Making legal threats against a blogging cancer patient? Stay classy, Shayla McCallum and Dr. Thomas Lodi. Stay classy.

I’ve said it before, and I’ve said it more times than I can remember. Purveyors of unscientific medicine don’t have the goods. If they had the goods, then their nostrums wouldn’t be called “alternative” medicine anymore; they’d just be medicine. Because they don’t have the goods in the form of science and clinical evidence, all that leaves is to attack those who criticize their lack of science and clinical evidence. Most recently, we saw this in the reaction of the British Chiropractic Association, which is suing Simon Singh over the most bogus of reasons, and in the grande dame of the anti-vaccine movement whose star has been eclipsed by that of Jenny McCarthy, Barbara Loe Fisher who, while calling for a “fearless” conversation about vaccines, has been cowering behind the law to try to shut down just such a conversation.

This time around, we have a particularly despicable example. Dr. Thomas Lodi, who on his website An Oasis of Healing bills himself as “Homeopathic Physician, Metabolic Medicine, Internal Medicine, Integrative Oncology, and Certified Nutrition Specialist,” has decided that he didn’t like a cancer patient by the name of Seanty criticizing his claims about chemotherapy, has sent through his Director of Marketing Shayla McCallum a legal threat demanding that he take down his post or face legal action for defamation.

The stupid, it burns, my precious.

Shayla is utterly clueless. She’s cowardly, too, as she apparently asked Seanty not to publish her full name. (If you happen to see this, Shayla, be aware that many of my readers know my full name, and I’d be happy to post this elsewhere under my own name.) Either that, or even she knows that what her boss asked her to do was shameful and therefore quite understandably does not want her name linked with it. Too bad. She works for Dr. Lodi and apparently agreed to do his dirty work for him. In any case, All Seanty did was to link to an article (which now appears to be gone). I’d also like to point out that the .sig file of Shayla’s e-mail made me laugh out loud in that it includes the Quack Miranda Warning right in it:

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this e-mail is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease; and any product mentioned in this e-mail is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Furthermore, the information provided hereinabove comes without any warranty whatsoever. Use it at your own risk. Just because a product, program, book, or service, etc. is mentioned hereinabove does not mean that that we endorse or approve of it. All the other standard disclaimers also apply.

It’s comedy gold to include the Quack Miranda Warning as part of the .sig file for a legal threat against a cancer patient who criticized homeopathy as quackery and Dr. Lodi for making highly dubious statements about cancer therapy.

I’m guessing that if Dr. Lodi had bothered to consult a lawyer he would have found out really fast just how idiotic he was being, but it’s probably far cheaper to have his clueless Director of Marketing send a vacuous legal threat by e-mail. Of course, maybe Dr. Lodi’s actually being clever and knows that a faux “cease and desist” order sent by his lackey might frighten someone enough to take down the unflattering information he wanted taken down, information apparently similar to information contained in, for example, this article:

But Fry said she still has concerns. She pointed to the board’s 2002 licensure of Dr. Thomas Lodi of Las Vegas. According to public records, Lodi, a recovering cocaine addict, admitted to the board that he had surrendered his license in Nevada in 1996. Nevada records show that Lodi gave up his license while under investigation by a state program set up to deal with doctors with substance-abuse problems. The Arizona board still unanimously approved Lodi’s license because Lodi held an active license in New York that is still current. Lodi now shares a practice in Mesa with the board’s chairman, Dr. Charles Schwengel.

When Sen. Jim Waring, R-Phoenix, learned about Lodi during the meeting, he grew visibly irritated. Waring said he felt that assurances about how doctors are licensed given to him in private meetings with Springer and members of the board did not match their testimony Tuesday.

Assuming this account is true, Dr. Lodi appears to have taken advantage of Arizona’s licensure of “homeopathic physicians.”

I’ve also taken a look at Dr. Lodi’s website and his history of going from being a real doctor to an “unconventinoal” doctor. It is, as I like to say, a “target-rich” environment, full of testimonials and a heapin’ helpin’ of woo, such as heavy metal detoxification and even colon hydrotherapy. If I lack for blogging material next week, Dr. Lodi has supplied me with plenty. For instance, colon hydrotherapy is pure quackery (in my not-so-humble opinion, of course). So is chelation therapy for anything other than a very few indications.

Apparently, so weak is Dr. Lodi’s case that instead of providing actual evidence that his therapies work (testimonials don’t count; that first one about a breast cancer patient who has refused chemotherapy is almost exactly the same as that of Suzanne Somers and meaningless for the same reasons) or that his criticisms of chemotherapy are valid, instead he got his clueless Marketing Director to whip off a threatening e-mail to Seanty, who apparently lives in the U.K. Maybe Dr. Lodi read about the Simon Singh case and thought he’d engage in a bit of libel tourism himself, or at least use the threat of the U.K.’s plaintiff-friendly libel laws to his advantage. Whatever the reason, his action is despicable in its cluelessness, cowardice, and insensitivity.

Finally, if Dr. Lodi or Ms. McCallum send me any such e-mails, they both should be aware that I will post them verbatim right here to be ridiculed by you, my readers.