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Bill O'Neill and the CCRG
99 Fifth Ave
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CCRG - Canadian Cancer Research Group
Operating Above The LawFebruary 2005
I would like you to consider a complaint against one of Canada's most notorious cancer quacks. He has been doing business in Ottawa for the better part of the last decade.
The complaint involves what I believe to be an unlicensed and unregulated facility known as the CCRG (Canadian Cancer Research Group). They advertise, promote and claim to treat cancer patients in Ottawa with unsubstantiated methodologies and claim to provide laboratory services to patients?
The CCRG is the brainchild of William P O'Neill.
Canadian Cancer Research Group Suite 22, 99 Fifth Avenue Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5K4 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Voice: (613)239-0220 Facsimile: (613)239-0222 URL: www.ccrg.com/homepage.htmThe claims made on this site are outrageous and unsupported by any medical or scientific evidence.
Mr. O'Neill uses the term Immune System Management© to describe what he does at the facility.
ISM© Profile, ISM© Diagnostics, ISM© Therapeutic Compound, ISM© Blood Collection Kit
"The Canadian Cancer Research Group (CCRG) is a clinical biotechnology company with research, development and application expertise in diagnostics and therapeutics focused upon immunological disorders. The group is staffed with experts in medicine, laboratory sciences, chemistry, pharmacology, immunology and biotechnology in its clinic and laboratory settings located in Ottawa, Canada."
It is clear to me that the use of the terms "our laboratory", "your ISM© Manager", and claims that the group is "staffed with experts in medicine, laboratory sciences", etc. has no actual facts to back it up.
Their latest web site fails to provide the reader with any information about the ownership or staffing of the clinic, or what the qualifications of any of its staff might be.
His latest flashy web site gives Mr. O'Neill a distinct advantage. He clouds the site in mystery and yet uses legitimate sounding words and pictures to convince the visitors to his web site that he provides meaningful services.
If he has employed or rents his facility to medical doctors or medical researchers, and if he is utilizing medical devices in his operation he must have a medical practice license or laboratory license to operate. If he is not licensed, then he is probably violating the law.
If he makes bogus claims for his therapies and laboratory methods then he is clearly violating consumer laws.
If unqualified health providers are actually seeing patients at the facility then they could be considered to be practicing a health profession without certification. If there are unlicensed medical doctors in the facility they can be charged with practicing medicine without CPSO registration.
The web site fails to disclose the procedures and actual costs involved.
If blood is drawn at the facility, who licenses the office? Is the CCRG certified by the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLT)?
Does the CCRG adhere to the CMLT Code of Ethics? Under what government Act, if any, do they operate their laboratory?
Issuance of licence
(2) Subject to subsection (8), any person who applies in accordance with this Act and the regulations for a licence to establish, operate or maintain a laboratory and who meets the requirements of this Act and the regulations and who pays the prescribed fee is entitled to be issued the licence.
Licence required for specimen collection centre
(3) No person shall establish, operate or maintain a specimen collection centre except under the authority of a licence issued by the Director under this Act and the Director may issue a licence for a specimen collection centre to take or collect such specimens or class or classes of specimens and subject to such conditions as the Director may specify in the licence.
CCRG office forms
Bill O'Neill doesn't understand the truthThe reality is that it is the absence of the truth that now places Mr. O'Neill in front of the prying eyes of the government and regulatory bodies in Ontario, and indeed all of Canada. Fortunately since 1999, the media has been quite critical of his operations, but since 2002 there have been no further mentions of his name. In addition his web site was actually down for much of that time. So, what was O'Neill doing for the last three years or so?
Mr. O'Neill, in my opinion, instead of publishing his "research", and calling into talk shows pretending to be a cancer researcher, has spent most of his public and private times viciously attacking people like Terry Polevoy, and Peter Bowditch.
Remember the good old days when Mr. O'Neill appeared in the medical press and on CBC's Cross Country Checkup trying to pretend that his operation was legitimate, and that his treatments and therapies worked? Those days are gone forever.
Bill O'Neill has a vendetta against the medical establishment and has made wild an unsubstantiated accusations over the years about people who he considers to be his enemies. He does this by using several anonymous alter-egos on the internet. A complete record of these statements, and the web sites that were established by Bill have been archived and many of them are visible today.
Most people who have read these statements and seen these web sites would consider them to be the work of seriously disturbed individual. Over the years, numerous threats have been made on the internet against the lives of several people around the world by anonymous posters. We feel that Mr. O'Neill knows who did the dirty work.
Putting all the vile and vicious postings and personal e-mail attacks by O'Neill aside, the CCRG site, in my opinion, should be closed down because it is dangerous to the public's health. Mr. O'Neill over the years has been involved in promoting his quackery to a wide audience and has involved some very high-profile individuals in this pursuit. One of these individuals was champion curler Sandra Schmirler and the other was the tragic 13 year-old boy from Saskatchewan Tyrell Dueck.
