Cancer survivor hospitalized after acupuncturist promised to regrow thyroid if he stopped taking meds – CBC

Ontario discipline case highlights how false, ‘magical’ claims target cancer patients, expert says

May 06, 2023

Seventeen years after S.K. lost his thyroid gland to cancer, he was promised a miracle: acupuncture could regrow the vital organ.

Kyung Chun Oh, an acupuncturist based in the Toronto area, claimed he’d performed this wonder before, according to a recent decision from the College Of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario.

But Oh told his patient it would only work if S.K. stopped the thyroid medication he’d been on since his surgery in 2003.

Within just a few months of his first visit to Oh, S.K., whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was admitted to hospital with a life-threatening case of hypothyroidism, college documents show. His thyroid had not regenerated. According to the college, that would be impossible.

“It was fortunate that the patient did not die,” a college panel wrote in a March 1 disciplinary decision, suspending Oh’s licence for 12 months.

“Telling the patient that he should not take his thyroid medication was irresponsible and had disastrous repercussions.”

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