NC Medical Board Dr. Rashid A. Buttar Transcript - Page 3 of 16

AExtremely close.
QAnd why was that?
AShe was an incredible aunt.  Again, when she was ‑- she would just take care of us all the time.  She was always there and we were just a close family.  She was my mom's only sibling.
QAnd at some point -- when did your aunt pass away?
ANovember 13th, 2004.
QAnd how ‑- and did you have a conversation with her prior to her passing away?
AI saw my aunt two weeks before she died.
QAnd that was personally?
AI'm sorry?
QAnd that was personally you saw her?
AYes, I went to her in Carolina to ‑- knowing that she was close to death and I wanted to say good-bye in person.
QAnd describe how your aunt looked when you visited her.
AShe was a skeleton with skin.
QWas she bedridden?
AYes, she couldn't walk any more.  We would transfer her out of bed and into a wheelchair, onto the couch.  She ‑- she couldn't move herself at all.
QAnd how ‑- how long was she in this condition, if you know?
AAt least a month.
QAnd ‑- and what treatments were your ‑- if you know, what treatments were your aunt getting for her condition at that time?
AAt which time?
QThe time you visited her two weeks before her death?
AShe wasn't getting any treatment except for hospice at that time.
QOkay.  To your knowledge, had her cancer spread?
QAnd where was her cancer at this point?  What body organs was it affecting?
AI don't know.  It wasn't something we really discussed.  All I know is that ‑- they ‑- my aunt didn't want to worry her family and, I mean, it was just obvious it was ‑- it was all over and I just ‑- I don't know.
QAnd how old was your aunt at this point, 50?
QFifty-two.  Did she discuss the circumstances of why she was dying with you?
     MS. GODFREY:  Well, objection.  I mean ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  I think that's well within the rule.  I mean ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:  She was dying ‑- she was dying of cancer, right?
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  Did she ever discuss her ‑- her illness with you during that time when you saw her two weeks before she died?
ANot really.
QOkay.  During that time, did she ever discuss anything regarding Dr. Buttar?
QAnd that's two weeks before she died?
AEven when she started going to Buttar.
QOkay.  Well, specifically the moment before she died ‑-
AWhen I saw her?
QI'm sorry, I didn't hear your response.
AWhen I saw her?
QYes, sir.
AYes.  She specifically told me she wished she never started going to Buttar.
     MS. GODFREY:  Objection to what she told him at that point.
     MR. JIMISON:  I mean, a dying declaration, it's a lot ‑-
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Yeah, that's ‑- it's two weeks before.  Yeah, that's ‑- I'm going to sustain that.  Not what Buttar said ‑- what Dr. Buttar said, it's what she said.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  After that conversation with your aunt two weeks before she died, how did you feel?
AThat I was going to lose an extremely important person in my life.
QDid you form an opinion about Dr. Buttar?
     MR. KNOX:  Objection.
     MS. GODFREY:  Well, objection.
     MR. JIMISON:  No, I'm just asking ‑- I mean, I'm not asking what his opinion is, just asking if he formed an opinion.
ANot at that time.
QOkay.  At some point did you file a complaint with the Medical Board?
QAnd why did you file that complaint?
ABecause on my aunt's death bed, she said to me she wished she had never started going, that his treatment rapidly increased her demise.
     MS. GODFREY:  Well, objection.
     MR. KNOX:  That's what was sustained a few minutes ago.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Well ‑-
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  Do you know Ms. Kenny? 
     MR. KNOX:  Excuse me, did you rule?
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Yeah.  I ‑- that is not admissible to say that.
     MR. KNOX:  Thank you.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  Okay.  Mr. Messina, did you ever talk to Ms. Kenny about your experience with her?
AWith ‑- who is her?
QMs. Stephanie Kenny.
AYes, we've spoken.
QAnd what did y'all talk about.
     MR. KNOX:  Objection, irrelevance.
     MR. JIMISON:  There's been ‑- he asked about in cross-examination, so he's already waived that.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  That is true.  That's already been brought up before.
     MR. JIMISON:  So you mean we can't ask the question?
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  No, overruled, you can ask the question ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  The ‑- what did you and Ms. Kenny talk about?
AWell, we talked ‑- we ended up ‑- my aunt had mentioned this man, Jeffrey Kenny, that he was seeing Buttar at the same time and I guess they had crossed paths in Buttar's office.  And she had given me her e-mail password when I saw her and in her e-mail was the Kennys information and that is when I decided to call and speak with him, but unfortunately he had already passed away, so I started speaking with Stephanie.  And we just started discussing how the demise of our two loved ones had rapidly increased during and after Buttar's treatment.
     MR. KNOX:  Objection.
     MS. GODFREY:  Objection.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Yeah, that's ‑-
     MR. KNOX:  Okay. 
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  We can't go there.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  How has the experience with ‑- between you and your aunt and Dr. Buttar affected you?
AI didn't hear your question.
QHow has this experience with your aunt and Dr. Buttar affected you?
     MS. GODFREY:  Objection.
     MR. JIMISON:  I'm not asking him what anyone said ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:  How has it affected him.
