By Adam Smith

Science & Communications officer

Sometimes, the most brilliant, innovative and caring of doctors find themselves ‘struck off’ or ‘erased’ from the medical register – sometimes repeatedly – simply for stepping outside mainstream practise. Today, we bring you some examples of physicians whose careers have been interrupted or ended in a seeming bid to send a message to the rest of the profession: maintain the paradigm – or else.


Licensing: A mechanism for protection or control?

Bodies like the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) and the US state licensing boards effectively regulate doctors through a range of punitive measures, the most severe being suspension or revocation of medical licenses. Clearly, some form of oversight is necessary for a profession with the level of responsibility and public trust enjoyed by physicians. Unfortunately, there are plenty of examples to show that the licensing bodies regularly flex their muscles in order to shut out original thinkers, who are often advocates of natural integrative healthcare, in favour of maintaining an outdated conventional medical paradigm.

Dr Jonathan Wright (USA)

Dr Jonathan V Wright is medical director of the Tahoma Clinic in Seattle, Washington. After graduating from the prestigious Harvard University in 1965 and obtaining his medical degree (MD) in 1969 from Michigan University, Dr Wright became a pioneer in the field of nutritional medicine, publishing numerous articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and authoring or co-authoring 14 books.  As ANH-USA observes, [Dr Wright] is a pioneer who has developed innovative and successful natural therapies utilizing food, supplements, and lifestyle changes for a host of maladies that conventional medicine cannot cure.  His style of medicine represents our future.”

Dr Wright has had a rocky relationship with the US authorities ever since 1992, when the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) raided his clinic in what became known as the ‘vitamin B bust’. More recently, Washington state authorities have mounted what can only be described as a politically motivated attempt to disrupt Dr Wright’s practise. In short, the story goes like this:

  • Dr Wright’s Tahoma clinic hired an MD whose medical license was shown as ‘pending’ on the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission (MQAC) website
  • Following legal advice, the new doctor was very closely supervised
  • MQAC accused Dr Wright of, “Aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine,” after it was revealed that the doctor’s license had actually been revoked.  MQAC was aware of this fact but failed to update its website, which Tahoma Clinic staff frequently checked
  • Glaring procedural irregularities occurred during Dr Wright’s hearing, the outcome of which appeared to be known by MQAC’s attorney prior to its ruling
  • Predictably, MQAC found Dr Wright guilty
  • MQAC also demanded that he write a paper on the importance of proper licensure
  • Perhaps worst of all, MQAC found Dr Wright guilty of an offense that had never been mentioned prior to its ruling!

Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield (UK)

Dr Durrant-Peatfield was a general practitioner (GP) with an interest in thyroid and metabolic disease, who attracted the ire of the GMC in 2001 for prescribing natural, whole, desiccated thyroid preparations to patients with hypothyroidism. The accepted treatment for hypothyroidism was then, and remains, lifelong treatment with a synthetic thyroid hormone (T4) called levothyroxine, after diagnosis via a blood test. Thyroxine (T4) is the main circulating thyroid hormone, but far less active than triidothyronine (T3). Many people don’t respond well to synthetic T4 replacement, finding that their symptoms actually continue or worsen despite blood levels increasing and showing normal on test results. For these people, the use of whole, desiccated thyroid preparations proves invaluable – but is not a standard conventional medical treatment. Dr Durrant-Peatfield also preferred thorough history-taking and a basal temperature test to blood tests for diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

His medical license was suspended for 18 months pending a full GMC investigation. Rather than wait for the result, Dr Durrant-Peatfield chose to ‘erase’ himself from the medical register and retire from medical practise. He now lectures and writes books, and is a patron and medical advisor to Thyroid Patient Advocacy UK.

Dr David Derry (Canada)

Dr David Derry was another GP interested in thyroid problems who, like Dr Durrant-Peatfield, preferred to treat hypothyroidism with desiccated thyroid preparations, rather than levothyroxine. He was also highly critical of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test for thyroid disease.  The Canadian authorities resorted to enormous chicanery in order to manufacture a justification for removing Dr Derry’s license on 11th June 2002.

