by Rachel Lang
A TRIBUNAL has heard a former chiropractor told a cancer patient he could cure him with vitamin C injections and other alternative remedies.
George Zaphir, a deregistered chiropractor, has been deemed a serious risk to patients after he led a man to believe alternative treatments would see his cancerous tumour come "out of his head and would drop off."
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled Zaphir, who operated out of alternative therapy shop Crystal Connections in Caboolture and a clinic in West End, led cancer patient Ian Booth to believe if his "protocols" were followed his illness could be cured.
Mr Booth was diagnosed in February 2015 with a squamous cell carcinoma on his right lacrimal duct - a tumour to his right eye.
When he was diagnosed, Mr Booth was advised by the doctors at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital that the tumour could be removed surgically, but the operation would result in the loss of his right eye and some of the bone surrounding his eye socket.
Mr Booth refused surgery and instead sought medical attention from Mr Zaphir.
Mr Zaphir told the tribunal that a restricted diet, weekly injections of high doses of vitamin C, supplements and high alkaline water intake could "reverse" cancer.
He treated Mr Booth with a high dosage of vitamin C, and endorsed the application of a black salve which Mr Booth allegedly told his ex-partner Lovina Mitchell was an illegal treatment.
QCAT heard from Ms Mitchell that Mr Booth told her he had paid cash because the treatment he was getting from Mr Zaphir was "under the radar" - the same terminology Mr Zaphir used when speaking to a journalist for a Current Affair expose.
The treatments continued for approximately three or four months, when Mr Zaphir refused to continue treating Mr Booth because his condition had not improved.
Four months later Mr Booth was dead, and the tumour had grown to cover more than half of his face.
Mr Booth paid Mr Zaphir $4,000 for the treatments; a sum that Mr Booth asked be refunded to him in his final days, according to his niece Belinda MacIntyre.
Witnesses called before the tribunal say Mr Booth had told them he believed Mr Zaphir was a doctor.
QCAT confirmed a decision made by the Health Ombudsman in August 2016, prohibiting Mr Zaphir from practising any health service as he is a risk to public safety.
QCAT Deputy President Judge Suzanne Sheridan ruled Mr Zaphir had sometimes used the title 'doctor' before his name, although he had never been a medical doctor and had not been a registered chiropractor since 2010.
She also said Mr Zaphir showed a total lack of care for Mr Booth's welfare.
Although Mr Zaphir denied telling Mr Booth he could cure cancer, he said during cross examination that following his protocols could " help the body improve its immune system to undertake the process to cure or reverse" cancer.
"There is a real risk Mr Zaphir will encourage people faced with a life-threatening illness to rely on his representations that he is a doctor of some kind and that he can cure the illness without the need for conventional medical treatment," Judge Sheridan said in her judgment.
"The evidence accepted by the Tribunal in this case shows that there is a real risk Mr Zaphir will encourage people faced with a life threatening illness to rely on his representations that he is a doctor of some kind and that he can cure the illness without the need for conventional medical treatment."