     MR. JIMISON:  -- I'm just asking how it affected ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:  How is that relevant ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:   ‑- to this?
     MR. JIMISON:  It goes to victim impact.  I mean, the same question was asked of Ms. Kenny without objection.  It's a standard question about how these matters affect people personally.  I mean, you can give it a lot of weight if you want to, but, I mean, I do think it's relevant.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Go ahead.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  Okay.  Mr. Messina, how had this experience with your aunt and Dr. Buttar affected you?
     MS. GODFREY:  Well, objection for the record.
     WITNESS:  Do I continue at this point?
     MR. JIMISON:  Yes, sir.
AOkay.  Could you repeat the question one more time?
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  How has this experience affected you?
AThis experience has at this point gone on for three and a half years. 
     I'm sorry, you have to repeat the question one more time.
     MR. KNOX:  Objection --
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Let's just move on.
     MR. JIMISON:  I'll just leave it there.  Thank you, Mr. Messina.
     MR. KNOX:  I agree, can we move on?
     MR. JIMISON:  I'll just leave it there.  Thank you, Mr. Messina. 
     Now, the lawyer from the other side is able to ask, so stay on the phone.
     WITNESS:  Yes.
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay, thank you.
     MS. GODFREY:  Thank you.
QMr. Messina?
QYou are in Los Angeles, correct?
AThat is correct.
QAnd is your cell phone number 323 ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  Objection, relevance.
     MS. GODFREY:  Well, I still have ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  It's just ‑- it is ‑- we could attach an exhibit.  Now, everybody in the public is going to have his cell phone.  I think that's an invasion of privacy and I mean, the witness has privacy rights.
     MS. GODFREY:  Well, I want to just ask him ‑-
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  I think we could go ahead ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:   ‑- if he got messages from me and from members of my office through the weekend ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  Well, you can ask that question.
     MS. GODFREY:   ‑- or over the past week to ask ‑- asking them ‑- asking him to call us. 
Q(By Ms. Godfrey)  Did you receive any messages?
AYes, I did.
QOkay.  And you didn't call us to talk to us ahead of your testimony here, did you?
AThat is correct and I have the right not to.
QOkay.  Now, during the whole time that your aunt was treating with Dr. Buttar, you were in Los Angeles the entire time; is that correct?
QAnd you not only talked to your aunt on the phone, but you talked to your mother, that's Olga Messina?
QAnd she had opinions about your aunt's treatment too, didn't she?
ANo, not necessarily.
QOkay.  She didn't have any opinions about your aunt's treatment?
AI'm sure she did, but I'm not my ‑- I'm not Olga Messina.
QOkay.  Well, she didn't convey anything to you about what she thought about your aunt's treatment with Dr. Buttar?
QNow, your mother was executor of your aunt's estate, was she not?
QAnd we have marked as Exhibit 16 a copy of your aunt's estate file and I know you can't see that because you're not here in the room with us. 
     But it's true that your ‑- your mother was executor and she settled with ‑- with a number of medical providers after your aunt's death, did she not?
QBut Dr. ‑- she did not pay anything to Dr. Buttar, did she?
ANo, because we had an attorney that put in the 30-day requirement to contact and Buttar's office did not contact until after or past the 30 days.
QOkay.  So nothing was collected from your aunt's estate by Dr. Buttar; isn't that right?
ANot the estate, but while my aunt was alive, yes.
QOkay.  She paid her ‑- she paid him some money while she was alive?
QAre you aware that your aunt was discharged from Dr. Buttar's practice for non-compliance?
ANo, she was not.
QOkay.  Well, that's your opinion, but you ‑- you don't know anything about the medical records in this case, correct?
ANo, except for what my aunt told me that she stopped going to him.
QOkay.  So if the medical records in this case reflect that your aunt was discharged from Dr. Buttar's practice for non-compliance, you don't have any opinion about that?
ANo, because she told me that she stopped going to him.
QOkay.  And are you aware that your ‑- your aunt was referred to Dr. Buttar by her family doctor?
AI believe so, but I'm not exactly sure about that.
QOkay.  Now, also, Mr. Messina, what year did your aunt die?
QShe died in 2004?
QOkay.  Okay.  So it's been four years since her death?
AThree and a half at this point.
QThree and a half.
AIt was late ‑- it was late 2004.
QAnd you're aware that your aunt died five months after she stopped treatment with ‑- with Dr. Buttar; isn't that right?
AI think it was less than that.
QWell, if the record shows she stopped treatment in June and died in November, that's five months, isn't it?
AOkay.  Was it June?  I don't know.
QOkay.  And you're aware she only went to ‑- to Dr. Buttar's clinic for a short period of time?
AThat I do know.  It was a couple of months.
     MS. GODFREY:  Okay.  I don't have any further questions.
     MR. JIMISON:  Dr. Rhyne, I do have ‑-
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Yes, would you like to cross-examine?
     MR. JIMISON:  Sure, redirect.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  I mean redirect.
QMr. Messina, you heard Ms. Godfrey ask you questions about whether your aunt was discharged for non-compliance, correct?
