what's the harm?

What is this site?

List of Topics


Famous people

Scientific studies






RSS Feed New cases (RSS)

368,379 people killed, 306,096 injured and over $2,815,931,000 in economic damages

What's the harm in naturopathy?

Naturopathy is a medical discipline that relies entirely on "natural" remedies. Because many of their methods are not backed by scientific testing, naturopaths often get into trouble.  Read more about naturopathy

Here are 200 people who were harmed by someone not thinking critically.

Anne M. Adkins

Wichita, Kansas

Kidney failure
January 6 - 26, 2004

She traveled to Utah to be treated by a holistic naturopath. She received large doses of vitamin C, chelation therapy and colonics among other things. Within weeks she was suffering from kidney failure. Read more & more

Lorie Atikian

Age: 17 months
Ontario, Canada

Died (malnutrition, pneumonia)
September 25, 1987

Lorie's parents, concerned about modern food additives, were advised to give her an organic vegetarian diet. She was also treated with herbal & homeopathic remedies and an energy machine. Her parents were convicted of neglect. Read more

Cameron Ayres

Age: 6 months
Fulham, west London, England

May 1999

Cameron was born with a rare but treatable disorder, but his parents distrusted conventional medicine. A nurse/homeopath begged them to take him to a doctor, but they refused. He died. Read more & more

Photo of Raj Bathija

Raj Bathija

Age: 69
Westminster, London, England

Both legs amputated
September 2005

He saw a "natural health practitioner" famous for treating celebrities. He was given nutritional advice and massages. Later, he was taken to a hospital where his legs had to be amputated. He is suing the practitioner. Read more

Photo of Debbie Benson

Debbie Benson

Age: 55
Fort Bragg, California

Died (cancer)
July 15, 1997

She had a deep distrust of traditional medicine, so she sought out naturopaths and other alternative practitioners for her breast cancer. It raged out of control and she died. Read more

Catherine "Cat" Elizabeth Bresina

Age: 17
Wheatridge, Colorado (from Wisconsin)

Cardiac arrest
March 25, 2004

Cat's family took her to Colorado for what they thought was an inventive therapy for her disease. An injection she was given during the treatment caused her heart to stop. Charges were later filed against the naturopath. Read more

Ruth Conrad


Facially disfigured

An unlicensed naturopath gave her a "black salve" to deal with a bump on her nose. The eventual damage to her face took 3 years and 17 plastic surgeries to repair. Read more

Lucille Craven

Age: 54
Pelham, New Hampshire

Died (untreated cancer)

Lucille concealed the diagnosis of breast cancer from her family. She secretly consulted a naturopath and took homeopathic remedies. She also used quack treatments like blood irradiation. Her cancer raged out of control and she died. Read more

Steve Crowder & 100 others

Nampa, Idaho

$10,000 each for useless treatment

Steve was paralyzed in a pool accident, his doctors hold out little hope for recovery. He sought out a new therapy from a naturopath in Idaho. It turns out the treatment he was sold was bogus, and the naturopath was later prosecuted. Read more & more

Sean Flanagan

Age: 19
Wheat Ridge, Colorado

December 19, 2003

Sean was dying of cancer, there was no stopping it. His parents sought out alternative therapies simply to ease his pain. A naturopath claimed he could cure him. Nine days after starting treatment, he was dead. The naturopath was sentenced to prison. Read more & more

G. Fowden

Sandy, Utah


A lifelong believer in natural cures, she shunned conventional medicine. When she got sick she saw nearly every form of alternative practitioner. When she finally allowed herself to be taken to a hospital, it was far too late to help. Read more

Rory Gallegos

Age: 45


Rory was battling colon and liver cancer. A naturopath told him he had never lost a cancer patient. He also told him "black salve" rubbed into his skin could raise tumors to the surface. The naturopath was later sentenced to prison. Read more

Betty Harlan

Age: 76
Windsor, Wisconsin

May 9, 2005

Betty had multiple chronic health problems including diabetes. Seeking treatment for a leg ulcer, she went to a wellness center run by a naturopath. Her daugher feared she stopped taking her conventional medicine. Read more

