treat their son’s illness with prayer and that Massachusetts had recognized this right in an exemption to the statute outlawing child neglect.

The Twitchells were convicted of involuntary manslaughter. They were sentenced to ten years probation and required to bring their remaining children to regular visits to a pediatrician. The conviction was overturned in 1993 by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on a legal technicality. Robert Gittens, speaking for the prosecutors’ office commented, “the law is now clear: parents cannot sacrifice the lives of their children in the name of religious freedom.”

Glory, hallelujah, and praise be unto Jesus. Two more criminal parents were spared from the punishment they deserved by the grace of almighty God and by the ineptitude of a Massachusetts court. It is unfortunate such mercy was not extended to little Robyn:

It began with his constant screaming and vomiting. On the second day, his parents called the Christian Science worldwide public relations manager to see about getting Christian Science treatment instead of medical treatment. On the fourth day, a church “nurse” was force-feeding Robyn at his bedside. On the fifth day, Robyn was throwing up a brown goo and screaming so loudly in pain that neighbors had to close their windows to avoid hearing him. Finally, at the end of the fifth day, at age two, Robyn died of peritonitis, an abdominal infection, and a twisted bowel. His autopsy pictures show bright red chin and lips where the acid in his vomit had eaten away his skin. He was so dehydrated that his skin stayed up when pinched. Fifteen inches of his intestines were black because the blood supply had been cut off. The parents called 911 only after rigor mortis had set in.

What an inspiring and religiously uplifting scene this must have been to observe, as a young child screamed out the remaining days of his life to keep alive a two-thousand-year-old fable.

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I post one of these every Tuesday. Don’t stop me. I’m on a roll. This week we honor Carl and Raylene Worthington, of Clackamas County in Oregon:

OREGON CITY, Ore. (CBS/AP) Their prayers to save their dying daughter went unanswered. But an Oregon jury has shown mercy on an Oregon couple on trial for using prayer instead of medicine in their failed attempt to save their 15-month-old girl.

Carl Worthington was convicted of criminal mistreatment Thursday, a misdemeanor punishable by no more than a year in jail. His wife, Raylene Worthington, walked free.

The couple had faced manslaughter and criminal mistreatment charges, the former carrying up to 10 years in jail.

The Worthingtons are members of a Followers of Christ, a small church that shuns conventional medicine in favor of faith healing. The couple was accused of using prayer and faith healing rituals such as “laying on of hands” instead of medicine to heal their increasingly ill child.

What is so heart-warming about this case is the love and concern shown by the parents and other church members, who gathered around to watch Ava Worthington die. I salute the jury for showing mercy in a situation where Jesus chose to show none. Little Ava is with Jesus now, actually dead.

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I have been posting one of these every Tuesday for several months, and I am not about to run out. Thanks to all the deeply and sincerely religious parents out there who selflessly sacrifice their children so that I will be able to entertain you for another week. Special thanks this week go to Steve amd Ruth Shippy of Alberta Province in Canada:

The parents, Steve Paul Shippy, 44, and Ruth Anne Shippy, 37, are members of the Followers of Christ Church, said Crown Prosecutor Ian Frazer of Wetaskiwin, 50 miles south of Edmonton.

The Followers of Christ is a fundamentalist sect whose members put all their faith in the healing power of God, professing to refuse medical care to the point of death. There are Followers churches in Oregon City; Caldwell, Idaho; and Fairview, Okla., to name a few cities.

The Shippys, who live in the rural community of Rimbey, face charges of criminal negligence resulting in death and failing to provide the necessities of life for the Dec. 28, 1998, death of their son, Callahan Douglas Shippy, 14. A medical examiner ruled that the boy died of complications from diabetes, and other medical experts say the boy languished in ill health for two to four weeks before he died, Frazer said. Frazer said the Shippys have loose ties to a Followers congregation in Idaho and once lived there for several years beginning in 1984 after Canadian child welfare officials began investigating an injury to one of their children that went untreated.

And special thanks go to young Callahan. Your personal sacrifice is much appreciated.

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I post one of these each Tuesday. I have help. Significantly, help comes from the Christian Science community:

WHEN Thomas Jefferson described religious freedom as ”the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights,” he could not have imagined that the time would come when American citizens would be forced to pay ruinous damages for exercising it.

But that is the result of the Supreme Court’s decision last week not to review the case of McKown v. Lundman. That decision let stand a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling upholding an award of $1.5 million to the father of 11-year-old Ian Lundman, who died in 1989 after his mother, stepfather, and a Christian Science practitioner tried to use prayer to heal his diabetes.

The mother and stepfather are devout Christian Scientists, who, after Ian complained of stomach pains, began to pray for him, as their religion prescribes.

And that’s it for Ian Lundman, readers. Nothing says “wrapped in the arms of a loving Jesus” like six feet under.

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I post one of these every Tuesday. I have lots of help:

The parents of a 22-month-old boy who died from blood loss last month after they failed to provide him with medical attention have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, police said yesterday.

Dean O. Heilman, 32, and his wife, Susan D., 34, members of Faith Tabernacle Congregation, a church that shuns medical treatment, were arrested Saturday. They also were charged with endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy.

The child, Dean Michael Heilman, cut his right foot July 7 while playing in the backyard of the family’s Lawndale home in the 700 block of Longshore Avenue. The parents tried unsuccessfully to treat the injury themselves and did not contact medical authorities because of their religious beliefs, authorities said.

What is so heart warming about this and similar episodes is that parents are finding the fortitude to stand up against government oppression to protect their religious liberties. The Alliance Defending Freedom needs to be acknowledged for their efforts toward this cause.

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I post one of these each Tuesday. Somebody please stop me:

The parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, were ordered to spend 30 days in jail each year for the next six years and were placed on 10 years’ probation. Mr. Neumann, 47, and Ms. Neumann, 41, who live in Weston, in central Wisconsin, had been convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in August.

Their daughter, Madeline Kara Neumann, 11, died from untreated diabetes on March 23, 2008, the authorities said. When the girl became ill and could no longer walk or talk, her parents prayed for her instead of taking her to a doctor, prosecutors said.

Those who don’t think that religion kills need to talk to little Madeline. If only they could.

The good news from this 2009 news item was that Dale and Leilani Neumann planned to appeal, escaping altogether any consequences of their actions. The better news is that in 2013 their appeal was denied. Little Madeline would have been heartened.

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It’s the 21st century, and the human population continues to reap the benefits of Bronze Age wisdom. One of those benefits being an early and unpleasant death:

OKANOGAN, Wash. — A faith-healing Washington couple accused of being criminally responsible for their teenage son’s death for failing to call a doctor have been acquitted of second-degree murder charges.

The Wenatchee World reports that the Okanogan County Superior Court jury also acquitted JaLea Swezey of first-degree manslaughter on Monday night but couldn’t reach a verdict for Greg Swezey on that count.

After nine hours of deliberation, the jury could not reach a decision about either parent on a second-degree manslaughter count.

Zachery Swezey was 17 when he died at his Carlton home of a ruptured appendix in March 2009.

Jurors were told the couple belong to the Church of the First Born, which believes in faith healing. The Swezeys told investigators they thought their son had the flu. They also said the boy chose not to see a doctor.

If there is one bright light to come out of this tale of undying faith, it’s that Mr. and Mrs. Swezey will not be separated, allowing them to head back to the marriage bed to produce a new victim to replace the one they just dispensed with. Happy whoopee.