AI'm sorry, repeat that again, I was ‑-
QShe asked you whether your aunt was discharged from Dr. Buttar's care for non-compliance, correct?
QAnd she also brought up certain matters about your aunt's estate?
QAnd you said your aunt ‑- she ‑- she also mentioned that she only went there for a couple of months?
     MS. GODFREY:  Objection.
QShe asked you about that, correct?
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Well ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:  What I stated was for a short period of time.  I think the records reflect the amount of time, but it wasn't a couple of months.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  Well, okay.  The question about a short period of time, correct?
QWhy did your aunt stop going to see Dr. Buttar?
AWell, the main reason ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:  Objection.
A‑- she stopped was because he took off for about three weeks, I think, for some sort of trip, honeymoon, and the treatments were still being done the same, at the same price even though there was ‑- was no doctor available except for just nurses.  And also because his treatments to her was extremely rude and frightening to her actually.
     MS. GODFREY:  Well ‑-
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  I believe that that needs to be ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:   ‑- objection, move to strike.  He could only know that by what his aunt told him.
     MR. JIMISON:  Well, at this point, Ms. Godfrey asked questions about why she left the practice.  Again, I believe she's opened the door to this line of testimony.  She's waived all objections.
     MS. GODFREY:  I don't think I waived anything.
     MR. JIMISON:  If ‑- if she asked about ‑- if she asked about her ‑- this patient being discharged from Dr. Buttar's practice to this witness, then we have the right to explore fully why this witness believes that patient was discharged.
     MS. GODFREY:  Well, I beg to differ.  I ‑- I asked him if he reviewed the medical records and if he knew anything about what the medical records reflected that is the reason the patient was discharged from the practice.
     MR. JIMISON:  She asked ‑- you said ‑- she asked a question that this patient was discharged for non-compliance, thus, making the implication that this patient was discharged from Dr. Buttar because she did not do something that Dr. Buttar asked her to do.  Therefore, she put it in play to explore fully with this witness why she was discharged.
     MS. GODFREY:  Well ‑-
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Proceed.
     MS. GODFREY:   ‑- the ‑- the medical records are in evidence and the medical records ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  She didn't have to ask question about this witness ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:   ‑- excuse me.  Excuse me, Your Honor.  The medical records reflect that this patient was discharged for non-compliance and that's all I asked, if he was aware of that.
     MR. JIMISON:  But as soon as she asked the question, she opens the door to explore it.
     MS. GODFREY:  Well ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:   ‑- I would object.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Go head, move on.
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay.  I'll just ask a few questions.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  Again, could you finish your answer about why you ‑- why your aunt stopped seeing Dr. Buttar?
     MS. GODFREY:  Well, objection because everything he knows is hearsay.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  If you ‑- if you can go ahead, Mr. Messina.
ASure.  She ‑- she started to become very afraid of Buttar.  Again, his treatments were making her extremely weak.  It was a far drive for her.  At one point she even told me that she felt he was a drill sergeant and she was a cadet.  He would just sit there and humiliate her at points. 
     And after being gone for the three weeks, she ‑- she stopped going during that time that he was gone and wanted ‑- then went back after and then that's when she stopped going after that.
     MS. GODFREY:  Well, move to strike on the basis of it's all hearsay, it's all ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  Again ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:  ‑- it's been told by someone else.
     MR. JIMISON:  ‑- same argument, she opened the door, asked him about why she was discharged, why she left the practice.  He's just explaining.  She asked it to this witness, so this witness ‑-
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  I think you need to make it clear in the record that this ‑- he was not there ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay. 
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:   ‑- and he didn't hear ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  Sure.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:   ‑- this is what his aunt relayed to him.
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay. 
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  But we cannot accept that.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  Mr. Messina, what is your ‑- where did your aunt live in North Carolina?
QAnd she drove from ‑- did she drive from Rutherfordton to ‑- to Dr. Buttar's office or did she get a hotel room?
AShe -- for a while, her and her fiance would drive to Buttar and then at a certain point, I don't remember when, she got an apartment in -- I believe it was Cornelius.
QOkay.  Ms. Godfrey asked you ‑- and just one or two questions, Dr. Rhyne. 
     Ms. Godfrey asked you about certain claims that were made on the estate to you.
QDo you know how much money Dr. ‑- your aunt paid to Dr. Buttar?
AI do not know how much she paid him.
QDo you have an idea?
     MS. GODFREY:  Well, objection.
QFrom ‑- from your knowledge of the estate.
     MS. GODFREY:  Objection.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Yeah, that's ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay.  I'll withdraw it.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  That's needs to be withdrawn.
     MR. JIMISON:  I'm through.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Ms. Godfrey, do you want to recross?
QYour aunt's boyfriend, his name ‑-
QFiancee, excuse me, was Alex?
QAnd Alex supported her in the treatment; isn't that correct?
     MR. JIMISON:  Objection, I mean, this is hearsay.
AAlex pushed her.
QOkay.  And the family disagreed with Alex; isn't that right?
AAfter her death.  At the time, we wanted anything to help my aunt and, you know, help her survive and we believe anything would have worked.
