George Allibone: Disciplined

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George William Allibone runs The Houston Wellness Clinic in Houston, TX.  Many would call him a quack because of the unscientific treatments he offers for all manner of conditions, including cancer, weight loss, and Lyme disease, which is rare in Texas. But chronic Lyme disease is not Lyme disease at all, and it’s easy to get a false diagnosis if you want one.

Allibone makes several dubious claims about the efficacy of HBOT (Hyperbaric oxygen therapy), which he sells at his clinic. For example, he states “Due to the high concentration of oxygen in the tissues that occurs with HBOT, the Lyme spirochete, which is micro-aerophilic, is debilitated.” There is no compelling evidence to support this claim.

A 2015 review noted “No study of [HBOT] in humans with Lyme disease has ever been published.” Lyme disease is a treatable infection.

Medical Board Complaint

In 2017, a formal complaint was filed by the Texas Medical Board.

According to the Texas Medical Board:

Respondent [Allibone] violated the standard of care with regard to medical care provided to three patients, hereinafter referred to as Patient(s) 1, 2 and 3. Respondent also failed to meet the standard of care in that he did not maintain adequate medical records for each of the three patients. In addition, Respondent failed to obtain appropriate consents for treatment, including consents for alternative/complimentary treatments.

Furthermore, Respondent engaged in unprofessional conduct by breaching patient- physician confidentially of Patients 1 and 2, both of whom Respondent treated for extensive lengths of time despite having intertwining close personal relationships.

More details are in the formal complaint.

Disciplinary Action and Agreed Order

In 2018, the Texas Medical Board issued an Agreed Order addressing seven different investigations as well as the 2017 Complaint.

According to the Specific Panel Findings:

a. Patient 1:

i. Respondent failed to appropriately document, pursuant to 22 T.A.C. 200 et al, the treatment of an oncology patient in that he failed to document the patient’s vital signs or the physical examinations or findings, and failed to maintain intravenous administration records of alternative treatment.

ii. Respondent failed to maintain the patient’s confidentiality by disclosing protected health information to another individual without the patient’s consent or for an authorized reason allowed under applicable laws.

b. Patient 2:

Respondent administered IV therapy to a seriously ill patient without adequate adequate documentation of a history, physical exam, or periodic reassessment of progress, as required by 22 T.A.C. 200 et al.

A slap on the wrist

Despite the Board’s findings, Allibone was allowed to keep his license. The disciplinary action included requirements to:

  • revise his disclosure and consent forms;
  • pass a Special Purpose Examination;
  • complete continuing medical education; and
  • pay a $1000 administrative penalty.

Resources

Texas Medical Board: Formal Complaint, 2017

Texas Medical Board: Agreed Order, 2018

Quackwatch: Disciplinary Action against George Allibone, M.D.