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06 September 2007 @ 10:13 am
Article from today's Sydney Morning Herald  
Kidney treatment forsaken for 'cure'
Geesche Jacobsen
September 6, 2007

VECKO KRSTESKI was desperate for a cure and Jeffrey Dummett advertised one, based on what he called the "eight laws of health: nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance, air, rest, and trust in divine power".

Krsteski, a 37-year-old with chronic kidney disease, followed the program for two weeks - and died on day 14. Now Dummett is on trial for the manslaughter of Krsteski, who had suspended his conventional treatment to follow the naturopath's regimen.

Krsteski's doctors had prescribed dialysis four times a day, as well as regular medication, a controlled diet and no more than a litre of fluids a day, a Supreme Court jury was told yesterday.

Then his sister told him about Dummett's program; Dummett advertised his services with the slogan "Need a cure?"

When Krsteski signed up for a live-in detoxification program in February 2002, he had no reason to distrust Dummett, who he believed was a doctor, the prosecutor, Paul Leask, told the court.

He stopped his conventional treatment and started a liquid diet, the court heard. After nine days he noticed chest pains and numbness in his fingers, Mr Leask told the court. By day 10 he had lost 11 kilograms. On the morning of day 14, Krsteski was found dead.

Mr Leask said Krsteski had died of a heart attack, and the Crown sought to prove he had died prematurely because of Dummett's gross negligence.

He had had a duty of care and a reasonable person would have realised the risk of injury, Mr Leask said. Dummett was guilty of manslaughter, he argued, because he had failed to inquire about Krsteski's kidney condition, or consult his doctors.

But Dummett's barrister, John Doris, SC, said Krsteski's autopsy revealed he had a "severely diseased heart" that had not been diagnosed by years of conventional treatment. "It was the direct cause of his death," he said.

The doctor who performed the autopsy had found: "Mr Krsteski suffered from a severe disease which would have caused his death at a relatively young age," Mr Doris said.

The trial continues.

This kind of thing makes me weep.
Evil Geniusevil_genius on September 7th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
Certainly the events are traggic. But it is nice to know that at least once snake oil salesmen is going to go to jail for it.