Practitioners of Quack Autism Treatment in Trouble With Governor

Two weeks ago, the Pulp published a small item about Mark and David Geier -- a father-son team of self-proclaimed autism experts who treat the condition with a powerful chemical castration agent called Lupron. They're from Maryland, but their interests run deep in Florida.

They've got a clinic here, out in Pembroke Pines, and they've long enjoyed the support of Dr. Gary Kompothecras of Sarasota -- a chiropractor and advocate for fringe autism treatments who's good friends with our erstwhile governor, Charlie Crist. In 2008, Crist appointed Kompothecras to his special Autism Task Force, and Kompothecras -- or "Dr. Gary," as he's known -- used his political muscle to pressure the Florida Department of Health to give the Geiers Florida's confidential vaccination records so they could run a study that, they hoped, would conclusively prove the link between vaccines and autism.

That there is no such link has been well-demonstrated. The allegedly autism-causing agent in vaccines -- ethyl mercury, minute amounts of which are found in the vaccine preservative thimerisol -- has long been removed from almost all vaccines, with no resultant decrease in the number of new autism cases. But even if ethyl mercury did cause autism, the science behind the Geiers' Lupron treatments would have been highly dubious. But nobody seemed very interested in doing anything about it.

Until recently. Not long ago, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley appointed David Geier -- the son of Dr. Mark Geier -- to his own autism task force -- the Maryland Commission on Autism. On the task force's website, the younger Geier was referred to as "Dr. David Geier -- diagnostician" -- though he is not a doctor, nor was he trained as a diagnostician, as we pointed out here on May 10. Maybe the news made the rounds. David Geier has now been charged with practicing medicine without a license, and the governor has personally booted him from his task force. Today, a letter from the governor's office appeared in the Baltimore Sun that read:

Dear Mr. Geier:

The purpose of this letter is to advise you that, effective today, you are no longer a member of the Maryland Commission on Autism. I regret that you were not willing to withdraw from the Commission and that this action is therefore necessary.

Although no reasons for this actions are required, the reasons include (1) that you do not at the present time qualify to serve on the Commission as a "diagnostician" ... and (2) that you have been charged under the Maryland Medical Practice Act with practicing medicine without a license.

Martin O'Malley

As of this writing, the elder Geier -- the one who really is a doctor -- has had his medical license suspended in Maryland. The Geiers' Pembroke Pines clinic is still open for business.

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