Press Release concerning Suspension of Dr. Bradford Weeks’ License
Dateline: March 22nd 2013
The Washington Medical Quality Assurance Commission (MQAC) an administrative board appointed by the governor, has unjustly suspended the medical license of Dr. Bradford Weeks because he prescribed human growth hormone to three chronically ill patients despite undisputed evidence that all three patients’ health significantly improved under Dr. Weeks’ care. The Commission imposed a draconian three-year suspension of Dr. Weeks’ medical license even though it admitted in its decision that the three patients in question were not harmed in any way. The Commission’s self-generated action against Dr. Weeks stems not from any complaint from his patients. Instead, the disciplinary proceeding is based in a policy dispute between conventional and integrative medical doctors about the benefits of prescribing human growth hormone to treat patients suffering from documented diseases. It is colored by an extreme hostility toward nontraditional therapies that Dr. Weeks and like-minded medical colleagues provide to many patients who benefit from their thoughtful, compassionate, and competent care.
Dr. Weeks is appealing the Commission’s flawed decision to the Superior Court and he is confident that the Superior Court will reverse the suspension upon its objective and impartial review of the evidence. Many instances of seemingly severe impropriety on the part of MQAC members are coming to light as the case progresses. Dr. Weeks is simultaneously seeking a stay of the Commission’s misguided suspension order so that he can resume providing medical care to scores of patients whose health is suffering as a result of this unjustified disciplinary action.
Dr. Weeks is an experienced physician who practices holistic, integrative medicine and is extremely popular with his patients because his treatment protocols are safe and effective. He combines traditional medical treatments with scientifically-based alternative therapies for patients who have not experienced relief from chronic debilitating conditions after treatment from mainstream physicians. Integrative “nontraditional” medicine is expressly recognized and accepted under Washington State law. The three patients whose care were the subject of the Commission’s findings against Dr. Weeks all are extremely appreciative of the care he provided to them. Each received safe, low doses of human growth hormone for limited periods of time as part of careful and comprehensive treatment plans that resulted in significant improvements in their health and well-being. They fully support Dr. Weeks in his efforts to overturn the unjust suspension of his medical license. Many other patients who were being treated by Dr. Weeks are dismayed by the Commission’s rash action and have written to the Commission to urge it to reverse its decision and to express their belief that Dr. Weeks provided them irreplaceable and successful medical care.
The Commission found that Dr. Weeks violated a federal law that the Commission mistakenly concluded only permits doctors to prescribe human grown hormone for a narrow handful of conditions. The Commission’s distorted and strained interpretation of the federal law clashes with the law’s plain meaning that clearly allows physicians to prescribe human growth hormone to treat diseases using their best clinical judgment. The Commission also strained to find that Dr. Weeks violated a Washington State law prohibiting human growth hormone to enhance athletic ability, even though the evidence was clear that Dr. Weeks was treating elderly, chronically ill patients for serious diseases and not for any athletic reasons. The Commission further found that Dr. Weeks’ incorporation of human growth into his comprehensive and careful treatment plans posed a “moderate to severe risk of harm” to his patients. Yet, when confronted with scientific research that found no adverse effects in studies with subjects receiving the same safe, low doses of human growth hormone prescribed by Dr. Weeks, the Commission’s expert witness admitted that the risk of harm in this case was “theoretical.”
Prior to the time that Dr. Weeks prescribed human growth hormone to his patients (2006 to 2009), the Commission had never notified or even warned physicians in Washington State that prescribing the medication for more than the limited number of conditions was improper or contrary to the accepted standard of care. In fact, between 2007 and 2010, the Commission changed its view several times on the diagnostic steps doctors must take as a prerequisite to prescribing human growth hormone without notifying doctors. The Commission is unfairly using its disciplinary power against Dr. Weeks to establish a new rule and to punish him and other integrative physicians retroactively for conduct that they had no notice would be considered improper, and for medical care that benefitted Dr. Weeks’ patients and for which they are extremely grateful.
Dr. Weeks immediately ceased prescribing human growth hormone as soon as the Commission made clear that it was investigating the use of HGH in 2009. Dr. Weeks will continue to abstain from prescribing human growth hormone until this policy dispute is fully resolved and the lawful parameters for the prescription of this prescription medication have been clearly established.
QUESTION: How reasonable it is for the Commission to take away Dr. Weeks’ license today for behavior not done since 2009, which was considered only of “theoretical risk” and all of which happened prior to there being any rule about prescribing HGH?
… Stay tuned for more information about this ongoing matter of grave injustice.