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An Experience at a Mexican Cancer Clinic

Margaret Baker


A summary of the following account appeared in the March-April, 1996 NCAHF Newsletter. The article is copyright 1996 by the NCAHF and may not be further reproduced or distributed without written permission of NCAHF.

This report was prepared by the patient's sister-in-law (Margaret Baker) and the patient's husband, Peter. The purpose is to describe the (mis)treatment given to Helen Plowright, at a Mexican cancer clinic, as information for any interested authorities or as a warning to other sufferers. The heading may be misleading in calling it a Mexican clinic, as it was run by an American "doctor" in Mexico to circumvent U.S. law.


Background

In the fall of 1992, a mammogram showed a suspicious mass in Helen's right breast. A biopsy defined malignant cancer and was followed by a "lumpectomy" extending to some lymph nodes. In January 1993 Helen declined requests for follow-up surgery to remove pre-cancerous material as defined by post-operative pathology. In the same month, a bone scan showed metastases to a single location on the fifth thoracic vertebra. As a result of the metastases Helen was offered a "stem cell transplant" program at the North Western Regional Oncology Centre in Sudbury, Ontario. She was told that metastasized cancer virtually always was fatal in a year or two but that the transplant program was having up to a seventeen percent "success" rate. It was, however, very dangerous in its final stage. But Helen was otherwise healthy and thought to be a good patient for this program, which was in a "clinical trial" stage.

Between March and August 1993, Helen was in Sudbury eight times and received three of the four planned chemotherapy cycles. Back at home she was responsible, with the help of visiting nurses, to give herself injections to bring her blood count up after the chemo. However, twice she developed neutropenia and diverticulitis. These required hospitalization for up to a week with large antibiotic doses to overcome them. In August a bone scan could no longer locate the metastatic spot on Helen's back, to the doctor's surprise and delight. However, a barium enema check for lingering colon infection unexpectedly revealed a large tumor in the colon. It was said to be up to eight years old and unrelated to the breast cancer. As a result of this finding Helen was taken off the stem cell transplant program as she could not now have withstood the final large dose of chemo.

A colon operation in September was successful and Helen even went back to work during November / December. Tragically, the breast had been neglected, largely due to her own apathy towards medical intervention, and a large recurrence of the breast tumor was found in December. Also in December Helen started to complain of back pain which seemed of an arthritic nature, but in January 1994 another scan showed that the pain was being caused by the spread of cancer to half a dozen sites on the spine and rib cage.

The doctors were very dismayed but would have carried on with a regime of chemo, radiation and tamoxifen (a tumor retardant). They said though that they were merely hoping to delay the inevitable. About this time Helen was further introduced to homeopathic concept of ozone treatment along with herbal medicines. Part of her information came from a video on ozone treatment lent by her local Colonics practitioner. Her husband Peter watched this pseudo-scientific tape with Helen and asked her if she understood the terminology. She said that she didn't, but found it convincing none the less. All through the fall of 1993 Helen had taken about $500 a month worth of homeopathic herbs, prescribed by a Toronto doctor. They had obviously not helped but Helen decided that since the regular oncologist could not hold out hope for a lasting cure, she wanted to try this new ozone method. She had bravely put up with the long procedures at Sudbury and their consequences and deserved every understanding in attempting an unconventional route. Even her oncologist and family doctor said, "You have nothing to lose, go ahead."

Actually, as a last attempt to avoid the arduous and expensive trip to Texas and Mexico for the ozone treatment, Helen's oncologist made a rush appointment with Dr. Falk in downtown Toronto. This doctor has very impressive credentials and background in oncology. Knowing that regular procedures are yielding limited results, Dr. Falk has set up his own, non-OHIP1 funded clinic where he can pursue and investigate new treatments along with any standard treatment he thinks will be helpful. This doctor interviewed Helen at some length and offered her a possible course of treatment including, if she desired it, ozone injections, which he had used in the past but found to be ineffective. Peter was very impressed with the combination here of solid medical competence plus the pursuit of new ideas but Helen and an advisor (the colonics lady) held out for what they thought would be a strongly ozone based treatment in Mexico. As Helen would need a companion on such a trip Margaret volunteered to go with her.

Helen had been given a name and phone number of a Dr. Hall in El Paso, Texas, and not much more to go on. She spoke to this doctor over the phone a few times and was told that she should come March 6th to start treatments. Virtually zero information was given about the treatments except that yes, he did use ozone and he had healed many patients (no references given). With that she and Margaret boarded a plane on March 6th, Helen using a wheel chair as she was already having trouble walking.

