A father in Spain is launching a court case against a homeopathic practitioner he says convinced his son that his cancer could be cured with “fungi and alcohol.”
Julian Rodriguez’s son, Mario, died after refusing Western medical treatment for his leukemia in favor of “alternative” therapies provided by José Ramón Llorente – who is not a medical doctor.
The case aims to hold Llorente responsible for his claims that he could cure cancer.
Spain has a growing alternative medicine industry, and Julian hopes that his case will result in increased scrutiny of homeopathic practitioners. According to Spain’s La Vanguardia, Llorente could face two years in prison in convicted.
From the Independent:
“Mario was a 21-years-old physics student when he was diagnosed with leukaemia and doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant and a course of chemotherapy.
However, he feared the effects of chemotherapy and was, according to Julián, “convinced” by Mr Llorente, president of the Spanish Association of Orthomolecular Nutrition, into a homeopathic ‘orthomolecular treatment.'”
According to the Independent, Llorente prescribed €4,000 worth of alternative treatments which included vitamins, fungi and alcohol. Just before he died from complications of the disease, Mario said to his father: “Dad, I was wrong”.
According to reports, Mario’s medical doctors also accuse Llorente of misleading Mario in regards to the effectiveness of alternative treatment.
“It is so painful to know that he had such a clear chance to save my son,” Julián said.
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Llorente denied that he ever claimed to cure cancer, saying that his method is to “train the body to enhance recovery and if cancer is cured, then perfect.”
“If he was wrong, he was wrong,” Llorente added, referring to Mario’s choice of treatment.
“I want my son’s case to serve as a way to initiate legislative change that regulates the advertisement, circulation and practice of these so-called ‘alternative therapies,’” Julian wrote in an online petition.
“For a car, a washer, or a television, these products have to pass through pre-determined filters established by legislation. But to open a shady business and announce that you can cure cancer – no.”
Study after study has found homeopathy to be pure pseudoscience. In February, a total of 57 systematic reviews containing 176 individual studies, focused on 68 different health conditions and found there to be no evidence homeopathy was more effective than placebo on any.
Although there’s still a strong contingent of support for alternative medicine in the country, many Spaniards have soured on homeopathy, particularly after a unvaccinated six-year-old boy died of diphtheria in 2015. The boy’s mother reportedly worked at a homeopathy clinic.
Featured image via screen grab (EL PAÍS)