Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Controversial chelation has devoted believers

Toronto physician Fred Hui's parents both died of heart disease at age 52.
Hui is 48

"This is my genetic inheritance," he states simply.

But Hui doesn't intend to sit around for the next four years waiting to be felled by unpleasant coronary events.

He exercises regularly, eats carefully, and meditates daily.

And is about to start using chelation therapy - for himself and his patients.

He's just become one of the first doctors in Ontario to openly offer the long controversial therapy.

Chelation (pronounced key-Lay-shun) refurs to a series of intravenous infusions of a synthetic amino acad called EDTA.

It has been used for half a century to flush heavy metal toxins out of the systems, but disputes have arisen over its more recent use to dissolve plaque blockages obstructing blood flow that can lead to heart attacks.

A small number of Ontario physicians have quietly offered chelation to their cardiac patients in recent years, but, by and large, the medical community has disapproved of the use of chelation for anything other than cleaning metal toxins out of the body.

In 1987, by order-in-council, David Peterson's government made it illegal in Ontario to use chelation for cardiovascular problems. But new regulations a few years ago didn't mention chelation at all, thus removing its illegality.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario adopted a policy in 1987 stating "there is no evidence that this therapy is of any value, and there is clear documentation of significant risks associated with it."

But today the college categorizes it as a form of complementary medicine that physicians may offer as long as they follow a specific set of procedures, including keeping careful records,
doing a standard examination and diagnosis, and advising the patient about conventional treatment options.

Chelation is freely offered for a range of physicical problems in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, as well as throughout the United States and in many other countries.

Physician Geoffrey Bond, a district representative on the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons council, said on CTV last fall that chelation is allowed as long as the physician follows all proper medical procedures.

"Then it is truly the patient's choice," he said. "That's the position the council adopted."
Hui went to Arizona to get his training in administering chelation, and was accredited by the American College for the Advancement of Medicine.

It has a consistent 85 per cent success rate," he says. "It's like cleaning out the rust blocking a pipe."

Hui says chelation is unlikely ever to get the expensive double blind testing that would, if successful, lead to publication in prestigious medical journals and complete acceptance by mainstream medicine in Ontario. No one is making big profits from it, so no one would be interested in underwriting the research.

"This (EDTA, or ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid) isn't something that can be patented," Hui notes. "The research studies would cost $15 million. Who would pay for that?"

Because he is using chelation as a part of his regular practice, and he has trained and accredited in its use, Hui says he doesn't expect his more traditional colleges to give him a hard time over it.
"As long as I maintain the practice of good medicine and put the interests of my patients first, no one will fault me."

He has no plans to use chelation alone, he adds, but as part of a regimen including standard medical practices, nutritional supplements, Chinese herbs and meditation.

"you do everything you can," he says. "If four men are pushing a car and it doesn't work, but there's a fifth and sixth I can call on for help and it's harmless, then why not?"

Hui charges $120 for each treatment, which lasts three hours while the patient is hooked up to an intravenous line.

Patients aren't hard to come by. A group called the Ontario Chelated Patients Association, which formed last August, has more than 400 members already. They haven't found it easy to locate doctors who offer chelation treatments, says president Gene Dopp, 76, of Orangeville, but they all believe that chelation is their route to good health.

After Dopp's heart attack in 1994 and a battery of subsequent tests, his doctor told him there was nothing they could do but send him home to get his affairs in order. On a trip to California to escape the cold weather, he discovered chelation.

Back in Ontario, he could only find three doctors who offered it, in Smiths Falls, Ottawa and Blythe. He went to Blyth, but is glad to find Hui offering the treatments closer to home.
"This is my 28th treatment," he says. "When I started I could only walk 15 or 20 feet without stopping and resting and taking some nitro spray. Now I can walk five miles."

Dopp says evidence on the sefety and effectiveness of chelation is available in jurisdictions where it is widely used. But, he says, most Ontario doctors don't want to know this. "Doctors are intimidated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons about chelation."

Ross Collins, 68, of Kitchener says he was told twice to schedule triple bypass surgery, and he refused.

"I was unable to walk a block without severe pain," he recalls.

He quit smoking, lost weight, and started nutritional supplements and a series of chelation treatments.

"I've had 11 treatments and I can now walk through 27 holes of golf," he says. "After this treatment I might even carry my own golf bag. The difference is like night and day."
Collins says he believes money is involved in opposition from the medical establishment.
"Physicians and drug companies don't want it around" and many millions are spent on bypass surgery each year in Canada and the U.S., he says.

In England and in New Zealand, Collins says, a patient must take 10 chelation treatments before having bypass surgery, or before having a limb removed because of diabetic gangrene.
"In 90 percent of the cases, they don't need the bypass surgery after all." he says. "Bypass costs $37,000 and 10 chelation treatments costs $1,200.

"Our health care system is in trouble: they could save millions with this. Chelation treats all the arteries, not just one."

Toronto Star
Friday, February 26, 1999
Janice Mawhinney
Life Writer
Source: http://www.drhui.com/

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