Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Woman sentenced for offering illegal stem cell treatments and almost killing one woman

A 57 year old woman, named Kathleen Ann Helms, was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in jail for practising illegally medicine and committing grand theft. Helms had no licence and claimed to be a doctor, making false promises to cure Lyme disease and other conditions using stem cells. She was sentenced by Dwayne Moring, San Diego's Superior Court Judge.

Helms was found guilty for posing as a doctor and making false diagnoses, charging patients thousands of dollars to cure them. One of Helms patients was diagnosed with inflammatory illness and was given a stem cell treatment that supposedly contained bovine stem cells. It was later revealed that the "treatment" contained Dimethyl sulfoxide, a substance that is FDA-approved only for the symptomatic relief of patients with interstitial cystitis. The woman became seriously ill and was hospitalised for organ failure. She barely survived and has yet to fully recover. The woman spend more than $30,000 for her treatment.

Another victim of Helms was diagnosed with Lyme disease but actually had prostate cancer. 

Helms will serve 18 months in local custody and another 18 months under supervision. She will have to pay $2,880 in restitution to her victims and several hundred dollars in court fees. A nurse who was helping Helms in her treatments was also sentenced for a year in jail. Neither the nurse nor Helms is a licensed medical doctor, osteopath or naturopath.

According to Gina Darvas, Deputy District Attorney, each victim spent at least $6,000.
For more info on the case, click here

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