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Vitamin C and ethics issues

PREFACE: This letter is in response to the opinion by Grant Gillett of the University of Otago Medical School where he is a Professor of Biomedical Ethics. It is now imperative that the issues raised by the now-famous Allan Smith case and several others that have come to light thanks to “60 Minutes” be resolved as quickly as possible, given the severity of many viral illnesses and the growing awareness that Intravenous Vitamin C may well be a curative agent. – Jonathan Eisen, Editor

Dear Grant Gillett,
I just had occasion to read your opinion (attached) on the ethics involved with this developing Vitamin C situation. Thank you for writing this most interesting document.

Just a couple of quick comments:
1. Nowhere do you mention the option of Informed Consent. If the doctors don’t wish to administer Vitamin C, and the family and/or patient want it, in my opinion, all the doctors need to do is present an Informed Consent document to them to sign.
2. If the MDs are going to pull the plug on the patient anyway, what is the point of denying that patient the IV C?
3. As to your comment of “no clear evidence” for its efficacy, that is clearly not true, and no matter how many times it is repeated it doesn’t become true with repetition. A quick search in the literature will put paid to that. A partial, cursory list is appended below. IV C has been used successfully for decades to treat all sorts of viral and other diseases.
4. Two Nobel Laureates have demonstrated its efficacy, the first being Albert Szent-Gyorgyi in 1937 who actually discovered Vitamin C and then proved HOW Vitamin C worked in the body. To access some of his scientific papers, please go to:
The second, of course, was Linus Pauling. His work on Vitamin C is well-known and highly respected the world over, except perhaps in New Zealand.
Please read cardiologist Dr Thomas Levy’s book “Curing the Incurable” to get up to speed with the hundreds of studies proving the efficacy and safety of IV Vitamin C. You can access Dr Levy’s lecture on or his website …
… if you don’t have time to read his thoroughly referenced book.
5. Perhaps the doctors who claim that there is “no evidence” or “no convincing evidence” for the efficacy of IV Vitamin C … aren’t really willing to look. It’s not that difficult to find. If I were a medical ethicist, I would be looking at the reasons why the medical profession has been denying a potentially life saving vitamin to patients who present with Swine Flu, and would rather let them die rather than administering IV Vitamin C.
If I were a medical ethicist I would be enquiring about the ethics of publicly stating that there is “no evidence” for its safety and efficacy when there most clearly is.
Mai Chen has asked these questions more cogently than I have when she demanded that Auckland Hospital obey the wishes of the Smith family, but I ask you, why did it have to come to that?
And on what grounds is IV Vitamin C still being withheld from patients in dire straits at the North Shore Hospital and possibly elsewhere?
Hope this helps.
Kind regards
Jonathan Eisen

Clinical Investigation and Reports

Coronary Heart Disease in SmokersVitamin C Restores Coronary Microcirculatory FunctionPhilipp A. Kaufmann, MD; Tomaso Gnecchi-Ruscone, MD; Marco di Terlizzi, MD; Klaus P. Schäfers, MSc; Thomas F. Lüscher, MD, FESC, FACC, FRCP; Paolo G. Camici, MD, FESC, FACC, FRCPFrom MRC Clinical Sciences Centre (P.A.K., T.G.-R., M. di T., K.P.S., P.G.C.), Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK; and Cardiology (P.A.K., T.F.L.), University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland. Dr Schäfers’ current address is Klinik und Poliklinik fur Nuklearmedizin, Universitat Muenster, Muenster, Germany.Correspondence to Paolo G. Camici, MD, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Hammersmith Hospital, London W12 ONN, UK. E-mail Vitamin C for meningitisMeningitis Vit CSeeNutrition & infection quotes Measles Nutritional Therapies[2010 Aug] Swine flu and meningococcal amputations are needless–Hilary ButlerFrederick R. Klenner, M.D. of North Carolina has seen cures of diphtheria, staph and strep infections, herpes, mumps, spinal meningitis, mononucleosis, shock, viral hepatitis, arthritis and polio using high doses of vitamin C (Journal of Preventive Medicine, Spring, 1974). Dr Cathcart “This disease is made more deadly because of the “acute induced scurvy” involved.  This means that intravenous sodium ascorbate and later bowel tolerance doses of ascorbic acid should be administered along with the appropriate antibiotic.  Not only does the ascorbate broaden the spectrum of activity of the antibiotics against bacteria and works synergistically with the antibiotic, but it avoids allergic reactions to the antibiotic.  The susceptibility of sick people to allergic reactions is because of the up-regulation of the immune system while you are sick.  This up-regulation is caused by free radicals.  If the free radicals are neutralized by massive doses of ascorbate, the immune system, as far as allergic reactions are concerned, is down-regulated so that allergic reactions to the antibiotics do not occur.  However, unlike steroids that universally down-regulate the immune system, ascorbate up-regulates the ability of white cells to kill viruses and bacteria……The incidence of meningitis “surges” after the flu because the acute induced scurvy induced by the flu decreases the ability of the body to fight off the meningitis bacteria.””The matron was convinced that the diagnosis was meningitis so she prepared a lumbar puncture.  I had however, seen this problem before.  Lumbar punctures performed by me had been negative and the infants died….the trauma of inserting a needle..might result in a haemorrage that might cause spinal cord paralysis.  So I decided to give an injection of vitamin C..I probably gave as many as 6 injections, each 100mg.  After half an hour Mary was normal.  It was hard to believe, but I had performed a miracle!…I found that any viral infection, including measles and hepatitis, could be dramatically ‘cured’ by administering Vitamin C intravenously in big doses–provided that treatment was commenced early.”—Dr Kalokerinos MD (Medical Pioneer of the 20th century p175)

