A B.C. naturopath who made headlines last spring for treating a boy’s behaviour issues with a homeopathic remedy based on the saliva of a rabid dog has voluntarily given up her naturopath’s licence.
In a public notice posted to the website, the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia stated that it conducted an investigation into Anke Zimmermann. At a meeting, she expressed to the college that “she felt that complying with the College’s Bylaws and Policies, in particular, the Immunization Standard, made it difficult for her to serve her patients with her integrity.”
She voluntarily surrendered her naturopathic licence, according to the notice, but intends to continue practising as a homeopath.
WATCH: B.C. provincial health officer concerned after child treated with rabid dog saliva (April 2018)
B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, told Global News in April that she was unaware of any evidence that showed the remedy, called Lyssinum, had any therapeutic benefit.
“More importantly, I am concerned that if a product did actually contain what is suggested, saliva from a rabid dog, that would put the patient at risk of contracting rabies, a serious, fatal illness.”
Homeopathic remedies like Lyssinum are usually diluted many times so that little, if any, of the original substance remains. In a blog post on her website, Zimmermann said that the pills contained no virus of any kind, and that her critics “can’t have it both ways,” by saying that homeopathic medicine is both highly diluted and potentially dangerous.
In a Facebook post, Zimmermann said that she handed in her licence because she disagreed with the College’s policy that forbids discussing concerns about vaccines and autism. In B.C., naturopaths are not allowed to counsel against immunization without a sound medical reason for doing so.
In May, the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia posted a notice on its website saying that naturopaths must not provide patients or the public at large with anti-vaccination materials or materials regarding the potential risks and harms of vaccinations “other than those materials that would be necessary to obtain informed consent to immunizations.”
—With files from Jesse Ferreras, Richard Zussman and Grace Ke
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.