I have been writing on this blog about efforts of the government - and simply of politically and financially powerful people - to use occupational licensing not as a tool of protection of the public, but as a tool extermination, political death, destroying reputation, bankrupting and impoverishing people who are competent and good specialists, but whose competence, intelligence, education and credibility are a thorn in the side of somebody's money-making business.
Whistleblowers regarding lies and misconduct in the government and/or big business are routinely ostracized, fired, "disciplined", some criminally charged and some even killed - as it happened to two people in New York who exposed governmental misconduct, Sunny Sheu and Adam Rupeka, and one person in California, and that is just recently.
People are assaulted, their houses are burnt, they are grabbed and arrested, as it happened to
- John Walker - a State Representative (!) in Arkansas;
- Omavi Kushukuru - John Walker's attorney, Arkansas;
- Maurice "Mo" Crawley - New York;
- Barbara O'Sullivan - New York.
Atkins's dieting method was fairly simple. He believed that if you cut down radically on carbohydrates, you would lose weight, even if you ate steaks, chops, fried eggs and bacon. Fat was not a problem. Carbohydrates, particularly refined carbohydrates, were. Calorie intake, Atkins said, was relatively unimportant."
The report was a bombshell.
It stated that, supposedly, the 72-year-old Dr. Atkins, the creator and promoter of "eat-fat-as-diet" diet, had:
- congestive heart failure;
- suffered a heart attack in the past;
- had a horizontal scar on his abdomen - which, as some medical professionals concluded, could have been the result of a surgery for fat extraction;
- weighed at 258 lbs (117 kilos) at death, which qualified him, according to the body mass index tables, as obese, and
- did not have defensive wounds on him that would have shown that he was conscious when he "slipped on ice and fell" - while there were witnesses asserting that there was no ice at that time at the place of the fall.
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So, Dr. Fleming was given a "choice", as I wrote before - prison or children.
He chose his children and pled nolo contendere, to what was not even a crime - his billing practices to Medicare which were charged against him as Medicare fraud, were not only lawful and allowed, but were preferred practices to be used, according the Medicare manual.
But - is it the way for this country to treat its PUBLIC HEALTH ADVOCATES, who risked EVERYTHING to let the public know what danger it is put in by certain people who, for personal financial gain, deliberately put their health at risk?
As to blaming Dr. Fleming for having financial interests, selling a book, at the time when he sought and released Dr. Atkins' external examination report - there is a problem in blaming Dr. Fleming for that. In fact, two problems.
- First, Dr. Fleming was ACTUALLY CORRECT in claiming that Dr. Atkins' diet was dangerous - because he, unlike Dr. Atkins' family, backed up his claims with a SCIENTIFIC STUDY, measuring the results of Dr. Atkins' diet, as compared to a vegetarian diet, on actual volunteers - which Dr. Atkins did not do, instead, Dr. Atkins' widow refused to do the autopsy, refused to publish the external medical examination, tried to "explain away" the obvious signs of obesity and heart disease in her late husband by wildly incongruous theories and lashed out against the person whose only fault was that he honestly and openly sought and distributed a TRUE public document - because Mrs. Atkins never claimed that the document that Dr. Fleming distributed and published was forged or contained false information.
- Second, Dr. Fleming was ACTUALLY CORRECT that this document, and the implications that information in that document contained should trigger an alarm about public health on the highest level - which he tried to do by making the document public and calling attention to it.
Which resulted, over time, in an avalanche of sanctions, finding fault, nit-picking, discrediting his business - and finally, a fabricated criminal prosecution, stripping of a medical license and depriving a BRILLIANT and HONEST and BRAVE physician who can SERVE PATIENTS WELL of an opportunity to either serve patients, or earn a living.
While occupational licensing laws exist (and for medical professionals, too) to protect THE PUBLIC from BAD, INCOMPETENT, DISHONEST professionals.
While Dr. Fleming was stripped of his right to serve the public and earn his living for being the opposite - GOOD, BRAVE, HONEST, COMPETENT, and not only a creator of innovative diet, but also a creator of innovative diagnostic methods for heart disease and breast cancer.
Had he been allowed to practice, I wonder, how many lives he could have saved.
Yet, he is not allowed to do that specifically because he tried to pointed out how an unscrupulous doctor, a very rich and influential one, was trying to have people die, but follow his bogus diet.
I will continue publishing Dr. Fleming's story - his court ordeal and the essence of his innovative inventions.