Friday, December 2, 2011
Innocent until proven guilty and the right to a fair trial are freedoms granted to you as an American by the Constitution, but it seems that's not the case if the Medical Board of California decides to go after you.
The Board's complaint process is clearly defined on its website.
But in the case local holistic practitioner Cary Silberman, the rules seem to have been changed to suit the Board.
Silberman's case is now being prosecuted by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
The Right to a Fair Trial
As privileged as we are in this country, the Sixth Amendment still has its problems. Does the court system work or not? Some people would say "no" after Casey Anthony was acquitted from her little girl's murder.
This past summer, the San Jose Mercury News had an article about Silberman and, in my opinion, that story was slanted. I checked the facts of this case and I’m still scratching my head about it. The person that wrote the article obviously got his information from the Board, but did no other research, nor checked anything else out that had to do with the case. It appears he did not talk to the father of the child that was allegedly injured. (I have a copy of that article now down off their site if you would like a copy).
Some of you may know Silberman. Maybe you trusted him and went to see him for a problem that conventional medicine was not healing, at one of the five California locations.
Silberman was the owner of “Shiny Toes,” a cold laser treatment center for nail fungus and pain management. “Shiny Toes” listed California locations in Los Gatos, San Jose, San Francisco, San Ramon, and Beverly Hills. The Medical Board of California began investigating Silberman in January 2011.
An undercover investigator, posing as a patient, obtained evidence that Silberman was diagnosing and treating toenail fungus and using lasers to treat this ailment, according to the Board.
According to a press release issued by the Board in July, Silberman was charged with one felony count of practicing medicine without a license, one felony count of grand theft by fraud, and one misdemeanor count of child endangerment, alleging Silberman injured a 4-year-old when he performed laser treatment on the child.
The Board has already dropped some of the charges.
The mission of the Board is public protection, and the action reflected the agency's ongoing commitment to that mission, said Linda Whitney, executive director of the Medical Board in the release.
Silberman started a holistic business that helps people get rid of toe nail fungus and chronic pain. He did this because he truly wanted to help people “not hurt them.” He wanted to make a difference for those who wanted an alternative health option, he said in a phone interview.
The Board, not San Jose Police, stormed into his home office, he said.
Silberman indicated this was the first notice he got that something was wrong and that there were concerns raised against him. They cuffed him, attired only in his underwear, in front of his staff and people who were coming in (he was in the shower when they showed up), he said.
Then they ransacked his entire place, he said.
The Board took things that had nothing to do with the investigation, things that belonged to his ex-wife, antiques, other items that belonged to employees and renters, he said.
A San Francisco podiatrist had been complaining about Silberman online, he said.
The “cold” laser system Silberman used in his practice is used by 85 percent to 95 percent of medical technicians, chiropractors and other non-doctor staff. Click here to see some of the companies that train people for this!
Was Silberman really breaking any law, if so many others are trained to use this equipment who are not doctors?
The Interview With The Child’s Father
I called Ray Afandor, the child's father, and asked him about the charges the Board has brought against Silberman.
Afandor said the Board called him a few weeks ago.
He and his son didn’t have a complaint before that call. In fact, he said, they had another appointment for treatment set up with Silberman, when the Board contacted him.
“Kaiser said it’s best to see a specialist now,” Afandor said, and “I’m going to do that.” He is hopeful that it will cure his son's problem.
Afandor said he was putting medication on his son's toes, which "causes liver cancer." His son stopped taking the medication because it was bothering him and they went to Silberman for alternative solutions, he added.
Silberman had previously given him some homeopathic natural ointment to apply to the toes, instead of the cancer-causing stuff a regular MD had given Afandor to give to his son, he said.
Afandor added that he had been taking his son to see Silberman since about late fall of 2010. Silberman said he was a “practitioner,” and he's not sure if he ever said he was a doctor, but that was not his main concern, he said.
Would the son have healed in time with additional treatment by Silberman? Or is his injury from the treatments that Silberman did on him? These are the questions that are at the root of this case now.
Silberman said that Afandor's son came to the office many times and there were never any complaints. Afandor reiterated that he was disappointed by the outcome and that he had taken his son to see Silberman four times.
The company that sold the equipment to Silberman, K-Laser USA, would not return my calls, but its website clearly states that it will train technicians to use its equipment.
K-Laser USA has a list of at least 12 other companies in the greater Bay Area and Silicon Valley that are using this equipment, too. Will they be giving these non-doctors a refund when the Board comes knocking on their doors, too? Take a look at those companies by clicking here.
Issue of MD vs. Non-MD Technician
Silberman said he never told people he was a medical doctor.
It should be noted that there is a bill for holistic/alternative healthcare providers, CA Senate Bill 577. This law was put into place to help holistic/alternative healthcare folks, as their prerogative right. The measure also aims to protect them and gives them a range of authority to care for their clients.
The Lawyers, Courts
I talked to the Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Lisa Schon. She stated that the case is mainly concerned with Silberman “diagnosing people, and holding himself out as a doctor.”
This is a case that we should all be following. Our civil rights seem to be largely at risk.
If you enjoyed this post, please donate to SVTAGS.org, so that I can bring you more interesting stories, without the mainstream media bent to it. We also have a show that airs in San Jose on Mondays at 7 p.m. You can see it stream on www.creatvSJ.org at that same time, or watch it in Santa Cruz County on Sunday nights. Reuse, reclaim and rethink the way you choose to live in Silicon Valley and beyond; make this a great TAGS week!
Here are some good resources for toenail fungus:
Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nail-fungus/DS00084/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
Good source: California Health Freedom Coalition