Despite their best efforts the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) have failed to silence Dr Gary Fettke. After being subjected to 4½ years of bullying and harassment, AHPRA have finally dropped all charges. More than that, it's made a public apology to Dr Fettke following a review of his case. His crime? To recommend his patients reduce consumption of sugar and processed carbohydrates in direct contradiction of the Australian Government’s advice and, of course, all those with vested interests in Big Food.
An orthopaedic surgeon of some 25 years standing, Fettke became increasingly disillusioned by the growing numbers of patients requiring surgery for diabetic complications. He started questioning the current ‘disease management’ model of healthcare, considering it to be unsustainable for both his patients and healthcare budgets. As a result, he started encouraging his patients to follow low carb, high fat (LCHF) dietary principles to improve their health outcomes.
Despite his success using this approach, three anonymous complaints from dieticians were made against him in 2014, claiming his advice was “inappropriate” and not evidence-based. AHPRA launched an investigation (more akin to a witch-hunt), subsequently slapping him with a lifetime ban preventing him from giving his patients nutrition advice or speaking about LCHF, despite no patient complaints having been made. Following the recent review verdict, AHPRA acknowledged in its letter of apology that no harm had come to his patients as a result of his dietary advice and there is no “significant risk apparent” from following an LCHF dietary regime.
Gary is not alone…
Dr Fettke’s case is not the first of its kind, but we hope it signals the last of the witch-hunts instituted by the mainstream against practitioners who have their patients’ best interests at heart and not that of the corporatocracy.
The common denominators? All recommended LCHF based diets. All fell foul of complaints from mainstream dieticians/nutritionists claiming the advice given was not evidence-based. All knew there was hard science (and clinical evidence) on their side. All chose to stand up for what they believed in. Seeing a blatant protectionist theme running here? Dare to encroach on the profits of Big Food and Pharma and you risk your entire professional life.
But standing your ground has its rewards. After a long challenge, Dr Dahlqvist triumphed in her trial, as did Prof Noakes and now Dr Gary Fettke. Pete Evans continues to promote his culinary message. Jennifer Elliot may have lost her job as a dietician, but continues to practice privately. All continue to promote LCHF principles to the benefit of their patients and clients.
Not before time, following continued criticism of their many links to corporates, the Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA) has today announced they will no longer be partnering with big businesses. It remains to be seen whether or not this will affect their stance with regard to health professionals who support LCHF dietary protocols and put an end to the bullying and harassment that’s still commonplace.