Milestone Victory: Texas State Medical Board’s Attack on Leading Integrative Doctor Beaten Back

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Courtroom detailA court defeat for the Texas Medical Board is changing policies—and minds.

As we have reported previously, when integrative practitioners treat the whole patient, their treatments often challenge traditional models of medicine. State medical boards are aligned with the American Medical Association’s brand of allopathic medicine. Because of this, they have historically been biased against complementary and alternative medicine—to the point that they not infrequently target practitioners specifically for practicing a higher standard of care.

But the tide is turning, according to attorney Jacques Simon. Simon represented Bill J. Rea, MD, in a stunning legal victory against the Texas Medical Board (TMB). The suit has helped shift bad board practices in Texas.

Jacques Simon has an outstanding success rate defending integrative medical doctors in these types of proceedings. He is one of four attorneys in the US who collaborate and specialize in this area. (The others are Alan Dumoff, Algis Augustine, and Richard Jaffe.)

Dr. Rea is a leading researcher and clinician in the field of environmental medicine and chemical sensitivity. For the past thirty years, he has treated illness caused by food and wide-ranging environmental factors such as air and water pollution. In 2005, the Texas Medical Board filed a number of charges against Dr. Rea, challenging his testing, diagnosis, and treatment—everything he does. They even claimed that Dr. Rea was injecting his patients with diesel fuel and harmful chemicals, a charge that was patently false.

After three long years in court, Simon was able to prove that the Board’s claims were unsubstantiated. Instead of revoking his license, the Board lamely told Dr. Rea to present a revised informed consent form to patients saying that his therapy is not “FDA approved.”

If you are a physician and under investigation, it is important to make no statement whatsoever to investigators or officials without the presence and approval of a lawyer. As Simon told us, “When an investigation starts, it is important for the physician not to make the mistake of thinking they are the authority in the field. Pick up the phone and call an attorney who specializes in these types of proceedings.” (Feel free to contact ANH-USA for a recommendation.)

Simon noted that the TMB has targeted integrative physicians in the past, but this has shifted in the last two or three years, and it appears they now investigate an equal number of traditional MDs. This is due in part to procedural actions taken by Dr. Rea through the course of his ordeal, which including filing charges against the board itself.

Texas has strong due process protections for doctors, but those rules are not always followed. ANH-USA is working to get a bill introduced in the Texas legislature that will provide physicians with redress if the board doesn’t follow its own rules. Jacques Simon notes that the more doctors fight back (and the more the boards are educated), the better the landscape will become in state medical board proceedings. Meanwhile, state laws and regulations are constantly changing, and it is important to remain vigilant.

ANH-USA has just released an 80-page report, “Know Your State’s Medical Board: An Integrative Medical Practitioner’s Guide to Understanding the Legal and Regulatory Environments in the 50 States.” Across the nation, state laws and regulations do not always adequately protect practitioners’ due process rights in medical board disciplinary proceedings, so we have created a guide and checklist to provide a general sense of the legal protections, or lack thereof, available in each state in the country. The report is available as a PDF document, and may be downloaded here.

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  • Sandra DenBraber

    The TMB received an anonymous complaint alleging I made it and even with noterized sworn statement that I did not make it and have no complaint against my physician they continue to pursue him. I even sent certified return receipt letters to Tx attorney General and he refuses to help.
    I am glad this is good news now maybe the TMB will stop using a false complaint against my physician.

    • anthony davis

      what is the story with this doctor what kinds of thing does he do? just read about him.

      • OO

        Funny how YOU defend the doctor (rea) when you complained on him to TMB and now say you DID NOT complain against this physician??? Tell the truth–You hired an advocate to deal with things this doctor was NOT handling and think he is the greatest? ALL the lies YOu told about others are coming back to haunt YOU and this so-called doctor and YOU Want to BLAME TMB because they are trying to get rid of doctors who turn patients into thier personal advocates against the Board and IF another patient speaks out about abuse they use YOU like a CULT–Tell the truth, YOU DID IT but YOU need this doctor because of your current situation with chemical and YOU WANT MONEY so you want your cake and want to eat it to.

  • I’m very happy for Dr. Rea, a wonderful human being and former faculty colleague. He is a trailblazer in the science of Integrative Medicine and has now advanced the cause politically as well. Practitioners should understand that, once the state-board investigators arrive, they can probe *anything* that has happened in the office, even if it’s totally unrelated to the original complaint. This is why preventive legal practices are essential to the practice of preventive medicine.

