Ehrlich: Sartori Cancer
by Richard S. Ehrlich
BANGKOK, Thailand -- Hellfried E. Sartori, whose medical license was revoked in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington state, has been jailed in Thailand during an international investigation into the death of patients who received his "Doctor Ozone" anti-cancer injections.
Sartori was arrested on July 9 in Chiang Mai and charged with commercial fraud, and practicing without a medical license, after injecting at least two patients in their Chiang Mai hotel rooms, including Australian ovarian cancer patient Kathleen Preston who died in February.
"That poor woman bled to death because of the incompetence of the staff at that [Maharaj Nakorn] hospital," Sartori said, referring to the Chiang Mai facility where Mrs. Preston, 58, was taken when she became ill after Sartori's treatment.
A post-mortem revealed a high potassium content in her blood -- an element linked to Sartori's treatment.
"I have not committed any crime," Sartori, 67, told an Australian journalist during a jailhouse interview in July in Chiang Mai, Thailand's second largest city and a popular tourist destination in the north.
"All I did was to try to help people after they approached me," said Sartori, an Austrian citizen.
Melissa Judith Taylor, from New Zealand, fell unconscious last month in Chiang Mai after Sartori injected a liquid into the veins in her chest and neck, to treat her lung cancer.
When Ms. Taylor recovered from her treatment in Chiang Mai Ram Hospital in July, she told police that she learned about Sartori through a Web site, and had flown to Chiang Mai so he could cure her.
Sartori was dubbed "Dr. Ozone" by the media because he allegedly injected a concoction he called "liquid ozone" into cancer victims.
Sartori insisted he was only a "technician" who supervised unidentified "nurses" who plunged the needles.
He billed patients about 22,000 U.S. dollars for his injections in Chiang Mai.
Sartori's supporters on Web sites claimed the Native American Hopi tribe in Arizona, and northern Pakistan's residents in mountainous Hunza, enjoy low cancer rates because their diets are rich in potassium, plus either rubidium or cesium, which are highly alkaline.
Sartori insisted cesium -- a rare chemical element of alkali metal -- could kill cancer.
Ingesting cesium chloride, or cesium carbonate, puts cancer cells in a high alkaline environment deadly to cancer, which thrives in an acidic environment, Sartori and his supporters claimed.
In Australia, police linked Sartori and a physician in Perth, Dr. Alexandra Boyd, to the deaths of six terminally ill people, including a New Yorker, who allegedly received cesium chloride therapy in Perth in May 2005.
Dr. Boyd said she had not performed "any cancer treatment to these Perth-based patients of Mr. Sartori," and merely conducted blood tests.
Sartori reportedly began his cesium cancer therapy in 1981 at Life Sciences Universal Medical Clinics in Rockville, Maryland, where he treated at least 50 patients.
At least 25 of them reportedly died.
Sartori's supporters boasted on Web sites that the results were a success because the 25 who survived were brought back from terminal cancer.
Sartori's medical license was revoked in Maryland state in 1984 due to professional incompetence, and also in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington state the following year.
Sartori received his first U.S. medical license in 1977 from the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, according to the board's medical examiner Joel D. Holliday who revoked it in 1987.
"Sartori was convicted of practicing medicine without a license after injecting ozone into patients intravenously, and performing chelation therapy via injection of ethyl-enediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), to treat various diseases," according to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
"The American Cancer Society now notes on its Web site that CsCl [cesium chloride] can cause arrhythmia and/or death," the Mayo Foundation said.
The arrest of Sartori, who also used the name Abdul-Haddaq Sartori, came after Australian Federal Police arrived in Chiang Mai in November.
Australian police asked Thai police to investigate why Australians were dying after being treated by Sartori, who was then operating in Chiang Mai and through a Web site, according to Thai police.
West Australian Detective-Sergeant Terry Rakich said his interviews with Sartori, which began on July 28, were to determine Sartori's role the cesium chloride treatments given to cancer patients in Perth last year, according to the West Australian newspaper.
Copyright by Richard S. Ehrlich, who has reported news from Asia for the past 28 years, and is co-author of the non-fiction book of investigative journalism, "HELLO MY BIG BIG HONEY!" Love Letters to Bangkok Bar Girls and Their Revealing Interviews. His web page is http://www.geocities.com/asia_correspondent