The Revocation of Dr. Glenn Warner's License is Unjust and Cruel
The Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission's
revocation of board-certified oncologist Dr. Glenn Warner's license
is an affront to reason and humanity. If the State does not reverse
this ill-considered decision [an appeal is being filed],.I, Patrick
McGrady, director of the research referral service called CANHELP, shall
lose one of my most sophisticated consultants. The patients who are
presently treated by Dr. Warner, many of whom did poorly under "cookbook"
treatments, risk losing far more.
In her attack on Dr. Warner before the Court of Appeals
on June 28, the Commission's attorney, Beverly Goetz, argued that cancer
patients are "incapable" and "unqualified" to know
whether they're getting appropriate care or not. Only a body of experts
such as the Commission, she stated, were so qualified.
No one is more qualified to understand appropriate
care than the patient. Certainly not the Commission members, who comprise
not a single cancer doctor or oncology expert. In fact, the Commission's
display of its ignorance on cancer matters over the now several years
of hearings has been nothing short of astonishing.
Probably no other cancer doctor in the Seattle community
can claim to match Dr. Warner's 1000-plus surviving cancer patients.
The Commission cites just 6 complaints, several of them malpractice
lawsuits, from among the 20,000 cancer patients that Dr. Warner has
treated over the past 40 years. Even if one accepts at face value what
some observers qualify as these 6 specious charges, the most recent
charge is over 8 years old!
And yet Ms. Goetz makes the bewildering charge that Dr.
Warner practicing today constitutes a menace to "public health."
This despite the fact that, at the behest of the Commission and with
Dr. Warner's consent, he has been liable to round-the-clock supervision
and monitoring of his practice and files by the Commission over the
past year. Note that during this time not a single charge of wrongdoing,
error, or malpractice has even been suggested!
Clearly, the Commission has engaged in a most vicious vendetta
against a holistic physician, knowledgeable in both conventional medicine
and its alternatives. This despite all the evidence showing excellent
results from his distinctive, compassionate approach. Even the official
Tumor Registry, which was given access to every one of his patient files,
determined that his survivals in this dread disease were at least as
good as the others in the 13 county area surveyed. (They also commented
informally that the quality of life claimed by his patients was vastly
When charges were first filed against Dr. Warner by this
commission, more than 350 patients wrote individual letters protesting
against this attack. In the ensuing months, hundreds more letters have
been written by patients in his behalf.
The nonsensical allegation by the State of Washington's
medical "experts" that a patient is simply unable to know
whether he or she is being properly cared for could not be farther off
the mark. Cancer patients are eminently qualified to know:
- Whether they are alive or dead.
- Whether they are in pain or not.
- How many years they have survived a disease that often kills within
a year or two.
- How long their relatives and friends survived on conventional treatments,
and how poorly.
- How difficult it is to keep track of the toxic-therapies that fall
in and out of official favor, virtually on a weekly basis.
- How much time Dr. Warner devotes to each patient individually, how
well he listens, and how clearly and painstakingly he explains his
- That they are all entitled to speak with him freely at the open
support group he attends every Wednesday night in Bellevue, Washington.
- That if they are denied the right to continue Dr. Warner's unique
multidisciplinary care, they may die. (Even various official referees
and judges have pointed out the egregious unwisdom in depriving patients
of a doctor whose special care has kept them alive for years!) One
administrative law judge said that, despite his worry about the welfare
of the patients, he felt compelled to accept the Commission's finding
because their charges failed the test of being labeled "frivolous."
Their charges, however, do pass the tests of monumental stupidity,
viciousness, and cruelty. They are also an insult to common sense.
One hopes that the Court will restore Dr. Warner's
license, or that the Governor, who till now has refused even to hear
Dr. Warner's side of the case, will reverse this Kafkaesque regulatory
Nothing less than the lives of literally hundreds of cancer
patients are in jeopardy. Should they suffer from this senseless revocation
of a good doctor's license, they will know whom to hold responsible,
collectively and singly.
Patrick M. McGrady, Director
Patrick M. McGrady, Jr., a medical writer for over 30 years, is director
of CANHELP, a cancer patient advisory service; co-founder, director
and past vice president of the American Aging Association, and serves
on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Oncology Foundation and the
Toronto-based Basset/Falk/Rowan Foundation.
Mr. McGrady, Jr., is co-author with Nathan Pritikin of the best-selling
(52 weeks on the New York Times Best-seller list) Pritikin Program for
Diet and Exercise (Grosset and Dunlap, Bantam Books, 1979).
He is a frequent lecturer on medical and writing topics, a consultant
to patient, legal, hospital and pharmaceutical organizations, and a
well-known advocate of cancer patients' rights.
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