QOkay.  So but ‑- but Alex and the family saw things differently as far as Dr. Buttar's treatment; isn't that right, Mr. Messina?
ACould you repeat that, please?
QI'm sorry?
AYou're just very soft, your voice.
QOkay.  Let me repeat the question. 
     Alex and the family saw things differently as ‑- as to Dr. Buttar's treatment.  Is that a fair statement?
AYes, that is a fair statement.
     MS. GODFREY:  Okay.  That's all I have.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Okay.  Thank you very much, Mr. Messina.
     WITNESS:  Thank you.
     MR. JIMISON:  We would now like to place another telephone call witness.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  How many more witnesses are you going to have at this point?
     MR. JIMISON:  Unfortunately, they're going slow.  We have five more witnesses including ‑- that includes Dr. Peterson, four witnesses and Dr. Peterson.  I hope to be done by 2:00 this afternoon, but, you know, it is slow.  I'll try to go faster.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  How long do you anticipate this next one?  I'm trying to decide ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  I will try to make it about ten minutes of direct.
     MS. GODFREY:  And this is Ms. XXXXXX (Mother of Patient E)?
     MR. JIMISON:  Yeah.  Well, at this point I'd like to clear the courtroom.  She wants to testify on behalf of her daughter which I think makes her standing that she was the patient and she wants to identify herself only in a closed courtroom, but then she'll be happy to testify publicly after stating her name.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Yes, sir.  If you both attorneys approach. 
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Proceed.
     MR. JIMISON:  We're going to make a request to clear the hearing room, so the witness can identify herself and then she'll be willing to testify in public.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Okay.  The hearing room will be cleared.
                     (COURTROOM CLEARED)
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Counsel, just educate me.  When you clear the courtroom, the record ‑- the court reporter stays in?
     MR. JIMISON:  Oh, absolutely, yeah.
     MR. JIMISON:  Just ‑- it just means, you know, people who are entitled to be here ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:   ‑- or that has to be.  Could we have ‑-
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Can we get the media person in here to make sure the camera is off.
     COURT REPORTER:  It's off.
     MR. JIMISON:  Hello, Ms. XXXXXX (Mother of Patient E).
     MS. XXXXXX (Mother of Patient E):  Yes.
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay, hi.  This is Marcus Jimison, attorney from the Medical Board.  You've been speaking to Ms. Carpenter and she indicated that you would like to introduce yourself in closed session, but then testify in public so long as people refer to you only as Patient E's mother.
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay.  Well, let me go ahead and start, but first Dr. Rhyne, President of the Board, needs to swear you in.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Thank you, Ms. XXXXXX (Mother of Patient E.)  Do you solemnly swear that your testimony will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.
QCould you state your name for the record, please?
AXXXXXXXX X. XXXXXX.  (Mother of Patient E)
QAnd are you related to Patient E?
AI am.
QAnd what's your relation?
AI'm her mother.
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay.  We'll pause now.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  Ma'am, we're going to move quickly.  You know, I know we've talked about some things, but I'm going to try to move as quickly as possible.
QDid your daughter ever see ‑- did you ever have occasion to go to Dr. Buttar for treatment for your daughter?
QAnd what was that treatment for?
AFor what appears to be metal toxicity relative to her autism.
QOkay.  And at some point did you start treating your child with ‑- with instructions from Dr. Buttar's office?
AYes, that's correct.
QCould you explain what happened?  Just ‑- just explain what happened when you started treating your child with materials from Dr. Buttar's office.
AInitially we gave her a regimen of minerals, vitamins for a period for approximately four to six weeks which went unremarkably, you know. 
     And following that we began grouping testing in addition to chelation process where three days a week, we applied an agent to remove any toxic metals from her system and the opposite days we reloaded her systems with minerals and vitamins that were depleted.
QWho did the chelation therapy?
AWe administered the therapy, her parents.
QAnd when did you do this?
AThe beginning of ‑- about the second month of treatment on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays.
QOkay.  And where do you presently live?
AState of Michigan.
QDid these ‑- did your daughter ever see Dr. Buttar before you started these treatments?
QExplain that.
AThe understanding was that we were required to see the doctor at least once in an annual period, but that we could begin the initial treatment process through phone consultations.
QDid you see anyone then from Dr. Buttar's office?
ANo, I did not.
QSo this transaction occurred how?
AOver the phone.
QYou started treating your ‑- your child for ‑- with chelation therapy for autism with materials you got from Dr. Buttar's office, correct?
QAnd that's started all through telephone consultations you had with Dr. Buttar's office?
AThat's right.
QAnd your daughter never made a personal visit to Dr. Buttar's office prior to these treatments?
AThat's right.
QWhen you had these telephone consultations with Dr. Buttar's office, did ‑- was it with Dr. Buttar?
QWho was it with?
AWith Jane Garcia.
QAnd who is Ms. Garcia?
AI understand her to be his nurse.
QOkay.  And is she a nurse practitioner perhaps?
AI'm not aware if she is.
QOkay.  Did Ms. Garcia ever make any recommendations about what to do with your child's medication she was presently on?
AYes.  She insisted that we remove my daughter from the medication or they would not pursue the treatment.
