sources: mcall.com, tmb.state.tx.us
Great news for supporters of William J. Rea, M.D., director of the Environmental Health Center-Dallas and Planet Thrive columnist! The Texas Medical Board has settled it’s complaint against him from 2007, when they charged him with pseudoscience and claimed he injected patients with jet fuel, natural gas, and other harmful substances. Dr. Rea defended his treatment approach, explaining that the injections he uses are electromagnetic imprints of those substances and not actually the substances themselves (similar to homeopathy). Rather than suspend Dr. Rea or take away his license to practice medicine as many of his patients feared might happen, the Board merely issued sanctions requiring him to inform patients that his treatment is not FDA approved and that it’s therapeutic value is disputed. This is a huge win for physicians practicing environmental medicine and their patients!
Here are the exact sanctions issued by the Texas Medical Board:
On August 27, 2010, the Board and William James Rea, M.D., entered into a Mediated Agreed Order requiring Dr. Rea to present a revised informed consent form to patients undergoing injections for chemical/environmental sensitivity that states that the injections contain only the “electromagnetic imprint” of the agents in question, the therapy is “not FDA approved,” and the therapeutic value of the therapy is disputed. In addition, Dr. Rea shall not start using any formulations that contain any amounts of substances classified as hazardous or carcinogenic by the EPA. The Order was based upon Dr. Rea’s failure to obtain informed consent from five patients diagnosed with chemical sensitivity and/or environmental sensitivity before performing tests, treatments or procedures.”
In an interview with The Morning Call in 2008, Dr. Rea shared his belief that the complaints were generated by insurance companies that wanted to avoid paying for patients’ treatments – and were not made by patients themselves. The fact that the Board essentially gave him a slap on the wrist may reflect an overall trend of mainstream medicine acknowledging that there are benefits to some of the more alternative treatments available today. Leigh Hopper, a spokeswoman for the Texas Medical Board, agreed that “it is definitely a unique order – we struck a balance between making sure patients have access to alternative medicine and making sure it’s safe.”