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After three deaths: ban on the alternative practitioner profession "one possibility"
SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach has demanded better protection from alternative practitioners after the three deaths among patients at an alternative cancer center. He even said that banning the profession was "a possibility". A naturopathic association asked colleagues to work in compliance with the law.
Possibility of a ban on the medical practitioner profession
After the three fatal cancer therapies for patients from the alternative cancer center in Brüggen (Lower Rhine), the medical practitioner profession has come under fire. SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach is now demanding even better protection from naturopaths. In an interview, he said it was "a possibility" to ban the alternative practitioner profession altogether.
Three cancer patients died after questionable treatment
At the end of July, three patients died after questionable treatment in an alternative cancer center in the Lower Rhine village of Brüggen-Bracht. They had been treated with the preparation "3-bromopyruvate". The use of the product is not inadmissible, but it is controversial. It is not yet clear whether the preparation caused the cancer patients' death.
After the incidents, criticism of alternative practitioners in general increased. For example, North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister of Health Barbara Steffens (Greens) criticized that anyone can register for the exam without any training. The 1939 law had to be reformed.
"A huge black box"
Karl Lauterbach's criticism goes much further. As the news agency dts reports, the SPD health expert said in an interview with "Spiegel": "We have a huge legal loophole."
He said: “The more than 40,000 alternative practitioners in Germany are allowed to use anything that has not been proven to be harmful. We don't know anything about these people's medical knowledge, nothing about their methods, nothing about the complications of their therapies. It's all a huge black box. "
Document alternative practitioner treatments
The expert thinks "nothing" of the North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of Health Steffens' idea that naturopaths should study in the future: "I even warn against the pseudo upgrading of this profession," Lauterbach told the news magazine.
"Why should you reward a subject with a university degree that does not adhere to the rules of science? I'm also against a master's degree in astrology or alchemy. "Instead, he asked for registers to be recorded in which alternative practitioner treatments are documented:" That would be a first step in shedding light on the dark. "
For Lauterbach, it is even "a possibility" to ban the alternative practitioner profession entirely. However, he does not believe that such a ban would be legally enforceable. "And one would make the naturopaths martyrs, supposed victims of the pharmaceutical industry."
Very responsible work
Lauterbach apparently did not register that naturopaths also criticized the methods of the so-called alternative cancer center. The Bund Deutscher Heilpraktiker (BDH) wrote in a message: "We alternative practitioners should always view our efforts as complementary, but never as cancer treatment or" alternative cancer therapy "or communicate this to our patients. There is currently no secure alternative to conventional medicine and it would be illegal to apply otherwise. "
The deaths after the treatment in Brüggen-Bracht were "not only tragic, but a great suffering for the relatives, which cannot be made good". If the allegations turned out to be correct, however, this would be an isolated case, "since alternative practitioners as a whole work just as responsibly as other professions in the health system, maybe even a little bit more carefully". This is borne out by "extremely low damage rates in professional liability insurance", which are very significantly lower than the rate in other professions.
The association nevertheless asked the colleagues: "Continue to work in compliance with the law, comply with quality standards and think in everything you do that you take your duty of care to heart." (Ad)