Victoria's naturopath who used saliva infected with rabies to treat a four-year-old child says she will continue to prescribe the treatment because it does not harm her clients.
"My job as a naturopath and a homeopath is to help the patient," Anke Zimmermann, 56, told Times Collector on Friday. "My job is to find the right remedy to help them, it could be anything, I never know what the person may need until he takes his case."
In a February 8 blog post that received most attention this week, Zimmermann wrote about his young patient's treatment with a non-toxic remedy that included lyssin, a product that is said to be made of rabies. The child had been bitten by a dog years before, and a popular course of treatment in the homeopathic world is to use lyssin to remedy the health and behavioral problems badociated with rabies vaccination.
He said in the blog post in drzimmermann. org, which was written with permission from the child's parents, but was later withdrawn, that his treatment of the child was one of several successful clinical cases that addressed the aggression and behavioral problems with lyssin. Zimmermann's patient had restless sleep habits, he often growled at people and was afraid of werewolves. Lyssin, which is also known as lyssinum and hydrophobinum, has been used in similar cases as far back as 1833, he said.
Zimmermann's actions have caught the attention of the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, who has asked Health Canada to review his approval of the product. Lyssin could potentially put patients at risk for rabies, Henry said in a statement.
"Although I believe that homeopathy plays a complementary role for some families in their health, I am concerned that some people may delay or avoid proven effective treatments while relying only on homeopathy," said Henry.
Health Canada said in a second statement on Friday that the lyssin / hydrophobinum product is regulated as a natural health product, but a Health Canada official said that the company where the naturopath supposedly obtained the product does not have a license to distribute the ingredient. The statement said that the sale of natural health products without a license is prohibited and could result in a fine of $ 5,000 or up to three years in prison.
Zimmermann said he bought his lysine at a pharmacy that is not in Victoria. She did not reveal the name of the pharmacy.
The lyssin remedy becomes safe by diluting the sterile substance "hundreds of times" in a solution of water and alcohol, according to Zimmermann. "To begin with there is no virus alive," he said. "After repeating this process 12 times, it is impossible to even have a molecule of the original substance left in the solution."
The B.C. The Naturopathic Association filed a complaint on Thursday against Zimmermann, alleging that it could have violated the code of conduct and the code of ethics of the badociation for naturopathic doctors.
"We are concerned that certain statements and publications that she has made, in person and online, are contrary to the public interest in the exercise of the profession and, therefore, require the intervention of the regulator to intervene," said the co-president Víctor Chan, of the BC. Naturopathic Association said in a statement.
Zimmermann does not belong to the badociation, but said he is a full member of the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia, the governing body of naturopath doctors. Zimmermann said he completed three years of pre-medical studies at the university and two years of basic science at the naturopathic university to become a licensed naturopath. She has been a naturopath practitioner for 26 years.
"I'm not taking this personally," he said. "There is a worldwide urge on the part of skeptics and organizations funded by pharmaceutical companies to eliminate homeopathy, this is nothing new"
– Mike Devlin, Times Colonist
with archives of Amy Smart, The Canadian Press
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