UK doctor loses his license for recommending cancer treatment plan that included CBD

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A UK physician who aggressively recommended a treatment plan that included CBD for a terminal cancer patient has lost his medical license.

A disciplinary panel at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) in Manchester accused Dr. Julian Kenyon of trying to take advantage of a vulnerable patient, calling his conduct “wholly unacceptable, morally culpable and disgraceful,” the Daily Mail reported.

Kenyon, a surgeon who serves as medical director of the Dove Clinic, a private practice in Twyford, Hampshire, recommended a treatment plan for the unidentified patient that included CBD, the vitamin Claricell, and the digestive enzyme Similase, as well as sound and light therapy.

Accused of coercion

Originally reported to the General Medical Council, which oversees UK doctors, Kenyon was accused of trying coerce the patient, who was already undergoing conventional cancer therapies, into paying £33,000 ($41,750) to undergo the treatment while suggesting most other options for fighting off his stage-four prostate cancer had been exhausted.

While Kenyon told the patient he could not be cured, he nonetheless “bamboozled” him with literature, insisting there was a 10% chance of eliminating a tumor, according to the disciplinary panel. The patient “felt distressed and under pressure” due to the estimated cost of the private treatments, the panel found. He eventually decided against the treatment, and died 12 months later.

Kenyon is reported to have told the patient: “I am not claiming we can cure you, but there is a strong possibility that we would be able to increase your median survival time with the relatively low-risk approaches described here,” according to an investigation of the case that was revealed during the hearing before the MPTS panel. Kenyon also told the patient he had around six to nine months to live and advised him to start the treatment “sooner rather than later,” the investigation showed.

Doubts about therapy

Kenyon claimed the efficacy of his treatment came from cancer immunotherapy literature and results from 500 patients he treated at the Dove Clinic over the past 20 years.

But a cancer specialist told the hearing that Kenyon’s pushing of his treatment program was inappropriate as the patient was already undergoing hormone therapy, and there had been insufficient time to know whether it was working.

He dismissed Kenyon’s treatment claims as “unverifiable and extremely unlikely.”

“The evidence it was based upon would be considered of a poor quality and as such should not be used to recommend treatment outside of a clinical trial,” said the consultant, who was unidentified.

‘Serious misconduct’

Amy Rollings, a lawyer for the General Medical Council called Kenyon’s actions “serious misconduct involving a terminally ill patient who turned to Dr. Kenyon at a difficult time.”

MPTS chairman Aaminah Khan chided Kenyon for not referring the patient back to conventional treatment, noting that the doctor had a financial interest in recommending his own treatment plan.

A 2003 undercover investigation by the BBC accused Kenyon of using spurious tests for allergies, and the doctor was given a warning in 2013 for failing to provide good clinical care to a patient. Kenyon declined to attend the MPTS hearing, calling it a “kangaroo court.” His surgery practice went into liquidation in March 2023 owing creditors almost £154,000 ($195,000).

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