Today I’d like to introduce you to a quack, a charlatan, and an all-around no goodnik taking immense quantities of money from desperate families: Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski.
This guy lures people with devastating cancer diagnoses to his Texas clinic, gives them completely unapproved and unproven treatments, and charges hundreds of thousands of dollars for the privilege of dying at the same rate as before (if not faster, as some patients develop side effects like hypernatremia).
If you want to learn more about the evil that’s afoot, Andy Lewis at the Quackometer describes “The False Hope of the Burzynski Clinic” and an older post from Orac describes “Harnessing the Generosity of Kind-hearted Strangers to Pay for Woo.”
Now, some wacko at Dr. Burzynski’s place has started threatening bloggers who post about his woo. Which is why I’d like to introduce Dr. Burzynski to the Streisand Effect. As Wikipedia so succinctly explains, this is when “an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.”
I might never have gotten around to posting about this particular bit of woo if a dude who I really hope isn’t a real lawyer (because he’s an embarrassment to the worst ambulance chaser in the world) hadn’t started sending out hysterical angry missives.
(If you’d like to see the UTTERLY INSANE garbage this “lawyer” is sending out, Orac’s got it all posted. I’m hoping Marc Randazza gets hold of this, because his comments on this dude would be hilarious good fun to read.)
I’m no Orac, PZ Myers, or Andy Lewis, but from this tiny corner of the Internet, let the word go out that Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski is a crook, an unethical scammer who should be ashamed of himself. To deliberately steal the last pennies of families who are losing their loved ones takes a special kind of evil.
I hope that Texas shuts him down soon and these poor people can spend their money on actual medical treatments (where appropriate) or keeping their children and siblings and parents comfortable in their last days.