Peter, Margaret, and others knew from the first that the promised herbal medicines, even with ozone, had virtually no chance of stopping the progress of metastasized cancer. But they wanted to give Helen that hope and proof that she was worth the effort. They therefore expected failure, but nevertheless were disappointed by the abysmal level of professionalism and medical procedure at the clinic. The following record is written to expose that chicanery.

The Clinic and the Doctor(s)

The clinic is in Juarez, Mexico, and is run by Dr. Gerald Hall of El Paso, Texas. Dr. Hall is licensed only as a chiropractor. According to his own conversation, he narrowly avoided the law in Florida where a former colleague is now serving time. Dr. Hall, who alleged that he had been hounded by the American Medical Association (AMA), was somewhat paranoid about persecution. There was a daily diatribe against the AMA, the U.S. government, and the Rockefeller Foundation. The latter was said to be shipping in guillotines from France to be used against free spirits like Dr. Hall in POW. camps across the U.S. This is not the level of thought one likes to hear from those entrusted with one's life and bank account. It is in line, however, with the usual response that "alternative treatment" people give to the natural question of why regular doctors do not use these methods if they are effective and relatively inexpensive. The answer is always along the line that the powerful pharmaceutical companies suppress and outlaw anything that threatens their profits. On the wall in the Juarez clinic is an operating certificate in the name of a Dr. Nora de la Parra2, a Mexican doctor whom he apparently pays well. She does very little work in the clinic.

The Vega Machine

This is a "black box" with a meter, receptacles to hold small vials, and a probe. The vials may contain a "disease-representative" liquid or proposed medicines, usually herbal. The probe is then run along the patient's finger to see if he/she has the disease or if the medicine is efficacious. This machine and other tests are usually said to depend on resonant vibrations, i.e. if the disease or medicine in the vial has molecular oscillations at the same frequency as the body disease the two vibrations resonate and cause the probe to pass that information to the meter. In fact we suspect that the probe is of the capacitive coupling type and therefore dependant on skin moisture or salinity. The above resonant theory shows a great ignorance of electronics and biology.

The Red Light Box

One Sunday two "doctors" (?) came with Dr. Hall to our apartment and tried different things on Helen. One was a black box about three inches by three inches with a pattern of flat red lights on it. This was placed on her hip to lessen the pain. At the same time Helen was given a tape player and earphones to listen to. The red lights, possibly LED's (light emitting diodes) driven at certain frequencies, were supposed to be efficacious in and of themselves. A further indication of Dr. Hall's level of science.

The High Frequency Radiator

Several times, including one day when Peter was there, Helen lay under a long, horizontal tube to radiate her breast. The working tube was contained in a bigger plastic tube for protection, but the whole apparatus became dangerously hot. The radiating tube was fed from a frequency generator and power supply under the bed. Inside the tube two flat electrodes faced each other vertically about one inch apart. When on, the electrodes turned white hot and the space between them glowed purple. It was obvious from his actions that even the doctor was afraid of burning Helen if the tube was too close, but having adjusted the distance, he would leave her under it twenty to thirty minutes at a time.

Diagnostic Procedures

The patient is told to wear socks (no stockings), and slacks or a skirt. Helen was asked to lie on a medical examination bed with her feet and ankles hanging off the end. Dr. Hall sat in a chair at her feet in a good position to observe and manipulate her feet. He would take hold of one ankle in each of his hands, wiggle (rotating his hands at the wrist) the feet and make the heels click against each other and line up, that is, the legs appeared to be of the same length. Then, from a corrugated cardboard holder, he would choose one out of several dozen small glass vials, about one inch by a quarter inch. Each of these many vials had a clear liquid in it said to be representative of a particular disease. The vial is inserted into the top of the patient's sock to test its resonance against any disease in the body. On the day of Peter's visit Dr. Hall calmly explained the whole procedure to him. First he put a vial for cancer of the liver in Helen's sock and wiggled her ankles/ feet. The heels remained in line and the doctor said that was because he had already healed Helen of liver cancer. (An ultrasound report from Peel Memorial Hospital showing a possible liver lesion was in his possession.) Then he replaced the liver vial (in Helen's sock) with a "bone cancer" vial; again no heel misalignment because he had already healed her of bone cancer. This despite Helen's increasing hip pain and inability to walk and a recent hip x-ray in his possession which would sink his whole ship the next day at a local oncology clinic. Helen's right breast had continued to thicken and redden since the operation the previous December. Obviously the original tumor was spreading. Dr. Hall now put a "breast cancer" vial in her sock and manipulated the ankles; this time the heels were about two to three inches out of line. At this point he was good enough to explain to Peter that the vial contents were "resonating" with the breast cancer and the resulting electrical signal caused the leg muscle to contract. Then Dr. Hall directed Margaret to put up to twenty herbal concoction bottles into the waistband of Helen's skirt. He would wiggle and click her heels--Wow!--now the longer leg was shorter; too many herb bottles. (These bottles were larger than the vials, perhaps two inches in diameter by three long.) Out came one herb bottle; still too long; out came another. When by this process the herb bottles had compensated for the cancer vials and the legs were of equal length, Dr. Hall would make a few notes on a legal size note pad. The intravenous drips for the day would be made up according to the bottles in Helen's waistband!

