Has your doctor ever tested to see if you’re allergic to jet fuel by pricking you with a small amount of the stuff? That’s what Dallas Dr. William Rea has done, according to a formal complaint released today by the Texas Medical Board.
Rea’s the head of the Environmental Health Center in Dallas, where patients can be tested for unusual allergies and buy furniture polish and bug spray. When we last left him, he and his pal Dr. Steve Hotze were defending Rea’s reputation in the face of anonymous complaints filed with the TMB against Rea. Rea and Hotze believed it was part of conspiracy by insurance companies who don’t like Rea’s unorthodox treatments.
The Board alleges that Rea violated the standard of care and that his alleged violations “involve more than one patient” and could mean an “increased potential for harm to the puiblic. And according to the TMB’s allegations, the violations – and Rea’s approach in general -- are a doozy. To wit:
- “The tests do not even qualify as experimental, and are more properly described as pseudoscience.”
- “Respondent’s treatments are potentially harmful. Injections of neurotransmitters, mycotoxins, jet fuel, natural gas, and other chemicals can be a dangerous practice.”
- “Respondent’s unscientific tests mislead patients into believing they have either an autoimmune or immunologic basis for their complaints, when in fact they do not.”
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- “[Rea] claims to have board certification in the field of environmental medicine, which is not recognized by the American Board of Internal Medicine.”
- “There is no scientific basis for using skin-testing to establish a diagnosis of an allergy to…lake algae. In fact, there is no such disorder.”
However, not all of his methods are potentially harmful, according to the complaint. There is, for example, Rea’s cool-sounding “heat-depuration therapy,” which the Board claims “is simply a sauna, which has no known medical therapeutic indication for the diseases [Rea] purports to treat.”
Rea has 20 days to respond to the complaint, which the Board states “constitutes grounds…to revoke or suspend [Rea’s] medical license or to impose any other authorized means of discipline” which includes license suspension, counseling, and “public reprimand,” among others. (Rea was out of the office Friday and unavailable for comment.) – Craig Malisow