The illustrious career of Bill O'Neill and the CCRG detailed on several web sites.
An early caller in today's programme was Bill O'Neill, who described himself as a professional associate of the "Canadian Cancer Research Group." This organization has a website in Ottawa (http://www.ccrg.com/default.htm) which makes a number of things plain: -- O'Neill has no medical or other professional credentials in science. (He formerly worked in computers.) -- O'Neill founded the CCRG after a child was diagnosed with cancer and he was dissatisfied with medical treatment. The child appears to have been cured. -- He is (or was, when the Ottawa Citizen last covered the matter) suing t he Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in connection with his son's therapy. -- The CCRG is a fee-charging organization ($750 minimum) and not a public charity. It appears to be promoting vaccine therapies that orthodox medicine says are unproven. Listeners to Mr. O'Neill on CBC Radio may have got the impression he was medically qualified and had no personal interest in either supporting or attacking orthodox medicine. It appears such an impression would be unfactual. Donald Phillipson
Dear Rex, Your last Cross Country Checkup show about Tyrell Dueck has prompted me to write in a few comments. You afforded Mr. Bill O'Neill of Ottawa a considerable amount of air-time. He described himself several times as a 'professional' with an international organization, the Canadian Cancer Research Group. He went on about being able to provide the Dueck family with alternative cancer therapy information because of his international contacts. I suspect, Mr. Murphy, that you have been had. What I know about him is from the local newspaper. He has been featured in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper twice (see below). I believe he runs a for-profit business that sells useless therapy to desperate people. Specifically, he sells time in a hyperbaric chamber for the treatment of brain cancer and other diseases for which there is no proven benefit. He charges people $750 for a package of cancer information that is available on the net, at the local Cancer Centre library, and from the Canadian Cancer Society. I was disappointed you were unable to pin him down as to his credentials and how and why he was in contact with the Dueck family. For your information, a recent newspaper article on him can be found at: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/city/981029/1973957.html I am a basic cancer researcher at a provincially funded cancer treatment centre. The most disturbing aspect of your program was the degree of attention and credibility given to so-called alternative therapies. Cancer is a very frequently occurring disease and I too have been touched by it, in the form of the recent loss of a close family member. I know the anguish and feeling of helplessness. It saddens me deeply to hear the distrust of so many callers of evidence-based medicine, in favor of unproven 'miracle cures'. Like democracy, medicine is far from perfect but there is nothing better. Chaim Birnboim
Alternative cancer therapies bring high-priced hope and deadly disappointment
Positive Spin in Canadian Medical Association Journal
Some time ago, he managed to convince a reporter of the Ottawa Citizen to report extensively on his activities, but that he was able to induce Barbara Sibbald, an editor of CMAJ, to write a 3-page commercial about the so-called Canadian Cancer Research Group is highly disturbing. Interviews with oncologists as quoted by Sibbald would lead the reader to believe that O'Neill's activities are accepted by at least some physicians.
I express shame and indignation that my own medical journal is willing to sacrifice space to publish such an insult to our beloved profession.
THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO REQUEST YOUR PROTECTIONCancer patients in Ontario need to have the protection of the government. Since O'Neill cannot be prosecuted for pretending to be a medical doctor, the CPSO has no jurisdiction. They pass the buck.
The Minister of Health ignores complaints about cancer quackery because there are no laws against it. Any mom and pop can set up shop and duplicate exactly what O'Neill has done in Ottawa, and there is nothing to stop them.
The Advertising Standards council may be able to take action, but there is no enforcement of any decisions made by that body.
We need the Legislature at Queen's Park to muster up their forces and pass Provincial legislation that protects our citizens from cancer quacks who pretend to be miracle workers, and who surround themselves with questionable machines, devices, and who perform procedures that are not recognized by Health Canada.
The fact that the CMAJ's editor and a senior writer, the Ottawa Citizen the CBC and other media played a role in the promotion of Mr. O'Neill over the years by failing to place critical reviews of his claims is appauling.
The standards of journalism must rise to the occasion, and demand that when stories about cancer quacks are presented that their reporters do a better job.
We ask that the CCRG receive the attention from the government and the press that they deserve and that the Advertising Standards Council review their claims. If the Competition Bureau would examine the operations and claims of the facility and discover that their claims are indeed fraudulent, then they should take action to stop their operations. If Health Canada's Protection Branch would wake up, we may see some action, too.
The way it stands now, O'Neill and his cronies have been operating above the law for about eight years despite the fact that complaints about his operation have been sitting on the desks of health bureaucrats for years. Let's see them get off their duffs and take meaningful action.
Terry Polevoy, MD
STOP TIM BOLEN'S, ILENA ROSENTHAL'S
& BILL O'NEILL'S
DEFAMATION AND LIBEL
JOIN THE BATTLE