25 Jan 2019

Self-described healer receives second prohibition order following investigation into claims he made about remedies that would ‘cure cancer’

A North Warrandyte self-proclaimed healer has been banned from importing, manufacturing or compounding any product or substance that he (or anyone else) claims can cure cancer or any other serious illness.

Health Complaints Commissioner Karen Cusack made a prohibition order against Dennis Wayne Jensen following an investigation into Mr Jensen’s treatment of a female cancer patient in February 2018.

Ms Cusack said the investigation found Mr Jensen had supplied alternative remedies to the patient that he claimed would cure her cancer, including laetrile or B17, a substance that can be found in the seeds of some fruit.

She said the investigation also found Mr Jensen had encouraged the patient to stop evidence-based medical treatment.

Ms Cusack said the prohibition order made this week followed a prohibition order against Mr Jensen on 7 August 2018, which permanently banned the self-described healer from providing any general health service based on the findings of a separate investigation into his use of controversial black salve treatment on another cancer patient.

“I have serious concerns about the extent to which Mr Jensen is capable of delivering any general health services safely and ethically,” Ms Cusack said.

“Having considered the evidence, I’m satisfied Mr Jensen contravened the general code of conduct, which applies to all health service providers outside the national registration scheme, when he supplied these alternative remedies to a patient suffering from cancer and encouraged the patient to stop evidence-based medical treatment.”

Ms Cusack highlighted the need for Victorians to be aware of the existence of alternative remedies such as black salve and laetrile in Victoria, and to contact the HCC if a general health service provider claimed that using these products could cure cancer.

She said the HCC would not tolerate dangerous or unethical practitioners who preyed on the desperation and vulnerability of cancer-sufferers, or others suffering a terminal illness.

“It’s incredibly important the public knows that alternative therapists are not permitted to make claims that these remedies, including black salve and laetrile, will cure cancer,” she said.

“The code of conduct for general health services is very clear that health service providers who claim to be able to treat or alleviate the symptoms of cancer, or other terminal illnesses, must be able to substantiate their claims.

“Providers must not misinform their clients or dissuade them from seeking or continuing medical treatment.

“The code of conduct exists to ensure all Victorians are provided with safe and ethical healthcare by every health service they use, and we therefore take breaches of the code incredibly seriously.

“If you have any concerns about this, or other health services, please contact our office on 1300 582 113.”