    • R Cannon

      Glad to see progress in fighting the medical gestapo. Facism through the back door.
      Tne masses need to rise up and stop this tyranny. We are approaching 100 years of Propaganda by the father of Public Relations (aka Public Deception) Edward Bernays, nephew of Freud. He claimed the masses needed to be controlled. In fact Hitler used his books. His propagana techniques are commonly used today and have programmed most to think drugs are the answer. Generations of propaganda have brainwashed everyone in this country to blindy take a “medication” which usually will have minimal positive effect in the short term and unknown long term effects. Yet herbs we are taught need “regulation”. And heaven forbid if we “self medicate”.

  • Ogre

    You can check with the lawyers, but it seems to me that since medical boards act as agents under the cover of LAW, said agency could hold them liable as individuals under Title 42, Section 1983 of the federal code. No malpractice insurance to help them. Its THEIR house on the line.

    I know that if I were to provide video with sound to the police or even simply make it available, that rule could come back on me as an “agent of the police” even if the perp was convicted and in jail.

    Someone really needs to go after the individuals on these boards. Let them know they aren’t untouchable.

    • OO

      Not that easy because of retaliation even from doctors. Aks the nurses who were retaliated against when they made a complaint. Where is the line drawn? Who can really sue the Board and for what?

  • Bravo to Dr. Rea … for decades he has been targeted by the chemical / pharmaceutical industries by their public relations teams and their ‘anonymous’ complaints.

  • Erika Alvarez

    Can I be liable if I give a reccomendation to a patient to use any alternative medicine? I am a physical therapist and I spend a lot of time talking to my patients while doing their therapy.

    • R Cannon

      Why not check with the “medical board’. And bring your attorney. They can run you out of town.

  • Kelli

    So what about the things orthodox medicine injects into their patients? Its far worst than diesel fuel.
    I’m glad that wonderful real doctor won the case. The entire medical establishment in every state should be sued and put out of business except for emergency centers. The world would truly be a better place.

  • Vidalia

    It is the governor who appoints these TMB members. They serve at his pleasure. Maybe this is something to keep in mind in four years.

  • R Cannon

    We really need to rise up and stop this nonsense. This is supposed to be a free country. We have an FDA that now is an agency of drug companies and want to restrict anything natural that is effective. Now it’s Vitamin C intravenous, now that it is becoming known that it is very effective. Linus Pauling was no dummie. 2 nobel prizes! Low vit C appears to be the root cause of plaques because the collagen cannot be repaired in the high stress areas, where the plaques form. I’ve always questioned the cholesterol theory based on where the plaques form. THis was all proven 20 years ago with guina pigs. See the vitamin C foundation. (I am not affiliated). A real eye opener and simple solution!

  • This is so interesting to learn that Dr. Rea’s case might actually change things for other. He is my doctor and was the only beacon of hope I could find when my condition was looking hopeless. My family drove me 10 hrs to see him, and patients come from all over the world to spend months in Dallas being treated by him. Many people move there in order to have access to one of few doctors who seem to be able to help with poisonings and chemical sensitivities and the severe neuroimmune, etc. damage they cause. This is such a great victory, though the toll it took on Dr. Rea will never be repaid. His clinic’s site is http://www.ehcd.com if anyone is interested.

  • Sidney C. O’Keefe

    The recent passage of the “Food Safety” bill included language which back-doored CODEX ALIMENTARIUS [United Nations action] into US law and placed it under the administration of the FDA. CODEX ALIMENTARIUS is modeled after European trade union protection mechanisms and is designed to reduce competition and consolidate power.

    We can look forward to more and more actions of this type as the FDA strives to ‘harmonize’ US food and drug regulations with CODEX ALIMENTARIUS.

    As awareness of the ramifications of CODEX ALIMENTARIUS spreads, natural food and medicine will gradually cease to exist–unless we act to repeal the “Food Safety” act and reinstitute the protections of DSHEA.

    The FDA is yet another Washington, D.C. ‘revolving door’ institution controlled by Big Pharma and Big Agra. The consolidation of regulatory power under the FDA is de fact concentration of monopolistic control for the benefit of Big Pharma and Big Agra. This is fascism at its purest and most blatant.

    Eventually, the Supreme Court will consider an individual case and will cite and apply CODEX ALIMENTARIUS. Our only hope at this point is repeal of the monstrous “Food Safety” act.

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