Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Alternative medicine row doctor is suspended by GMC

By Lesley Houston

Published 26/11/2015

Controversy: Alternative therapist Dr Finbar Magee with a patient
Controversy: Alternative therapist Dr Finbar Magee with a patient

A Belfast doctor who specialises in alternative medicine has been barred from practising by the General Medical Council (GMC).

The medical authority last night confirmed Finbar Magee was subject to an interim suspension over his use of a controversial treatment for sufferers of autism and attention deficit disorders.

The Queen's University-trained doctor came under the GMC's scrutiny following allegations in the Republic of Ireland over his use of so-called Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS).

The main ingredient in the MMS supplement is bleach.

It is understood Magee is the first doctor to have his licence to practice curtailed over the controversial use of MMS.

The former newspaper columnist and regular broadcast commentator yesterday defended the use of the treatment, but said he has not prescribed it for a couple of years.

He told the BBC he had always acted "through conscience".

"If that is not good enough to get my licence back and get off this, then so be it," he said.

Asked why he thought he had been suspended, Dr Magee replied he believed the GMC had "listened to a combination of information, obtained mainly from the health board" and that "they tried to make out that I was taking advantage of vulnerable people for financial gain".

"Whenever I went back to do GP locums, I thought I'd integrate back into routine medicine to some degree and bring some of those ideas," he added.

"The health board needed to know what other work I was doing. I gave them the information quite freely, and I think that they tried to make out that I was taking advantage of vulnerable people for financial gain.

"The health board tried to make out that the treatments I've been doing have no scientific validation, which is completely untrue."

His interim suspension follows a panel last December which initially imposed conditions on him practising medicine.

The restrictions confined his activities to his east Belfast clinic, Synergy Healthcare on the Cregagh Road, under the supervision of a GP approved by the GMC.

The investigation into Dr Magee continued, and he was further referred to the panel, which took the decision to suspend him.

The doctor fell under the spotlight in a Prime Time television documentary in the Republic, which reported that in 2011 he had prescribed MMS.

Irish woman Fiona O'Leary has campaigned against a group led by Jim Humble, a former Scientologist and self-styled archbishop of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, which is linked to MMS. She said there was a need for legislation in Ireland to deter parents from subjecting their children to the treatment.

"Autistic children are suffering horrific side effects, including renal failure, internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhoea daily, hair loss, boils and burns on skin and much more," she added.

Last night, a spokeswoman for the GMC said doctors received interim suspensions following the launch of an investigation into "a potential risk".

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