Ozone Treatment

Dr. Hall was told over the phone that Helen was primarily interested in ozone treatment. At one time Peter asked him how it was done. He related that first some blood was withdrawn and mixed with ozone. Then the ozonated blood was treated under ultraviolet light in the presence of an alternating magnetic field, before being re-injected into the patient. Let's hope that he only made that up on the spur of the moment, as Peter thinks! In spite of Helen's expressed interest, and the presence of ozone tents at the clinic, neither Helen nor any other patient had any ozone the first six weeks she was there. During the seventh week, Helen had gaseous ozone given by syringe into her catheter three or four times. A 60 cc syringe was used (twice), 1 cc every minute. It took two hours to finish and Margaret had to do most of the delivery. On the final Monday when Peter was in the clinic he did most of two syringes himself. It was real ozone, as it was produced right there in the same room on a German made machine and you could smell its characteristic odor.

Dental Theories

At the first examination of Helen, Dr. Hall expressed concern about her dental fillings. He stated that the mercury in them was leaching into the breast and causing cancer. One might expect that he would then want to replace the fillings with the new non-mercury type; however, he said the whole tooth would have to come out as he was afraid of "gangrene" behind the tooth. Up to eight might have to be removed. Helen was taken to a Mexican dentist twice and had a total of four teeth removed. (Dr Hall requested the dentist to put each tooth plus three drops of blood in a vial so that he could have it ground up and injected back into her. Fortunately he didn't get around to it.) She herself was totally uncomplaining due to her complete faith in Dr. Hall, or perhaps in her desperation to find a cure.

Peter was highly skeptical. Two days after Margaret told him about the "gangrene" there was a note on our door to phone him when we got home. He had been to see his family doctor and had phoned Helen's regular dentist and her periodontist. All three were aghast at the idea of Helen having gangrene, saying if she did her gums would be bleeding, her teeth loose, her breath stinking, etc. Her periodontist had worked on her only weeks before and could not believe any such thing. This was all passed on to Helen and Dr. Hall but the tooth pulling went on anyway as related above.

This was among the most unfeeling, barbaric and stupid of all Dr. Hall's procedures, although considering the others that is debateable.

Other Procedures

At times Dr. Hall would need the help of specialists. One day Dr. Nora thought Helen's condition warranted a blood test. This was done at a local hospital and the blood count was so low that Helen was admitted overnight and given two units. Margaret slept on a cot beside Helen that night. Another procedure was the putting in, at a hospital, of the shunt or catheter. This took some time and caused Helen a lot of pain, although done under local anaesthetic. Helen was in a lot of pain and some days was barely able to walk. One day he had her on the examination table and massaged the muscles in her buttocks "to release the toxins." She cried and screamed in pain and begged Margaret to make him stop. This went on for ten to fifteen minutes. Confidence was not increased by Dr. Hall's use of such terms as "the bacteria are doing do-do in your blood, or spinal fluid," etc. Did he think that cancer was caused by bacteria, or their "do-do"?

Colonics was also on the agenda and Helen went four times for this, on weekends. This method of treatment is highly thought of by "alternative treatment" people and Helen had it regularly in Brampton by the lady who recommended Dr. Hall. She would refer to black bits or whatever in the emissions and say that the cancer was coming out. The Brampton colonics technician also did "ear-candling" on Helen after she got back from El Paso.

