Why is Dr. Charles Dumont identified as a faculty member at the Northwestern University School of Medicine on Dr. Anju Usman’s court papers?
Dumont is a licensed pediatrician at Chicago’s “Raby Institute for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern”, where he also practices homeopathy and acupuncture. But he is not a faculty member at the Northwestern University School of Medicine, nor is the Raby Institute Affiliated with the Feinburg School of Medicine at Northwestern.
Usman, a pediatrician from Naperville, Illinois, was disciplined last month for administering to children “medically unwarranted treatment that may potentially result in permanent disabling injuries”. Her sentence included a minimum one year probation, a $10,000 fine, and mandatory classes in medical ethics. She was also ordered to submit ten active patient files to Dumont every quarter for his review. Usman reportedly chose Dumont as the physician who will assess and review her paperwork.
Susan Hofer, spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which oversees Usman’s probation, says it is not unusual for a defendant in a case such as Usman’s to recommend a supervising physician. But Hofer is unable to explain why the court incorrectly identified Dumont as a Feinburg faculty member, and says she is looking into the matter.
Usman’s “medically unwarranted” practices were the subject of a Chicago Tribune investigation in 2009. Her Naperville clinic offers chelation and hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Dumont is no stranger to unproven treatments. Just last summer, he spoke on “Use of Clinical Homeopathy in Autism Spectrum Disorder” at the International Conference of Clinical Homeopathy in Los Angeles.
There is no scientific evidence that homeopathy is an effective treatment for autism, or any thing else for that matter.
The Raby Institute offers a smorgasbord of unproven alternative medical practices, including Reiki healing, healing touch, qi gong, body talk, and cranial sacral therapy. And this:
Nearly everything around us that we touch and see carries a unique vibrational energy signature—a living pulse that connects all things. Vibrational medicine incorporates the use of this chi energy within living organisms such as plants, gemstones and crystals, water, sunlight, and even the foods we eat, to help us balance the energies in our own bodies. Vibrational medicine therapies include color therapy, crystal therapy, flower essence therapies, grounding, and herbal therapies.
Dumont served as an expert witness in 2012 for Boiron, the world’s largest manufacturer of homeopathic products, which was targeted in a class action suit for fraud and violation of consumer protection laws. In deposition, he was challenged as to the effectiveness of homeopathy. The plaintiff’s attorney asked:
Q. do you have any idea how these (Boiron’s products) are supposed work to accomplish these purposes?
A. No one has any hypothesis within the scientific community how they work.
Q. And that includes you?
A. That includes me. I would have the Nobel prize if I knew.
Boiron eventually settled the case without admitting wrong doing, by agreeing to changes in product labeling. One change included the notice “These ‘Uses’ have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.”