Unlicensed Practitioners Cited
after Death of Diabetic Patient

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

The Maryland Board of Physicians has issued cease-and-desist orders against Loren Lockman and Timothy Trader for practicing medicine without a license and representing to the public that they were authorized to practice medicine. Lochman was fined $320,000 for seven violations, each of which reflected what had happened to one client. Trader was fined $70,000 for two violations related to two of the clients.

Documents in the case indicates that Lockman founded the Tanglewood Wellness Center, which operated first in Bethesda and then in Thurmont, Maryland. In 2005, he fled to Panama and relocated his facility. Lockman employed Trader in 2003 and 2004. The pair advocated a raw food diet and administered water-only fasting for lengthy periods for people whose health conditions were worsened or could have been worsened by such fasting. They also discouraged the use of prescribed medications. Both conducted themselves in a manner that suggested that they were trained health professionals, even though they were not [1].

Documents in the case further indicate that Trader referred to himself as a "retired" naturopath. In the fatal case, he advised a 22-year-old woman with insulin-dependent diabetes to stop taking her insulin and undergo a water-only fast. After she became acutely ill with diabetic ketoacidosis, he administered huge amounts of insulin, but she lost consciousness and died soon afterwards. (Insulin alone is not sufficient treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis.) Three other clients appeared to have suffered impairment of their memory as a result of prolonged fasting. Another patient became emaciated and developed beriberi (a severe B-vitamin deficiency) as a result of severe fasting. Two other clients were dissatisfied with their experience and left within a week. One was a man with severe heart disease who could have been heading for disaster as a result of stopping his medications [2].

Lockman still operates the Tanglewood Wellness Center in Panama, which offers treatment for $900 for the first week and $500 to $700 for subsequent weeks, depending on the length of stay. His Web site claims that his methods can enable people to lose weight, never be sick again, have abundant energy and mental clarity, and look younger —"all with no side effects, safely, easily, naturally."

Trader has relocated to California. Recent autobiographical sketches states that he obtained a naturopathy degree from Clayton College and in 1991 got a "Ph.D." from the Life Science Institute. Clayton College is a nonaccredited correspondence school [3]. The Life Science Institute was a correspondence school that was never accredited or legally authorized to grant degrees. In the mid-1980s, a Texas Court prohibited it from marketing itself as a "college" and from granting academic credits or degrees [4].

References

  1. Final decision and order. In the matter of Loren Eric Lockman. Before the Maryland State Board of Physicians, Case No. 2005-0028. August 31, 2007.
  2. Final decision and order. In the matter of Timothy Scott Trader. Before the Maryland State Board of Physicians, Case No. 2005-0027. August 31, 2007.
  3. Barrett S. Clayton College of Natural Health: Be wary of the school and its graduates. March 20, 2007.
  4. Kenney JJ. Fit For Life: Some notes on the book and its roots. Quackwatch, Nov 12, 1999.

This article was posted on November 7, 2007.

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