Peter insisted that x-rays be taken of Helen's right hip and pelvis as some clinical proof of the progress that Dr. Hall constantly claimed he was making. Also the pain in her hip was relatively new and getting worse. The two x-rays were done at a well appointed clinic in Juarez, probably used mainly by wealthy people. These x-rays were declared by Drs. Hall and de la Parra to be free of cancer. No comparison was made with the December 1993 ones from Peel Memorial Hospital. In fact Dr. Hall never looked at the large number of x-rays that we had brought down at his own request. He spent only a few minutes looking at the top dozen or so clinical reports from the Brampton doctors. From these he picked up the knowledge of a possible metastatic liver lesion. In any case, the above "Mexican" x-rays were later to be used as proof of extensive spread of the disease.

Margaret's role as an "un" Registered Nurse. Dr. Hall was acutely and chronically understaffed, that is, he was the only "medical" person there. Dr. Nora, gave only occasional and peripheral (not his diagnostics or herbal drips) help. With no nurse or even nursing assistant on staff, the doctor was forced to utilize the friends who usually accompanied patients. In this case Margaret was giving Helen, under Dr. Hall's direction, between fifteen and twenty medications a day, some up to six times a day as well as two or three drips a day. She had a bad reaction to some, one of which was heather root. Helen was vomiting and had diarrhoea (loose, very black, which Margaret thinks may have meant bleeding). When she told Dr. Hall that Helen couldn't get the heather root down he said, "Why not? Just sprinkle it on her food and get her to eat it!" Eight tablespoons three time a day. It looked like very course grain.

Margaret changed the dressing over Helen's shunt every five days after watching the doctor do it the first few weeks. Quite a procedure for someone with no medical training, as were a lot of things she found herself doing. He was very willing to let someone take over a lot of things for him as he was so busy. He had as many as seven patients in the clinic at a time and difficulty dealing with all their needs.

At the apartment Margaret had to keep a good supply of needles, syringes, tubing, swabs, fusion plugs, antiseptic ointment, and gauze pads. On week-ends it looked like a pharmacy with the above plus all the medicines and drips. She soon had to start keeping a book with a running account of all she did and gave Helen or she would have been completely lost. Dr. Hall did not take any pains to check if Margaret was keeping it straight.

On weekends Margaret gave Helen as many as five drips, shots in the buttocks and arms and many different medications. Dr. Hall told her not to bother calling him over the weekend (though she sometimes did) and not to bother taking Helen to the hospital if she had a bad reaction because they wouldn't know what to do for her anyway. This was said when she had to take a particularly strong drip which he warned she might have a reaction to. They set the alarm clock for every hour through the night to make sure that the drip was at the correct setting and that the line wasn't clogged. When they told Dr. Hall this he thought they were crazy.

One day at the Clinic Dr. Hall was away most of the afternoon to pick up supplies in El Paso. Margaret was giving Helen a syringe of ozone via her shunt when blood started backing up through the line and into the needle. None of them knew what to do and they were pretty scared, with Mickey the cook praying. Finally Dr. Nora arrived unexpectedly and soon had things under control. (Mickey's prayer?) Dr. Nora was always very scornful of Dr. Hall's gadgets, referring to them as "his toys."

Miscellaneous Insights

During our stay Dr. Hall was treating patients for cancer, AIDS, lead poisoning, arthritis, rheumatism, M.S., gangrene, etc., all with more or less the same medicines. In mid-April, Vince and his father-in-law, Larry, arrived at the clinic. Vince had AIDS and, with open, weeping sores on his hands sat in a lounge chair with his hands on the upholstery. He cried because he missed Sarah, his wife, who had already died from the same disease. After taking Vince to an upstairs room Dr. Hall returned to ask Helen and Margaret if they had any objection to Vince's presence in the clinic. At first they said no but after thinking about the possible implications they called in Mickey and asked her to keep his dishes separate and we asked that Vince use only the upstairs bathroom. Mickey was upset because she considered Vince already "healed" and she spent all afternoon crying and praying at the top of her voice in an upstairs bedroom.

Margaret was often in the lab, sometimes being asked to go upstairs to get certain medication for him, or to ask him something on behalf of Helen while he was putting the drips together. She often talked to him and watched his procedures for half an hour at a time. Dr. Hall told them that these medications came from such places as the Orient and Germany and that part of his costs were for trips to Germany to get them. He never went while they were there and people who were at the clinic from February until July said he had not been away. At one point Dr. Hall took blood and urine samples from Helen and another patient and, so he told Helen and Margaret, from himself, his wife and son and sent them to Germany to be processed into a serum. The plan was to reinject it when it came back to fight the cancer and he charged Helen $750.00US. Two weeks later he said that the paperwork had been done wrong and was holding it up. They never did see the serum and in the end Peter told him the $750 would be his fee for the last Monday that we were at the clinic, for which he was not otherwise paid.

