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Amicus Briefs

USA v. Lane Labs-USA
We filed an amicus brief in the case of USA v. Lane Labs-USA in partial observation to the government’s motion for summary judgment. Our position is that the government’s request will impose an overbroad ban on sales of substances that may lawfully be sold under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act as dietary supplements and cosmetics. It would also impose an unconstitutional burden on protected speech in violation of the First Amendment.

View full text of the USA v. Lane Labs-USA Amicus Brief (WORD doc)

Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Robert Sinaiko, M.D.
The California Medical Board has placed Dr. Robert Sinaiko, a well-respected San Francisco physician, on five years probation (after trying unsuccessfully to revoke his license for several years) for using so-called alternative therapies to treat multiple chemical sensitivities, allergies, ADHD, Candida and chronic fatigue. After many years of battling the Board for his right to use nonstandard approaches, he has filed an appeal challenging the Board's action as an unlawful restriction of his right to practice sound medicine. We filed an amicus brief stating, among other things, that if the Board's decision is upheld, it will define as "unprofessional conduct" the provision of nutritional therapy for ADHD, and effectively make prescription of Ritalin required treatment for this condition.

This could be a landmark case, as California is a bellwether state, and the Board's action clearly infringes on physicians' abilities to decide which approach is best for each patient. The appeal also challenges cost recovery provisions used in many states; questions boards' abilities to dismiss the testimony of expert witnesses that disagree with the board's position; questions the propriety of boards going after doctors beyond classic negligence situations and examns the expansion of the scope of their oversight. All of these issues have come into play in other states where boards are harassing and censuring physicians who use complementary and alternative therapies.

Other organizations have also filed amicus briefs, including the California Medical Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the United Association of Physicians and Doctors, and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

View full text of the Amicus Brief (WORD doc)

The Progress in Medicine Foundation has established a web site and legal defense fund for Dr. Sinaiko. Click here to visit their site: www.treatmentchoice.com

Ric and Paula Schiff Law Suit
AAHF filed an Amicus brief in support of a lawsuit brought by Ric and Paula Schiff against physicians on the University of California, San Francisco hospital tumor board for withholding information which led them to believe that their only choice was to pursue treatment regimes that had never succeeded in curing a single instance of childhood rhabdoid brain cancer which had afflicted their young daughter. Our brief addresses the issue of whether informed consent in the treatment of a terminal illness can be meaningful without the disclosure of potentially efficacious experimental treatments in those instances where conventional treatments have proven ineffective. When the trial court granted summary judgment, the Schiffs appealed to the San Francisco County Superior Court. A decision is expected sometime in 2001. If the Schiffs are successful, the Superior Court will remand the case back to the trial court, where the family will have a trial by jury. A victory in this case could dramatically alter the behavior of physicians and hospitals in California and, by inference in other states which require physicians to notify patients of any and all reasonable treatment options.

Click here to view full text of the Amicus Brief.

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