February 05, 2006

Coretta Scott King and Last Hope

Snapshots In My Time...
Of My Time.....Hauntings.

The cafeteria of the alternative medicine clinic where Coretta Scott King died this week was full of true believers on Wednesday afternoon, all swearing by the anticancer treatments of a man who never went to medical school and has a long history of fraud allegations against him in the United States.

That man, the hospital's founder, Kurt W. Donsbach, was presiding in the brightly lighted room, asking for testimonials from his patients. Several said their doctors in the United States had told them to go home and wait to die. Then they came to the clinic and discovered that Mr. Donsbach's treatments worked.

"Nobody takes your hope away here," said a 65-year-old Catholic nun and registered nurse, who has ovarian cancer and asked not to be named.

To his critics Mr. Donsbach is a huckster who lures people in fragile condition to his clinic in Mexico with empty promises of revolutionary treatments. They say some become seriously ill or die from infections contracted at the clinic, known as the Hospital Santa Mónica.

To his admirers he is a practical healer who uses a combination of unconventional techniques to help the body's immune system fight off cancer rather than bombard the body with chemotherapy and radiation.

"We don't have miracle therapies," Mr. Donsbach said. "We have a mosaic of doing many different things to impede the progress of cancer in the body."

Huckster or healer, Mr. Donsbach and his hospital are part of a long tradition in Tijuana and nearby Rosarito, where clinics offering treatments not approved in the United States have flourished for years under a government not famed for regulatory scruples. In 1980, Steve McQueen, the actor, received an anticancer treatment in Rosarito known as laetrile, made from apricot pits. He died a few months later.

Mrs. King came to the Hospital Santa Mónica last Thursday, suffering from ovarian cancer that had spread to her intestines, doctors here said. She was also partly paralyzed from a stroke. Her daughter Bernice King and a nurse accompanied her.

Mr. Donsbach said the family had heard about his clinic from members of their church congregation. "They were faced with a wall," he said. "There was no answer in allopathic medicine and they wanted to try anything that might be beneficial."

But the doctors who saw her, Humberto Seimandi and Rafael Cedeño, told reporters they could do nothing for her either. Mrs. King's health was so precarious that they never started her on any of Mr. Donsbach's treatments. They said, though, that they tried, unsuccessfully, to restart her heart when it stopped beating Monday on the fifth night of her visit.


  1. Dr. Donsbach has a Ph.D, an N.D. and is a chiropractic doctor.

    Only quacks like unlicensed and never board certified Steve Barrett call him "Mr."

    Barrett has used the death of this wonderful icon to wage more of his attacks against alternative medicine.

    Thousands of people die daily in hospitals from con-med (conventional medical) treatments ... but these Barrett ignores.

    He is best known for his losing SLAPP suits against homeopaths, chiropractors and activists such as myself.