I have previously reported that a Canadian naturopath, Jason Klop, is under investigation for selling fecal Microbiota transplants to treat autistic children. Now, there is a new twist in this story.
On Twitter, J.N. Stea summarized it nicely:
This naturopath is fighting a judge so that he can charge parents about $15,000 to give his nephew’s poop to children as a treatment for autism. His lawyer argues that he should be allowed to since naturopathy isn’t scientific anyway.
Klop’s lawyer defends the naturopath against an investigation into his business of selling fecal microbiota transplants to families of autistic children. The College of Naturopathic Physicians (CoN) had banned Klop for selling, advertising, and manufacturing pills made from human feces claiming that Klop has been engaging in conduct not acceptable for a naturopathic physician. Klop’s lawyer, Jason Gratl, argued this was difficult to prove in a field that has a few restrictions and some ambiguous boundaries.
“What does it take to be a naturopath and do something that is not appropriate in a field so wide-ranging and open to interpretation?” the lawyer, Gratl, asked the court suggesting that the lack of scientific evidence supporting the use of fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT) to treat autism is not necessarily relevant in this instance.
“Naturopaths can rely on science in certain aspects, but they are not bound to science,” Gratl said. He explained that naturopathic practices could be based on anecdotes and historical knowledge. Later, he pointed out that the field also includes homeopathy, which, some believe, involves magical thinking. It is definitely not scientific in its core.” After describing the case as a “tragedy”, Gratl called the allegations against his client “entirely unverfounded and scurrilous.”
I suspect it is nothing new to most readers, yet I find it gratifying to hear from a lawyer that naturopathy
- is not science,
- relies on anecdote instead of evidence,
- and involves magical thinking.
I do think, however, that despite all this, naturopaths should not be allowed to do any odd nonsense that comes to their minds and fills their bank accounts quickly.