"Master Herbalist" Barbara Tarwater
Accused of Unlicensed Medical Practice
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
In 2004, the Utah Attorney General charged Barbara Tarwater with practicing medicine without a license by doing diagnostic tests and prescribing products to patients at Gary Young's Young Life Research Clinic in Springville, Utah, where she worked from October 2000 until May 2002. The Attorney General's petition charged that Tarwater had (a) represented herself as a "Master Herbalist," (b) engaged in iridology, live-cell analyses, and applied kinesiology muscle tests, and (c) prescribed and/or administered essential oils, herbal products, raindrop therapy, colonic irrigation, and intravenous vitamin treatment. The matter was settled after Tarwater stated in a letter that she had left the clinic, was pursuing nonmedical interests, and would never again diagnose or prescribe. The document below shows what the licensing authorities concluded.
BEFORE THE DIVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSING
OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
OF THE STATE OF UTAH
IN THE MATTER OF THE INVESTIGATION OF
FINDINGS OF FACT
David W. Geary for the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
Barbara Tarwater for Respondent
BY THE BOARD:
A December 8, 2004 hearing was conducted in the above-entitled proceeding before J. Steven Eklund, Administrative Law Judge for the Department of Commerce, and the Physicians Licensing Board. Board members present were Richard J. Sperry, Eleanor L. Muth, Mason G. Stout, George G. Pingree, Sharon M. Weinstein, Lori G. Buhler and David L. McCann. The remaining Board members (Neil o. Spencer, Michael T. Giovanniello, James R. Fowler and Marc E. Babitz) were absent. J. Craig Jackson, Director of the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, was present. Thereafter, evidence was offered and received.
The Board now enters its Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and submits the following Recommended Order for review and action by the Division:
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. Respondent is not, and at no time relevant to this proceeding has been, licensed to practice medicine in this state.
2. Respondent was employed at the Young Life Research Clinic in Springville, Utah from October 2000 until May 2002. Respondent represented herself as a "Master Herbalist", which title was noted on a wall certificate in the Clinic. Respondent also referred to herself as a "Lab Tech."
3. During the course of her employment at Young Life Research Clinic, Respondent used kinesiology to examine patients. She also diagnosed and treated patients by using several diagnostic modalities and alternative medical therapies and treatments. The diagnostic methods which Respondent used included blood analysis.
4. Respondent administered colonic therapy treatments and she used and prescribed the use of essential oils as part of the Clinic's regimen for treating a patient's medical and emotional problems. Respondent also used a microscope to analyze blood specimens from patients and Respondent then rendered one or more diagnoses of their medical and emotional problems. Respondent routinely prescribed essential oil and herbal products as 'manufactured and sold by Young Essential Oils to treat the medical problems which she claimed she detected in a patient's blood.
5. G.L.C. became a patient of Young Life Research Clinic from April 2001 to June 2001. G.L.C. had been diagnosed with tongue and throat cancer in November 2000. During G.L.C.'s first visit to the clinic in April 2001, he was seen by Dr. Sherman Johnson and Respondent. During that visit, Respondent examined and diagnosed G.L.C. by analyzing blood specimens under a microscope.
6. Based on that analysis, Respondent told G.L.C. that his red blood cells were clumped together, creating confusion as the blood was trying to get through the veins. Respondent also told G.L.C. that his liver was overloaded and she detected gaps in the blood cells, indicating there was something emotionally which he wanted to say, but was holding back. Respondent also diagnosed G.L.C. with bowel problems, stress and she stated that he had a parasite problem.
7. Respondent administered muscle tests to G.L.C., which she informed him would evaluate his circulation and detect neurological problems, as well as any toxic stomach and phosphate issues. Respondent also informed G.L.C. that she needed to awaken him topically and internally by rubbing the back of his neck and forehead with Young Essential Oils.
8. Respondent had G.L.C. smell other essential oils which she said would help his brain power and rid him of the parasites which she had diagnosed. Respondent also informed G.L.C. he had a virus in his neck which was either a parasite or chemically related.
9. Respondent provided a treatment to G.L.C., referred to as "Rain Drop Therapy", which consisted of placing drops of essential oil on strategic parts of his body. Respondent also had G.L.C. put his feet in a copper bowl to remove parasites from his body.
10. Respondent also prescribed high doses of intravenous injections of vitamins A, C and E and the use of essential oils and other products produced and sold by Young Essential Oils. Respondent further prescribed several essential oils she claimed would alkalize G.L.C.'s body.
11. Young Essential Oils is a multilevel marketing company which owns Young Life Research Clinic. Approximately one month following the last treatment which G.L.C. received from Respondent, he underwent surgery for his cancerous condition.
G.L.C. died of cancer on February 23, 2002.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
§58-67-102(8) defines the practice of medicine as follows:
(a) to diagnose, treat, correct, administer anesthesia, or prescribe for any human disease, ailment, injury, infirmity, deformity, pain or other condition, physical or mental, real or imaginary,. . by any means or instrumentality, and by an individual in Utah or outside the state upon or for any human within the state, except that conduct described in this Subsection (8) (a) that is performed by a person legally and in accordance with a license issued under another chapter of this title does not constitute the practice of medicine.
§58-1-501(1) defines unlawful conduct to include:
(a) practicing or engaging in . . . any occupation or profession requiring licensure under this title if the person is:
(i) not licensed to do so or not exempted from licensure under this title. . .
The Board readily finds and concludes Respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of medicine as to her examination, diagnosis and treatment of G.L.C.. Clearly, the analysis of an individual's blood for purposes of diagnosing and treating internal organs or to evaluate an abnormality of the human body constitutes the practice of medicine within the meaning of §5867-102 (8) (a). Similarly, the assessment of a patient’s physiological problem or efforts to identify the presence of disease also constitutes the practice of medicine.
Thus, Respondent engaged in the practice of medicine when she was not licensed in that regard nor exempted from licensure. Accordingly, the Board finds and concludes a proper factual and legal basis exists to prohibit Respondent from any subsequent activity of that nature until such time as she is duly licensed to engage in the practice of medicine.
WHEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED Respondent shall cease and desist from engaging in conduct which constitutes the practice of medicine, as set forth herein, until such time as Respondent is duly licensed in that regard.
On behalf of the Physicians Licensing Board, I hereby certify the foregoing Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Recommended Order were submitted to J. Craig Jackson, Director of the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing on the 8th day of March, 2005 for his review and action.
J. Steven Elkund
Administrative Law Judge
This page was posted on March 18, 2006.