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By Ilse de Lange


Cancer patient loses damages claim

The patient received several IPT treatments but stopped it when he did not respond positively.

A Kempton Park project manager has lost his appeal against a ruling that a Centurion general practitioner, who offers insulin potentiation therapy (IPT) to cancer patients, did not have to pay him damages.

A high court judge in Pretoria last year dismissed the R700 000 damages claim by Jaron du Preez, 38, against Dr Eugene Pretorius. Du Preez was in 2010 diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer which had spread to his lungs.

After surgery, he consulted an oncologist, but then decided to investigate alternative treatments because he was not comfortable with conventional aggressive chemotherapy.

He consulted Pretorius, who informed him he was a candidate for IPT and allegedly told him his chances of success were 90%.

According to Pretorius, IPT involved the administration of insulin, causing blood sugar levels to increase and making the body more receptive to lower doses of chemotherapy.

Du Preez received several IPT treatments but stopped it when he did not respond positively. He then received conventional chemotherapy and has been in remission ever since.

The high court found the mere fact that Du Preez’s IPT treatment was not successful, that oncologists considered it as “hocus-pocus” and that some doctors elected to administer an alternative treatment regime did not necessarily constitute negligence.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) last week dismissed Du Preez’s claim as well, saying he had not shown Dr Pretorius’ conduct resulted in his cancer not being cured.

The SCA said Du Preez had also been aware there was no guarantee the IPT treatment would lead to remission and there was always a possibility he would have to undergo conventional chemotherapy, too.

The court said since Du Preez had not proved that any conduct of Pretorius caused him damage, the question of whether the doctor had been negligent need not be considered.

Even if Du Preez had proved Pretorius was negligent, he had not proved such negligence resulted in him not being cured and it could not be said it caused him to have to undergo conventional chemotherapy or additional chemotherapy, the SCA said. – ilsedl@citizen.co.za

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