Northern Ireland

Belfast GP Finbar Magee prescribed controversial supplement MMS for child with autism

Synergy healthcare clinic, Belfast Image copyright RTE
Image caption Kathryn Murphy said she visited Dr Finbar Magee at the Synergy healthcare clinic in Belfast

A Belfast doctor who prescribed a controversial supplement that includes the main ingredient of bleach has defended the product.

Dr Finbar Magee said MMS would be a "good treatment" for a Dublin child with autism, RTÉ's Prime Time reported.

Kathryn Murphy went to Dr Magee in 2011, after her daughter, then three, had stomach cramps and chronic hives.

Dr Magee told the current affairs programme he had not prescribed MMS for a "couple of years" but defended it.

The programme said Dr Magee compared the safety of MMS to water purification products.

Last month, Prime Time reported that MMS, or "miracle mineral supplement", was being promoted in Ireland.

The programme also reported that the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing was recruiting members.

It said Genesis II claims MMS is a miracle cure but medical experts say it is dangerous.

Dr Tara McMorrow, of the Irish Society of Toxicologists, said she found it "very worrying" that MMS had been prescribed.

"It is deeply concerning that a member of the medical profession, who people put their trust and their faith in to do the correct thing would be prescribing alternative therapy that we know has been banned by numerous regulatory authorities across the world without checking this and confirming it was safe for human consumption," she said.

Ms Murphy said on Thursday's Prime Time that she went to Dr Magee at the Synergy healthcare clinic on Cregagh Road in Belfast in mid-2011.

"I want to make it clear to people I wasn't looking for a cure for autism," she said.

"I wanted to go to a doctor so he could treat the physical symptoms that she was displaying that may or may not be associated with her autism.

"I wanted somebody to do blood tests on my daughter and I wanted some general advice from a medical doctor.

"He (Dr Magee) suggested some vitamin supplementation. Among the treatments he advised me to give my daughter was MMS.

"He said MMS would be a good treatment for a child with autism if they had biomedical issues.

"He said MMS was not approved by the Irish Medical Board."

There is no suggestion that any other staff member at Synergy healthcare directed patients to take MMS.

Synergy told Prime Time it has never stocked nor ordered MMS for clients.

For last month's report, Prime Time commissioned tests to establish what happens when MMS is mixed as recommended.

The Public Analysts Laboratory in Galway found the result was 90% sodium chlorite and 10% chlorine dioxide.

'Controversial'

In Thursday's show, Prime Time said they had given details of the prescription Dr Magee provided to Ms Murphy to the Public Analysts Laboratory in Galway.

"Dr Magee had written on a sheet of paper how to give it, how to activate it and how many weeks I should give it to her for," Ms Murphy said.

The laboratory claimed that if Dr Magee's prescription was followed, within a week, Ms Murphy's daughter would each day have been ingesting 433 times the acceptable daily limit for sodium chlorite set by the World Health Organisation.

Over three months, even with gaps of two weeks as prescribed, she would have ingested a daily average of 128 times the maximum level, it said.

Dr Magee declined to be interviewed for Prime Time.

The GP said he had prescribed MMS to "maybe six patients at most".

He told the programme he had not prescribed MMS for a "couple of years, maybe even longer" because of "concern over potential problems and the fact it is controversial".

However, Prime Time claimed he got back to them "repeatedly, defending MMS and other treatments".

Prime Time reported that he said MMS was one of many oxidising agents "used to try to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi".

Image copyright RTE
Image caption Kathryn Murphy said she ordered MMS but did not give it to her daughter

When Prime Time put the public analysts laboratory results to Dr Magee he said he wanted to take it up with independent biological chemical experts to get a clear picture.

Prime Time said it wanted to visit Dr Magee in his Belfast clinic and interview him about his views. They said he invited them to go to Mexico with him instead to Kerri Rivera's clinic.

He wrote: "You have an opportunity to show that something could help more autistic children.

"I challenge you to go to Kerri Rivera's clinic in Mexico or one of the meetings and talk to the mothers and children who have used it. Take RTE cameras with you.

"Tell you what, I will go with you too and let's see the whole truth".

Prime Time claimed he then referred them to an online video by Kerri Rivera promoting MMS.

'Potentially dangerous'

Ms Murphy said she had ordered MMS on the internet, but never gave it to her daughter.

"When I saw on Prime Time that this was actually a potentially dangerous product I was totally shocked," she added.

Prime Time said Dr Magee said he finds it "hard to believe that the improvements seen are some kind of anomalies without proper explanation".