Dr Eckard Roehrich (Australia)

Anyone who has followed the case of UK cancer patient Neon Roberts over the past year or so will see immediate parallels in the Australian authorities’ attitude toward Dr Roehrich. Sarah Westley, known as ‘Lisa Eastleigh’ due to the terms of a court order, was 11 years old in 2002, when she was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. After surgery, she and her family opted for treatment with, “Vitamins, minerals, ozone (oxygen therapies), and bioenergetic treatments,” against the advice of Lisa’s oncologist. Her blood tumour markers rapidly dropped, she gained weight and her overall health improved. The family later visited Dr Roehrich, a surgeon and GP with a highly integrated approach to medicinal practise, who opted to further support her immune system.

However, the family’s oncologist called in the Australian Department of Community Services (DoCS), which soon made Lisa a ward of court. She began a course of involuntary chemotherapy on 13th June, 2003, and her health immediately deteriorated. Dr Roehrich was so upset at her condition that he delivered an impassioned plea to the court, imploring it to, “Allow [her] to return home to a family environment...[and] allow two oncologists with integrative approaches to be briefed on (Lisa’s) condition”. The court did nothing, and Lisa’s treating physicians became ever more insistent upon a narrow course of therapy. According to a 2012 article in the Sydney Morning Herald, “The state had spent millions on lawyers and doctors to impose a non-evidence-based treatment that cost $300,000 for the chemicals alone, rather than allowing a family to spend its own money on an overseas treatment for which there was evidence of success.”

Not only did the court ignore Dr Roehrich’s plea; the authorities then went after him for speaking out. The New South Wales Medical Board brought him before a special Committee, revoked his medical license and gave him 3 days to hand over his practice. At no point did the Board provide a reason for its pursuit of Dr Roehrich, ignoring his direct requests. Tragically, Sarah/Lisa died on 25th October 2004. Her case inspired a book, Sarah’s Last Wish, written by health campaigner Eve Hillary.

Dr Jayne Donegan (UK)

Dr Donegan is living proof that malignant medical authorities don’t always get their own way.  Just like Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bystrianyk, her in-depth research convinced her that, “Vaccines hadn’t made the great impact that I had been lead to believe on people’s health...95–99% of the reduction in deaths from, for example, measles and whooping cough had already occurred before the vaccines were introduced”.

Fast-forward a few years, and the now ‘vaccine realist’ Dr Donegan is asked to act as an expert witness for a mother whose absent husband sought a court order to fully vaccinate their child against her wishes. This she agreed to do, but her efforts were wasted. The judge chose to rely exclusively on the evidence presented by the husband’s expert witnesses, and he ruled that the child should receive all the scheduled vaccinations. Even worse for Dr Donegan, the GMC then accused her of serious professional misconduct.

Investigative writer Martin J Walker accurately described the case as, “A calculated attack on the right of defendants to bring independent expert evidence to court”. Amazingly, with the deck hugely stacked against her, Dr Donegan won her case. She accredits much of her success to her lawyer, Clifford Miller, and the legal team that he employed. In finding her not guilty, the GMC stated: “Your reports did not derive from your deeply held views and your evidence supported this...your approach in your report was to provide the court with a alternative view based on the material you produced in your references...largely drawn from publications that were in fact in favour of immunisation...You largely used what was available in refereed medical journals...The Panel is sure that in the reports you provided you did not fail to be objective, independent and unbiased. Accordingly, the Panel found that you are not guilty of serious professional misconduct.”


These cases barely scratch the surface of the historical and ongoing pursuit of medical doctors who think and act outside the mainstream. Contrary to the authorities’ justification of “protecting the public”, the apparent intent is clear and two-fold. First, to make such powerful examples of these maverick doctors that their colleagues are discouraged from following the same path, from pursuing ‘awkward’ lines of research, from speaking out about poor, ineffective or outdated practise or even of thinking outside the dominant paradigm.  Secondly, to force the continued existence of that very paradigm in the face of increasing evidence that pharmaceutical-led, technology-dependent, top-down medicine is simply not working – may, in fact, be causing more harm than good.

The emergence of increasingly mandatory ‘treatment pathways’ is only the latest example of this process; one that attempts to entirely remove clinical decision-making from the physician, and where the only options in the vast majority of conditions are drugs and/or surgery.  Restrictive legislation on natural healthcare is, of course, another tentacle of the octopus.

However, the fact that we now have the ability, via electronic communications, to spread the word about these gross abuses of power means that change is inevitable. It’s all part of the great reveal, the global awakening, and how we work with the information newly uncovered will determine humanity’s future. By supporting doctors like those in this story, and by aligning our lives and attitudes with genuinely health-promoting strategies, we can bring into being the world we’d like to see.


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