NZ seems to be living in the Dark Ages.  I do not blame them, they have been taught these lies by their teachers – who were in turn taught the same. BigPharma has had considerable control of medical training for 30 years (see “The Truth About the Drug Companies” by Dr Marcia Angell MD (for two decades,  former Editor and Polk Award for Medical Journalism, of the prestigious New England Medical Journal) .If, after study of the following medical papers on vitamin C research, and after reading Dr Marcia Angell’s  book by such an internationally recognized authority (named by ‘Time’ magazine as one of the twenty-five most influential people in America) – and the Board STILL will not study and accept the overwhelming evidence – then serious steps should be taken to remove them and to examine their conflicts of interest.  Ignorance is not a crime, but known disregard of life-saving evidence – is a crime.


Uptake of Ascorbic Acid by LeukocytesUlrich MoserDepartment of Vitamin and Nutrition Research, F. Hoffmann-La RocheVitamin C, Volume IIC. Alan, B. ClemetsonVitamin C in the Prevention of Viral DiseasesVitamin C and common cold incidence: a review of studies with subjects under heavy physical stress.Hemila H International Journal of Sports Medicine 1996 Jul;17(5):379-83Interrelation of vitamin C, infection, haemostatic factors, and cardiovascular disease.Khaw KT; Woodhouse P British Medical Journal 1995 Jun 17;310(6994):1559-63Micronutrient malnutrition, infection, and immunity: an overview.Bhaskaram P Nutritional Review 2002 May;60(5 Pt 2):S40-5Effects of vitamin E and C supplementation on oxidative stress and viral load in HIV-infected subjects.Allard JP; Aghdassi E; Chau J; Tam C; Kovacs CM; Salit IE; Walmsley SLAIDS 1998 Sep 10;12(13):1653-9Plasma ascorbic acid and beta-carotene levels in women evaluated for HPV infection, smoking, and cervix dysplasia.Basu J; Palan PR; Vermund SH; Goldberg GL; Burk RD; Romney SL Cancer Detect Prev 1991;15(3):165-70Comparative study of the anti-HIV activities of ascorbate and thiol-containing reducing agents in chronically HIV-infected cells.Am J Clin Nutr 1991 Dec;54(6 Suppl):1231S-1235SHarakeh S; Jariwalla RJSuppression of human immunodeficiency virus replication by ascorbate in chronically and acutely infected cells.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1990 Sep;87(18):7245-9 Harakeh S; Jariwalla RJ; Pauling L Viral Carcinogenesis, Laboratory, Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94306.Increased uptake and accumulation of vitamin C in human immunodeficiency virus 1-infected hematopoietic cell lines.J Biol Chem 1997 Feb 28;272(9):5814-20 Rivas CI; Vera JC; Guaiquil VH; Velasquez FV; Borquez-Ojeda OA; Carcamo JG; Concha II; Golde DW Program in Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.Effects of vitamin E and C supplementation on oxidative stress and viral load in HIV-infected subjects.AIDS 1998 Sep 10;12(13):1653-9Allard JP; Aghdassi E; Chau J; Tam C; Kovacs CM; Salit IE; Walmsley SL Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.The Effect of Ascorbic Acid Suplementation on some Parameters of the Human Immunological Defence SystemVirus interference. I. The interferonEnhancement of Random Migration and Chemotactic Response of Human Leukocytes by Ascorbic AcidThe determination of ascorbic acid in white blood cells (1961)
Blood ascorbic acid level in bioflavonoid and ascorbic acid therapy of common cold
Vitamin C and the common cold: a double-blind trial
The effects of ascorbic acid and flavonoids on the occurence of symptoms normally
Ascorbic acid and the common cold
Vitamin C and the common cold
Blood ascorbic level in bioflavonoid and ascorbic acid therapy of common cold
Usefulness of bioflavonoids and ascorbic acid in treatment of common cold
The effects of increasing weekly doses of ascorbate on certain cellular and humoral immune functions in normal volunteers
Daily vitamin C consumption and reported respiratory findings
Inhibition of histamine-induced airway constriction by asorbic acid
Vitamin C for prophylaxis of viral hepatitis B in transfused patients
German: Hepatitistherapie mit Ascorbinsäureinfusionen
Vitamin C and immunity: an assessment of the evidence
Vitamin C and immunity: Natural Killer (NK) Cell Factor
Vitamin C, interferon and the immune response
The relationship between ascorbic acid and phagocytic activity
Modulation of certain immunologic responses by vitamin C
Ascorbate-mediated stimulation of neutrophill motility and lymphocyte transformation by inhibition of the peroxidase halide system in vitro and in vivo
Vitamin C and Immunity:Influence of ascorbate on prostaglandin E2 synthesis and implications for natural killer cell activity
Ascorbic acid and the production of antibody in the guinea-pig
Role of vitamin C in resistance

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