She started to realize that things she was doing didn’t jibe with what she knew about science. Then, she observed her then-boss importing an unapproved cancer drug for use in his practice and reported him to Arizona’s (allegedly self-regulating) Naturopathic Regulatory Board where as a result of the Board’s investigation the naturopath in violation received nothing more than a slap on the wrist, a verbal reprimand, before being allowed to go back to his quackery. Ultimately, she renounced naturopathy, applied to graduate school to become a real scientist, and became a naturopath’s worst nightmare, someone shedding light on the pseudo-profession of naturopathy who knows where all the dirt is and where all the bodies are buried. No wonder naturopaths want to silence her at her blog, Naturopathic Diaries.
I listened to a SGU podcast that had her as a guest. What she discussed was not surprising to me because when I started nursing, I had a breast cancer patient that was taken in by this quackery. It was during the shark cartilage quackery period, and my patient smelled like fish she was taking so much.
There are always folks that say “what’s the harm”, but in my patients case, it meant a small treatable cancer matasticized into a life threatening issue. She ended up with a double mastectomy, when it really wouldn’t have initially been needed, and questions on if the cancer could be eradicated by conventional medication since it had gone on so long.
I remember as a nurse, feeling horrified, and helpless to explain to her that the guy that was selling her shark cartilage was just trying to make a buck at the expense of her fear of the medical community, and her off of her misfortune of having cancer.
Nothing is worse then seeing patients that would be fine, suffering from this kind of snake oil.
In this case, Britt Hermes spent an awful lot of money to become a naturopathic doctor, and thought she was treating and helping people. She saw the doc she worked for treating very sick cancer patients with dangerous treatments. At best it would take the place of real treatments that might be life saving, at worse it could make those patients even sicker.
I really recommend this SGU Podcast, so you can hear her tell you about it herself. I am very impressed with her ethics and integrity.