QWhat medication was your daughter on?
ALexapro for anxiety ‑-
QAnd ‑- and how long did ‑- how long had your daughter been on Lexapro?
AAbout a period of a year.
QAnd who prescribed that Lexapro?
AHer local pediatrician.
QDid Dr. Buttar's office consult with your local pediatrician when they recommended that she be taken off Lexapro?
ANo, they did not.
QAnd at some point what happened to your daughter after she started ‑- after you started self-administering this chelation cream?
AInitially, it was uneventful, but she began to deteriorate, regress is how it's referred to, and the regression was extremely significant.  We were unable to even get her to come out of the home when she had previously been very social and happy.  She wouldn't wear clothes.  She was no longer sleeping through the night.  She wasn't eating properly and she was extremely restless.
QOkay.  And did you consult Dr. Buttar's office about these issues?
QAnd what was the response?
AThat we just needed to continue because this was to be expected, that she was moving metal and that we just needed to keep doing what we were doing.
QOkay.  And ‑- and did you continue to do that?
QAnd at some ‑- and how did your daughter respond even after you continued the ‑- the treatments?
AShe just continued to get worse.
QAnd at some point did ‑- what did you do after that?
AWell, we had made an appointment to come to the office in person and we had hoped at that point, with an in-person physical examination by the doctor, we would get some remedy and advice for the significant amount of deterioration we were experiencing.
QOkay.  Prior to ‑- when ‑- you started this therapy, I believe you testified in January of '07, correct?
QDid you have contact with Dr. Buttar's office prior to January of '07?
AYes.  Approximately November of '06 was our first contact.
QOkay.  Could it have been September ‑- as early as September 27th of '06?
AYes, that's possible.
QOkay.  You don't have this, but I'll bring it to the Board's attention, if they can turn to Exhibit 5 on the thin notebook, Exhibit 5, page 36.  If you can look at page 36 on Exhibit 5.  We have the medical record of your ‑- of your daughter that's been admitted into evidence.
QAnd I'll read to you a note and ask you to comment.  It says:  Discussed plan with Jane, concur on issue regarding Lexapro, reassess patient that worsening is to be expected due to Herxheimer's response and due to mobilization.  Due to age consider IV challenge for best metal yield. 
     Is that when you talked ‑- is that when you and Dr. Buttar's office began talking about ‑-
AI'm sorry, can you repeat that?  My phone calling interrupted.
QI'm sorry.  It says:  Discussed plan with Jane, concur on issue regarding Lexapro.  Is that when you had a conversation about taking your child off Lexapro?
AYes, but I hope that's not referring to me concurring.
QOkay.  And above that there's a typed note that says:  Plan to wean off Lexapro, discussed with Dr. Buttar.
     But is ‑- were you having conversations with Ms. Garcia to take your child off Lexapro and then start this chelation therapy for your child's autism?
AYes, we had discussed it twice.
QOkay.  And ‑- and then you began the autism treatments in January, correct?
QAnd how did the materials get to you?
ABy the mail.
QAnd ‑- and was there any lab testing involved?
AYes, routine lab testing was urine, stool, hair.
QAnd who did this lab testing?
AEither we did or if it required a blood draw, a local phlebotomy clinic.
QAnd all this was occurring in Michigan?
AThat's correct. 
QAnd when your daughter got the chelation cream, who administers that?
AWe did, the parents.
QAnd how did you do it?  Did you do it pursuant to instructions from Dr. Buttar's office?
QAnd ‑- and all this is occurring without you ever coming to North Carolina to see Dr. Buttar or his nurse practitioner?
AThat's correct.
QDid you have to send money to Dr. Buttar's office before these materials were sent to you?
QHow much money did you send?
AThe initial was right at $3,000.
QOkay.  You talked about your daughter deteriorating and then you said you made an appointment to see Dr. Buttar.  Approximately when was that?
AApproximately April.
QAnd what happened after you made that appointment?
AWe were ‑- we did another round of testing that was expected to arrive in the office prior to our visit for a review on that and other than that, we simply prepared for the trip.
QOkay.  When you got to North Carolina what ‑- did you go to Dr. Buttar's office?
QWas he there?
ANo, he was not.
QWho did you see?
AMs. Garcia.
QAnd did you express that you wanted to see the doctor?
AWe were surprised that he wasn't there and ‑-
     MR. KNOX:  Objection, it's not ‑-
A‑- but we would led to understand that that was normal.
     MR. KNOX:  Hold on a minute.  That is not responsive to what was asked.  She said, we hoped he would be there.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Right.  I agree, strike that ‑- that statement.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  Okay.  Did you have a meeting with Ms. Garcia?
AWe did.
QDid Ms. Garcia examine your child during that meeting?
AShe was in a room, but she didn't have an examination, no.
QOkay.  And what was the result of that meeting with Ms. Garcia?
AThe large part of the meeting was the -- for lack of a better word -- sell -- to first do IV chelation.
QAnd ‑- and did you do that?
ANo, we did not.
QAnd why not?