Dr. Hall transported medicines and medical supplies across the border almost daily under the back seat of his van. But when Margaret asked him for an IV pole for Helen's weekend drips he said no, citing the border guards. So they had to use a nail in the wall, put up for them by good friend Tom. This gentleman (an Uncle of Helen's friend in Brampton) and his wife were nothing short of wonderful to them, giving constant practical support.

Dr. Hall told them that he was one of only five people in the world trained to do certain chiropractic adjustments that Helen "needed." From the start he said that he would use his skills to relieve her back pain but never got around to it. By the time Peter came down Helen had developed an increasing pain between her shoulders which was beginning to radiate into her arms. Treating this was to be the objective of one such "chiropractic adjustment" but Peter was very fearful of the result and warned the "doctor" that Helen's bones "might be" (read: "darn-well were") too brittle for such a procedure. The "adjustment" never got done. Later, back in Brampton, Helen underwent radiation aimed at that specific area of the back at the Bayview Oncology Clinic. The pain subsided and never came back, a good indication that its origin was the cancer and not a "chiropractic problem."

The Final Week

Peter had been getting mixed signals as to Helen's progress from Margaret's telephone calls. She was trying to be positive for Helen's sake, and to report from Helen's point of view, but there was no solid evidence of even a partial cure; in fact Helen's pain and the worsening condition of her right breast were very worrisome. At the same time Peter had gone through the proceeds of a second mortgage and most of $15,000 CAN advanced from Helen's mother. He needed solid proof one way or the other to either obtain more money, or to convince Helen of the bitter pill to come home.

Just using the phone, Peter had managed to get an appointment with the Director of Oncology at the Columbia Regional Oncology Centre in El Paso. He flew in Sunday night, April 24th and the appointment was for Tuesday morning. Peter stayed in a separate apartment in their building but ate with them. He had rented a car which was a luxury for Helen and Margaret, and on Monday a.m. he drove them to the Clinic in Mexico and spent the day observing and taking some part in procedures. Margaret had expected him to be very upset at what he would see, and at the fallacious explanations offered (quite freely) by Dr. Hall. However he said nothing at the time. Later he explained that he was surprised by the total lack of professionalism, but that he had never believed in the clinic, but he did not want to upset Helen. Besides, he knew that the next day's appointment at Columbia Hospital would settle the issue without room for argument. Here was the heartbreaking part, though. Helen was talking in terms of Peter returning to Canada the following Saturday by himself and had even asked if she could still go to the Clinic in Mexico Tuesday afternoon after the appointment at Columbia. At this point she must certainly have been "in denial," something she had disclaimed many times in the past. But now that the pressure was enormous, who could blame her?

The Columbia Hospital registered Helen in the normal way through their computer and the three of them went to see Dr. Theresa Reid and her kind nurse. It was a bonus at this point that Dr. Reid was a woman, as Helen had heard too much bad news from male oncologists. She was gentle, humorous where possible and very understanding, not condemning any negative attitude that Helen might show towards oncology. On Dr. Hall's advice Helen refused a bone scan because it entailed a minute injection of a radio-active substance. Dr. Hall said that hospital doctors would mis-interpret any such (bone scan) results anyway. However, Dr. Reid was able to compare a December 1993 hip x-ray from Canada with the recent one taken in Mexico. Putting it up on the lighted display board, she made it obvious even to us that the cancer was well progressed (since December '93) in the hip and pelvis. This was shattering news to Helen; for the time being it crushed her spirit. Dr. Reid talked as positively as she could and mentioned that radiation would alleviate pain and might let Helen live longer. At one point when Helen was out of the room Dr. Reid asked Peter what "the Clinic" was charging. She made no comment but when they came to leave the hospital, there was no charge. Later in the week they went back to have Helen's catheter removed; again, no charge!

