Pseudoscience

Boy dies after acupuncturist orders his family to stop giving insulin injections for his diabetes

On the advice of his acupuncturist, a 17-year-old boy stopped taking insulin injections to treat his diabetes

On the advice of his acupuncturist, a 17-year-old boy from Tiruppur, India stopped taking insulin injections to treat his diabetes — a decision that ended up costing him his life. The boy, identified by the New Indian Express as “Subash,” had been taking insulin injections to treat his condition twice daily for the past five years.

The boy’s father, Jagadeesh, said that his son was tired of the daily injections and wanted to find a way to stop taking them. He was then recommended to acupuncturist R Balamurugan, who claimed that they boy’s diabetes could be cured through acupuncture and he no longer needed to take the injections.

On May 20, Subash fell seriously ill after after following Balamurugan’s suggestion. His family reached out to Balamurugan who dismissed their concerns and claimed the boy’s health was improving. The next day Subash was found unconscious and taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

According to Balamurugan, not only was his death caused by insulin injections. He told The News Minute:

“I do not endorse the gradual withdrawal of insulin injections. I think they must be stopped altogether. Acu touch is proven to work. So many patients who are in the same age bracket are doing absolutely fine after withdrawal.”

There is no empirical evidence to support his claims or methods. Despite that, Balamurugan has been running a holistic clinic at Ramnagar in Coimbatore since 2011. He told TNIE:

“There are numerous patients whom I have cured. This case is one in a thousand and I do not guarantee saving life. They started taking treatment only after accepting my suggestion to stop the insulin injections.”

Subash’s family reportedly has yet to seek any legal action.

Featured image: Yasu Sekimori (Flickr)

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