Millecam

June 27th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, dangers | 11 Comments »

Not sure if there are many Millecam articles around in English, this translation emailed in to me, so I’m bunging it up here for archive/interest really, let me know if there are more?

Not that I’m a professional translater by any means, but I’d like to think I’ve done a better job than babel fish :) I made some notes at the bottom about the translation.

Best Regards,

Tom Bird

Millecam Doctors Suspended (1)

Rotterdam, 19th June. Two of the three doctors who recommended
alternative therapy to actress Sylvia Millecam, who died from breast
cancer, have been removed from their roles practicing medicine.

The Central Disciplinary Tribunal for Healthcare made the announcement
yesterday afternoon. One of the three doctors had already been ordered
to hand in his license last year, after a previous appearance before the
tribunal. The other two, a doctor and an internal medical specialist(2),
were suspended for 1 year and 6 months respectively. The doctors plan to
lodge an appeal. The internal medical specialist must also hand in his
medical license. The third doctor will remain suspended for a year.

The disciplinary tribunal said of the specialist yesterday “A doctor who
veers into the terrain of alternative medicine, does not by doing so
become free of his reponsibilities as a doctor”. The doctor knew that
the actress had been diagnosed with breast cancer and did not give her
the proper tests, treatment or referrals. The actress died from breast
cancer in 2001.

The specialist treated the actress with magnetic field therapy. Later
the specialist also said that he “saw no signs of breast cancer”.
According to the tribunal, the specialist had “seriously failed in his
duties” towards the patient. Also his behaviour had not been one
isolated incident, the tribunal noted. (3)

Millecam visited a number of superior alternative healers, including a
woman known as Medium Jomanda, but only the three doctors fall under the
authority of the medical tribunal. The public ministry (Home Office)
announced at the end of 2006 that a Salt Therapist, Jomanda and three
Alternative Healers will not face prosecution for their role in keeping
the actress away from regular treatment. According to the ministry
investigations had found insufficient evidence to make a case.

(1) It actually says “Millecam Doctors removed from their professions”
but that doesn’t sound very good in English.
(2) Internal Medical Specialist is, according to my dictionary, the
correct translation for “Internist”, in this case it apears to refer to
a medically licensed specialist working with magentic field therapy
(presumably within a hospital). Perhaps you would know a better term to
describe this sort of person.
(3) This is a bit clumsy, a literal translation of the Dutch would be
“Also his treatment cannot, according to the tribunal, be judged as
an/one incident”, I’m fairly sure that this is what they meant though.


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11 Responses



  1. Brum D said,

    June 27, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Good riddance! Well, at least, two out of three..

    On “psychic” Jomanda (who happens to be family of mine, aarrgh!): there hasn’t been any legal ground to persecute her, but at least it has affected her popularity; her crowds are considerably smaller than before 2001.

    The translation looks fine to me.

  2. Mojo said,

    June 27, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    “Not sure if there are many Millecam articles around in English”

    There are some here:

    www.skeptics.org.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=592

    Unfortunately they’re written by Frank Eeken (pretty much the same ones that he spammed to the forum here, but later deleted).

  3. Robert Carnegie said,

    June 28, 2007 at 1:37 am

    The word “superior” is a little odd. Perhaps “other” or “subsequent(ly)” would better reflect the original author’s intention. Or are we talking about alternative practitioners operating at consultant rank? Psycho-magnetic surgeons who pride themselves on not going by “Doctor”…

  4. Kells said,

    June 28, 2007 at 10:04 am

    This is a good ruling by the court and entirely understandable.
    However Medium Jomanda gets away scot free on the basis that she(?) had NO qualifications. I’m pretty sure she will have made claims to be able to cure cancer and other ailments. Alternative therapists should have to register and state what exactly they are claiming to be able to do for ‘patients’ – apart from relieve them of their money.

  5. fontwell said,

    June 28, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    eminent

  6. randomas said,

    June 28, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    As if withdrawing their license is a solution …

    They should be tried for manslaughter or criminal negligence (or whatever the correct legalese for whichever country is).

    Most of these people just keep practising without a license, effectively killing people and/or depriving them of the financial means to proper treatments.

    There are crimes that make me wish for a return for corporal punishments and public humiliation … I wonder if the old stocks in Stow-on-the-Wold are still standing.

    A good example is this “doctor” Tullio Simoncini who ascribes the cause of all cancers to be fungal and gives the most improbable treatments …

  7. Robert Carnegie said,

    June 28, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Confusion abounds, perhaps “notorious”? ;-)

  8. rien said,

    June 27, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Jomanda doesn’t seem to get away scot free. In April 2008 the Amsterdam court of appeals has ordered her prosecution.

    You can find the verdict on www.rechtspraak.nl, case nr. LJN: BC9170. It has a chilling and very extensive account of the facts (in Dutch though).

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