An Anti-Vaccination Doctor with a ‘Troubling Record’
In today’s Chicago Tribune, an exposé of a Chicago doctor who peddles anti-vaccination insanity to patients—along with quack remedies, including a claim that Vitamin D cures autism: Autism doctor: Troubling record trails doctor treating autism.
Dr. Mayer Eisenstein comes across as a grandfatherly physician, a pat-on-the-knee practitioner who delivers babies at home and who’s more likely to recommend chicken soup than an antibiotic.
Warning families that pediatricians and pharmaceutical companies are harming children with unneeded drugs and vaccines, the 63-year-old positions himself as a truth-teller who protects kids by upholding this oath, “Above all, do no harm.”
Yet his suburban Chicago practice, currently known as Homefirst, garnered an alarming record: It was on the losing side of one of the largest U.S. jury verdicts — $30 million — ever awarded to the family of a newborn in a wrongful-death suit.
In court records dating back three decades, the families of dead and brain-damaged children repeatedly alleged that doctors who work for Eisenstein made harmful mistakes — sometimes the same error more than once. His practice also has been dogged by accusations in court records that its offshore malpractice policy was phony.
Despite this history, Eisenstein has cultivated a devoted following as a family doctor who treats patients from birth to old age. He will be a speaker this weekend at the Autism One conference at the Westin O’Hare.
Whether his resonant voice is heard on his weekly radio show, at autism conferences or in an exam room at one of his clinics, he displays a powerful gift of persuasion that can turn his patients into believers in theories that mainstream medicine considers heresy. He proclaims that he’s seen “virtually no autism” in his patient pool of thousands of unvaccinated kids.
More recently, that contrarian impulse has seen him create the Autism Recovery Clinic in Rolling Meadows. He treats autistic children with Lupron, an injectable drug sometimes used to chemically castrate sex offenders. Top endocrinologists and autism experts have dismissed the treatment as junk science.
Eisenstein is not board-certified in any of the specialties relevant to autism and the use of Lupron, including pediatrics, endocrinology, neurology and psychiatry.
But he is a master in the art of medical entrepreneurship. He has pitched vitamins, books and even a group health plan to his patients. His latest don’t-miss-this deal: vitamin D3 and probiotic treatments to prevent swine flu — “A $71 value, YOURS FOR ONLY $39.”
In Eisenstein’s view, vitamin D has amazing powers, even when it comes to autism. In a recent presentation, he summarized his advice to parents succinctly, “No Vaccine and More Vitamin D = No Autism.“