John Heninger

Age: 69
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

October 4, 1988

Seeking help with his degenerative muscle disease, he turned to a self-proclaimed "Qi Gong Master" and naturopath who was not licensed to practice in Alberta. He was given a concoction containing strychnine, and died of respiratory paralysis. Read more

Helena Rose "Rosie" Kolitwenzew

Age: 8
Columbus, North Carolina

Died (untreated diabetes)
October 21, 1999

A naturopath convinced her mother to stop administering insulin to her, in favor of herbal remedies. She began vomiting, and died. It turns out his "degrees" were fake. He was sentenced to prison. Read more & more & more

Photo of Vecko Krsteski

Vecko Krsteski

Age: 37
Oatley, NSW, Australia

February 26, 2002

Vecko saw a naturopath for his chronic kidney condition. He was put on a "detoxification" program and lost 11kg in 10 days. The naturopath is on trial. Read more & more

Mitchell James Little

Age: 18 days
Raymond Terrace, NSW, Australia

Died (untreated heart defect)
September 25, 1999

A naturopath perscribed herbal remedies & energy machine treatments for a congenital heart defect, and advised against surgery. The baby died, and the naturopath was sentenced to five years in jail. Read more & more

Lisanne Manseau

Age: 12
Hull, Quebec, Canada

Died (untreated diabetes)
March 28, 1994

After consulting a crystal ball, a pendulum and an angel, a naturopath replaced Lisanne's insulin with a variety of natural remedies to "detoxify" her. She died only three days after beginning treatment. The naturopath was convicted of manslaughter. Read more & more

Sean Miller

Age: 36
Rosedale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ineffective treatments

In the grips of severe depression, he tried many treatments. Included in this were acupuncture, vitamin regimens and "a shop's worth of naturopathic remedies," none of which worked. A conventional medical procedure called DBS eventually cured him. Read more

Michaela, Caleb, Zion & Lily Parker

Age: 11, 9 and 3
Scottsdale, Arizona

Malnourished for years, family broken up
April 23, 2005

Their parents fed them a vegan diet and subjected them to enemas, under the direction of a naturopath who had never seen the children. The mother was sentenced to 30 years, the father awaits sentencing. Read more & more

Diane Shepherd

Provo, Utah

Died (untreated cancer)
October 20, 2004

She refused surgery for breast cancer and went to a naturopath. There she was diagnosed using muscle tests, treated with an energy machine and given homeopathic remedies. She died within five months. The naturopath was arrested. Read more

Gladys Shoemaker



Jimmie Shoemaker paid an unlicensed naturopath $17,000 for treatments for her cancer. The naturopath was later sentenced to prison in connection with another patient's death. Read more

Jaspar Tomlinson

Age: 0
London, England

Brain injury during childbirth
December 2004

Jaspar's father is one of England's leading naturopaths. He was warned by a GP that his wife's pregnancy could end in stillbirth. At home, the "homeopathy assisted" birth went horribly wrong. He suffered brain damage and now has cerebral palsy. Read more & more

"Jane Doe"

Mannheim, Germany

Died (untreated breast cancer)
October 2, 2008

She felt a lump in her breast and turned to her local naturopath. He used an energy machine to diagnose it as non-cancerous, and maintained this as it grew to 24cm in size. When she finally saw a doctor, it was too late. His license was revoked. Read more & more

"John Doe"

Age: 84
Westmount, Quebec, Canada

June 13, 2008

He was injected with a mineral solution by his homeopath/naturopath. He died the next day of a heart attack, and it was ruled a homicide. The naturopath faces charges. Read more & more

"Jane Roe"

Age: 47
Durango, Colorado

Serious thyroid illness
July 2004

Naturopathy Read more

"Jane Roe"

Age: 56
Melbourne, Australia

Died (liver failure)
July 2002

A naturopath prescribed an herbal anti-anxiety pill containing kava. She later suffered fatigue, nausea and jaundice and went to the hospital. Her liver failed five days later and she had an emergency transplant, but died. Read more

"Jane Roe"

Age: 13
St. Gédéon de Beauce, Quebec, Canada

Untreated illness
March 13, 2008

She has a rare illness that interferes with her kidneys and breathing. Her mother put her on a regimen of wheat-grass juice and raw foods and was withholding some of her medication. A court intervened and put her in the hospital for surgery. Read more

Return to the list of topics