AMy daughter was already significantly deteriorating and appeared to be very sick and there was no way we were going to go get a more aggressive form ‑-
A‑- when we haven't even seen the doctor.
QAnd how is your daughter doing now?
AShe's fine, she's much better.
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay.  And that's all I have.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Okay.  Thank you.  Ms. Godfrey ‑-
     MR. KNOX:  Yeah.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:   ‑- Mr. Knox, do you want to cross-examine?
QGood morning.  I won't be able to call your name for the record, but good morning to you.
AGood morning.
QAs I understand it you ‑- you live in Michigan, do you?
QAnd your child is now being treated by a doctor close by?
AThat's correct.
QIs that an alternative doctor as well?
ANo, but he's not opposed to holistic medicine.
QAnd is the child taking any type of a comparable therapy that was recommended to you by Dr. Buttar like chelation or minerals and things of that nature?
ANot at this time.
QDid she take some after you left Dr. Buttar?  She did, didn't she?
AOh, probably for about another month, we continued with the minerals and vitamins.
QSo as I understand it, you got word that Dr. ‑- and that doctor is closer that treated you with alternative therapy than Dr. Buttar was, right?  Where was that ‑-
QWhere was that doctor?
AHe's in Dearborn, Michigan.
QAnd how close is that to where you live in ‑- where do you live?
AWe're in Brownstown.  It's about a 20 minute ride.
QOkay.  And it's about 8, 10 hours from where you were to Dr. Buttar's office, correct?
AThat's correct.
QAnd that was part of the reason you called requesting that some modalities be sent to you, am I right?
QAnd ‑- and so Dr. Buttar's nurse or whoever, did you send anything about the child and what her -- write out a summary about her aggressiveness and how she acted out and things of that nature to Dr. Buttar?
AI'm sure we did.
QOkay.  So they had the information of what you knew about your daughter.  And what was her underlying problem anyway?  What is she?
AShe's autistic.
QOkay.  And you knew doctor ‑- have you ever used any across-the-counter medications to help your child?
AWell, for common colds and things of that nature, sure.
QAnd so you called down there and they explained to you that they could send you not intravenous medicines, but some minerals and things to place on the child's skin, am I right?
QAnd so that's what was sent and you applied it?
AAnd I did what?
QYou made an application of it in accordance to the instructions that were sent to you, correct?
AThat's correct.
QAnd your child had been aggressive prior to seeing Dr. Buttar, is that a fair statement?
QAnd she had acted out repeatedly?
AIn the past, yes.
QAnd you had a pediatric physician that was treating you for that with Lexapro which is a psychological antidepressant drug?
AActually, it was prescribed for anxiety and OCD behaviors.
QAnd you were never told by Dr. Buttar's people to terminate Lexapro, but to reduce the quantity of it; is that correct?
ANo, that's not correct.  I was told to terminate, that it had to be weaned completely before we would start any treatment.
QThe point I make is, she was never off of the Lexapro totally?
AYeah, she was.
QAnd did you ever ‑- was still under the treatment of your pediatrician?
AOnly for routine things.
QOkay.  Well, we would go to the pediatrician ‑- I'm sorry, we got these records late.  So tell me when you first went to ‑- when you first called Dr. Buttar's office.  Do you remember?
AIt was in the last quarter of 2006.
QThe last quarter?
QAnd ‑- and when did you actually come to his office for the first time?
AI believe it was right around April.  It was in the spring.
QIs that April of '07?
AThat's correct.
QNow, I understood you to say that you hoped to see Dr. Buttar, but you didn't have a prior arrangement to Dr. Buttar personally, did you?
AWe assumed when we made the appointment that the doctor would be present.
QI understand.
AThat's usually the way it goes.
QBut you said you had hoped to see him and when you got there you saw Jane Garcia, correct?
QAnd you found her to be informative and helpful, that's fair, isn't it?
AThat's fair.
QOkay.  And she spent a good bit of time with your child, but she also went into the fact that you had to discipline your child some; is that true?
AMy daughter wasn't acting up that day.  She was completely behaved.  So, no, we did not discuss discipline that day.
QShe wasn't banging on the doors and beating on the chairs in the presence of other people?
ANo, she was not.
AShe was remarkably well behaved that day, oddly enough.
QWell, is that different than what it was before you went to Dr. Buttar that she was better behaved; is that correct?
AThat she was better behaved prior to seeing him?
QWell, she had been on the medication that Dr. Buttar shipped to you and you said she was behaving remarkably well that day and that was better than usual.
AIn the office that day ‑-
QWas she still ‑-
A‑- not the whole visit down there or in the hotel or ‑- in the office that day, she was good.
QAnd was she still on the medication of the mineral supplements that Dr. Buttar sent to you, yes or no?
QNow, what is your training?
AMy training?
AI'm a homemaker currently.
AMy background is in finance, if that's what you mean.
QOkay.  And what is your husband's training?
AHe's an engineer.
QOkay.  And I take it, you checked out the proposals on the Internet of Dr. Buttar and his treatment plan; is that correct?
AThat's correct.
QNow, when you went back, right after you withdrew from Dr. Buttar, you went to another alternative doctor.  And I don't mean to repeat myself, but who was that doctor?
