A Victoria naturopath who made headlines for treating a small boy with a homeopathic remedy made from rabid dog saliva has surrendered her licence to practice.
The College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C. (CNPBC) says an inquiry committee investigated the conduct of Anke Zimmerman and said she voluntarily relinquished her licence following a “collegial discussion”.
The college said Zimmerman will not be allowed to apply for reinstatement or registration for at least five years.
“The Registrant (Zimmerman) indicated that she felt that complying with the College’s Bylaws and Policies, in particular, the Immunization Standard,
made it difficult for her to serve her patients with her integrity,” a CNPBC notification said on its website.
The college forbids naturopaths from including anti-immunization materials in their advertising, and from counselling patients against vaccination without a properly documented medical rationale.
In a Facebook post, Zimmerman said the bylaw “has the potential to restrict me in offering assistance to many individuals or to share my findings with the world at large without being disciplined and potentially having my license revoked.”
Zimmerman said at no point was there a threat of her license being revoked by the CNPBC and it is a decision she had been thinking about for nearly a year.
Health officials in B.C. raised concerns in April when Zimmerman chronicled her treatment of a four-year-old boy with sleep and behavioural issues, including aggression and violence.
In a blog post, Zimmermann says she suspected it was caused by a dog bite when the boy was two and she treated him with Lyssinum, also known as lyssin or hydrophobinum, which is derived from the saliva of a dog with rabies.
After an investigation by Health Canada, Zimmerman agreed to stop selling the homeopathic remedy, which was produced by U.K. manufacturer Helios.
Lyssin treatment is approved in general by Health Canada, but Helios is not among the companies licensed to sell it.
Zimmerman said she will continue to serve her patients as a homeopath.
With files from the CBC.