What could they do with Helen now, her hope gone and her spirit crushed? But where one avenue of hope was closed, another opened. Where (a particular) man of medicine was a phoney, a man of faith was genuine and knew his "trade." Helen was a born-again Christian who wanted to involve her faith relative to her healing. Her outlook was that, if God did not want to give a miraculous healing, then He might have led her to this clinic for the same purpose. She was happy to find that Dr. Hall was also a Christian and to be introduced to his Pastor and church. The involvement of "Pastor Sam" and the watching of numerous "faith" videos greatly encouraged Helen and gave her daily strength. Pastor Sam was available to counsel them, and to remind Helen of whom she ultimately trusted. In an hour Helen could look at the future again and even talk of the trip back to Toronto and home. It took bravery as well as faith. However, Dr. Hall was quite happy to promote a mixture of faith and medicine, extending this to saying that God had a warehouse of new body parts. In this scenario it is easy to for the patient to wonder if lack of healing does not come from lack of faith; ie, it is their fault.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were taken up with a non-medical matter but are so integral to Helen's story that it must be mentioned. Her marriage to Peter had not been very successful. Peter was doing everything that was his duty but there was an emotional gap that precluded real closeness. Helen did not relish going home to the sort of atmosphere that had prevailed before her trip. Pastor Sam's counselling was very direct and un-oppressive. He never accused anyone of wrong-doing, or apportioned blame. First, he asked both if they wanted the marriage healed and got affirmative answers. Then he said, "If you are having these problems it is because you are leaving certain things out of your relationship." He concentrated on what they needed to do and let the bad stuff fall away naturally. He did not make newly marrieds out of them but they went home able to communicate, share some affection and give Helen a closer companion for her last fight. Pastor Sam's remark was that Helen had not come to El Paso for physical healing but for marriage healing.

Pastor Sam performed one other important service for them and that was to arrange an interview with Dr. Hall in his (the Pastor's) office. This interview was necessary for Helen's sake but could have been very difficult without a forceful intermediary. Dr. Hall arrived late and, although he knew the basic outcome of the Columbia Hospital visit, started in a very blustery manner. He stated that the x-ray evidence was inconclusive. He suggested that he would send some blood samples to a lab in Connecticut, give Helen two or three more weeks of treatment and then send another sample for comparison. This lab work would be very expensive, he told them (on top of three more weeks of his $3,500US fee of course). Helen was near tears and still believing in him. She explained that her husband was out of money and asked Dr. Hall if he could carry her for the three weeks and she would get the money somehow, especially if she proved to be getting better. This suggestion was not well received. Peter had been waiting to see if Dr. Hall would be apologetic or admit to failure at least in this case. When he saw him trying to manipulate Helen and maintain the fiction of his cure, he brought up the x-rays and asked why he couldn't read something so obvious. Dr. Hall got rather upset and Pastor Sam told him his presence wasn't needed anymore.

On Saturday, the three of them flew home and that particular phase in Helen's battle was closed. Later she did get an important measure of pain relief from radiation at a Toronto Hospital. Happily, Helen was able to remain at home and received constant care from medical people and friends and family until her fight ended on August 28, 1994.

Was her trip to the cancer clinic worth it? Peter refuses to consider the monetary cost, saying that it gave her hope and will be recouped from her insurance anyway. I feel that Dr. Hall robbed her of two precious months with her three daughters, $40,000, and put her through untold pain and discomfort, perhaps even shortening her life. She was 51 years old.


A Message from NCAHF

NCAHF commends Ms. Baker and Mr. Plowright for providing their story. It is easier to put painful experiences out of one's mind, or to treat them as too private to openly talk about, than to relive them in a narrative and to share them with others. Silence about such encounters unintentionally aids and abets quackery by hiding its many harms. It is clear from this account that the harm done by quacks involves nearly every dimension of what is important in life. We share the author's hope that someone will benefit from reading their story.

This Mexican lady doctor was something of an enigma. It was her license that allowed Dr. Hall to operate in Mexico, yet she seemed scornful of him and his methods and equipment. She was rumored to be well paid but her concern for Helen seemed genuine. Although she spoke no English, many times she would cry over Helen, holding her hand and repeating over and over again, "I love you." She is a qualified doctor and yet she also passed the hip x-rays as being free of cancer, and, the week before Peter arrived told Helen, "Go home, you are cured." How are we to understand her?

Clinic Costs: Initial Assessment: US$1000. Treatment costs: US$3,500 per week for seven weeks, US$24,500. Sample to Germany (see text), US$750. Total funds directly to Dr. Hall: US$26,250. The Canadian-U.S. exchange rate at the time was around $1.39 making these costs roughly $36,500 in Canadian funds. Additional costs included air fare, apartment, food, hospital procedures, dental bills, x-rays and blood tests.


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This page was posted on December 6, 2000.