AWe saw Dr. ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  Well, objection because this kind of goes to identity.  I think it's -- you know, discuss some identity issues, but if she could just identify the doctor by an initial, by her/his initials.  I mean, I don't know -- because clearly we're not going to be able to call this doctor at this late hour, so I don't know why it helps to probably know this doctor's name one way or the other.
QI don't know how that could be personal, but was it DeMio?
ABut that ‑- yes.
QAnd he is what we call a D.A.N. doctor, right?
QWhat's a D.A.N. doctor?
AThey follow a protocol that's laid out by a group of doctors that gathers each year relative to the treatment of autism.
QTo treat autism, correct?
QAnd they use all types of chelation therapy and minerals and things of that nature to benefit the children that have autism, correct?
AYes, that's correct.
QSo when you finally decided to go to another alternative doctor -- I'm going to read to you since you're on the telephone and can't see this, this is Exhibit 32.
     MS. GODFREY:  A page from the medical record.
     MR. KNOX:  It's a page of the medical record.  Do you have it in front of you?  I know you've got a lot of books.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  It's in your book?
     MS. GODFREY:  Our book.
     MR. KNOX:  In our exhibit book.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  An e-mail?
     MR. KNOX:  Yes.
Q(By Mr. Knox)  This is an e-mail from ‑- and I won't read your name for the record, but do you remember sending an e-mail on July the 6th, 2007 and you may not know the time, but it was about 2:37 p.m. to Kadena Blake?  Do you remember that?
ARead it to me and I'll tell you if I remember it.
QAll right.  It says:  Hi, Kadena.  I just wanted to give notice that we were canceling this appointment and will not be rescheduling.  And somehow this is partially written -- had gotten so severe that we sought advice through several sources and decided ultimately to change physicians.  She is now in the care of -- and I'm going to abbreviate that doctor's name -- Dr. D. of Cleveland, Ohio, a D.A.N. doctor also with a child that has autism and has made significant gains in just a short period. 
     Do you remember that?
QAnd you remember that this doctor that you went to had a child with autism and you certainly wanted ‑- and ‑- and then the next thing that happens is, it says:  We think this is the best course for us and we found him to be more flexible regarding the individual needs of ‑- and trying alternative treatment schedule/substances to meet those needs. 
     And then down at the bottom, I'm going to read you this paragraph in the interest of doing it.  Your staff has been very helpful and pleasant and we are grateful.  We are friends with a family who are doing your protocols successfully.  It simply was not working for -- and I have taken the name out -- and it was most assuredly as your child and most assuredly not because we failed to discipline her appropriately, but because her system was not tolerating the protocol. 
QWe are sorry it did not work for us, but we are grateful to all doctors and practices like yours seeking to help our children live better, healthier lives.  Good luck and God bless.  Correct?
AThat's right.
QYou didn't put one word in that e-mail, you know, we're leaving you because we don't like Dr. Buttar and he didn't show up, did you?
QAll right.  And you didn't put one word in there about the fact that you were upset with the methodology and treatment and the reduction or the termination of Lexapro, did you?
AIn a roundabout way.  No, I wasn't specific, you're right.
QWell, there's not a word about that.
AI wasn't specific.
QOkay.  Well, it's right important that when you sent this stuff ‑- this e-mail, you had already selected another doctor, the same kind of doctor that does chelation therapy, minerals, etcetera and you had moved on away from Dr. Buttar.  Isn't that fair?
QThat doctor was about 20 minutes away and Dr. ‑-
ANo.  He was not about 20 minutes away.
QI'm sorry, I thought you said 20.  I apologize.  I withdraw that, excuse me. 
     MR. KNOX:  And that's all I have.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Mr. Jimison, do you want to redirect?
     MR. JIMISON:  Sure.
QMa'am ‑-
Q‑- when ‑- when ‑- how did you ‑- how did you find out about this Medical Board case?
AI received an e-mail from Dr. Buttar's office.
QAnd what was the substance of that e-mail?
AThat they were being reviewed for their practices, that eventually they were going to fight the accusations against him and they viewed it as a witch hunt, they hoped for our prays and support.
QOkay.  And did they ‑- was there anything in the e-mail about Dr. Buttar saying there was ‑- that the Board had alleged there was little doctor contact between him and his patients?
AThat's correct, yes.
QAnd when you read that what was your response?
AWell, that was essentially what intrigued me and our ‑- our problem or our ‑- our complaints or our disapproval was that we had never seen the doctor in spite of our description of her extreme regression. 
     And so when we saw that there was obviously other complaints or there was even acknowledgment that these people hadn't even seen a doctor that had instructed them or support that you had mentioned that we hadn't either.
QYou had contact with Dr. Buttar's office perhaps as early as September of '06?
AUh-huh (yes).  Yes.
QAll the way through basically July of '07?
QAnd at any point have you ever physically or personally met Dr. Buttar?
ANo, I have not.
QAnd during that time, Dr. Buttar's office was sending you medicines, transdermal chelation agents, how to test your daughter without physically seeing your child?
