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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

Surgeon faces disciplinary hearing for reversing diabetes ‘inappropriately’
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Surgeon faces disciplinary hearing for reversing diabetes ‘inappropriately’ image

An orthopaedic surgeon is facing disciplinary proceedings for reversing a patient’s diabetes ‘inappropriately’. Dr Gary Fettke, an Australian doctor who has already been barred from advocating a high-fat diet, had recommended the approach to his patient.

Although the patient's type 2 diabetes reversed, Dr Fettke had gone against current dietary advice, which recommends a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet to prevent heart disease and diabetes.

The new charge was made almost immediately after a secret hearing of Australia's medical regulator, the Australian Health Practitioner's Regulatory Authority (AHPRA), had banned Dr Fettke from talking about a high-fats diet or treating patients with it.

In his testimony, Dr Fettke, who practises in Tasmania and lectures at the local university, had told the AHPRA: "My patients are lying around in hospital with obesity-related conditions, amputated limbs and non-healing rotting flesh. I believe it is the nutritional advice that they have been given that has put them there in the first place."

He said that the evidence for the low-fats diet was "wanting in substance and riddled with vested-interest politics."

The case against Dr Fettke was brought by a dietitian, who has remained anonymous, on the grounds that he wasn't qualified in nutrition, and so wasn't trained to give advice on diet.

Since proceedings began, Dr Fettke has suffered threats and harassment; a photograph of his family's kitten being stabbed was left on his locker door at the hospital, and he has also been subject to cyber-bullying.


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