     MR. KNOX:  Objection, been asked and answered.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  We'll strike that.
     MR. JIMISON:  Thank you.
Q(By Mr. Jimison)  Well, let me just say, how many times did ‑- just one of ‑- because if there was all this talk about these other doctors who you've gone to see, have they seen your child?
QHow often do ‑-
AEvery single time.
QHow often do they see your child?
ASeveral times a year.
QAnd did they start treatment before seeing your child?
ANo, they did not.
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay.  Thank you.
QAnd one other question. 
QYou never came to North Carolina but one time; is that correct?
AThat's correct.
QAnd Jane and the employees were always accessible to you when you called?
AThat is correct.
     MR. KNOX:  All right.  Thank you.
     WITNESS:  Sure.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Anything else?  Any of the Board Members have a question?  Go ahead.
     DR. McCULLOCH:  Thank you.
     DR. McCULLOCH:  Ma'am?
     WITNESS:  Yes.
     DR. McCULLOCH:  This is Dr. McCulloch with the Board.  I have a couple of questions, just real brief.
     It says in the record that I have in front of me that they recommended that Lexapro be reduced to a half cc and then later to a quarter of a cc two times or for two weeks.
     WITNESS:  Right.
     DR. McCULLOCH:  Now, that seems to be in conflict with what you said that they told you that your child had to come off the Lexapro altogether.
     WITNESS:  That's correct.  I would categorically ‑- I may not be able to remember every detail, but that was what I was told.  And I remember so distinctly because we had objected to it because of how much it had helped our daughter.
     DR. McCULLOCH:  So it's your testimony despite what it says in this record that Lexapro was just you discontinue the Lexapro because of their recommendation to you?
     WITNESS:  Absolutely.  And the only reason she was weaned is because we had a second conversation where I still had not removed her from the Lexapro and I was concerned about just pulling her off it completely.
     DR. McCULLOCH:  Oh, okay.  So this might have been just early on in the weaning process.
     WITNESS:  Perhaps.
     DR. McCULLOCH:  All right.  Now, what was your purpose of the visit to North Carolina?
     WITNESS:  To identify whether or not my daughter was having metal toxicity and to treat that toxicity.
     DR. McCULLOCH:  So you never had ‑- did you have ‑- you had ‑- you obviously had an expectation that you would meet Dr. Buttar.  But did you ‑- were you ever told that you would meet the doctor?
     WITNESS:  I don't know that I was specifically told, no.
     DR. McCULLOCH:  All right.  I can understand that would be a reasonable expectation, but that you ‑- you had no ‑- there was no arrangement for you to meet with the doctor; is that correct?
     WITNESS:  That's correct.
     DR. McCULLOCH:  All right.  Thank you.
     WITNESS:  Sure.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  This is Dr. Rhyne and I wanted to ask you a few questions just following up on that Lexapro question. 
     Were you initially told to stop the Lexapro, just stop it or were you told to wean off of it for a ‑-
     WITNESS:  I was told to stop it.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  So you were told to stop the first time?
     WITNESS:  Yes, ma'am.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  And you did not ‑- you elected not to stop it; is that correct?
     WITNESS:  That's correct.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Okay.  Now, did you have laboratories done showing that your daughter had heavy metal toxicity either in Michigan or in North Carolina?
     WITNESS:  Yes, we did.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  And where were they done?
     WITNESS:  But they were out-of-state labs that they were shipped to.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  And they were given to Dr. Buttar's office before you started treatment; is that correct?
     WITNESS:  Yes.  And previous physicians we had seen, we knew that she had toxicity.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Okay.  That's ‑- that's all I have to ask.
     MR. JIMISON:  Thank you.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Thank you very much.
     WITNESS:  Thank you.
     MR. KNOX:  I'm sorry.  I don't want to interrupt the Board.
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Go ahead, Mr. Knox.
QMa'am, there's an e-mail from Kelly to you on October 5 that said, I was looking over the e-mail I sent to you and I wanted to clarify it.
     MR. JIMISON:  Objection, Dr. Rhyne.  There's ‑- at this point we're at the recross and that is limited only to the questions that you answered.  There's not a free reign after we go to what's called serve recross.  So the rebuttal of any question has to be ‑- has to be confined to matters that the Board Members have brought up.
     MR. KNOX:  I just object to him being the intellectual lawyer that knows all the laws and I ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  I think that's a true statement.
     MR. KNOX:  May I finish?  This is witness's case and has been, since we started I've been tutored.  It's hard for me to accept the result. 
     The point I make is the question I'm about to ask is the reduction in the Lexapro which she testified to and that's the exact question ‑-
     MR. JIMISON:  Okay. 
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Okay, ma'am ‑-
     MS. GODFREY:  Did you identify the ‑-
     PRESIDENT RHYNE:  Mr. Knox, go ahead and ask.
     MS. GODFREY:   ‑- Exhibit 5.

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Dr. Buttar Truth Quotes

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”
—- Albert Einstein

“Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.”
—- Abraham Lincoln

"All truth passes through 3 phases: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed, and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
—- Arthur Schopenhauer

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new."
—- Machiavelli, The Prince