Timothy Francis, D.C. Charged
with Unprofessional Conduct
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Timothy Francis, D.C. practices chiropractic in Las Vegas Nevada and conducts applied kinesiology seminars throughout the country. In 2015, the Chiropractic Physicians' Board of Nevada charged him with acting improperly toward a student whom he met at one of his seminars and later became a patient. The notice of charges (shown below) states:
- In 2012, Dr. Francis and the student began a relationship it that included diagnosis, treatment, and sexual relations.
- Using applied kinesiology muscle testing, Francis diagnosed venereal diseases, a pregnancy, and other problems that the woman did not have.
- Francis made no medical records regarding any of his diagnoses or treatment.
In August 2015 the board upheld the charges and placed Francis on probation for three years, during which he must (a) take remedial courses, (b) pass tests related to boundary violations and jurisprudence, (c) provide a corrective plan to the board, (d) cooperate with any board requests to monitor his practice, and (e) pay 60,484.16 to cover the cost of the board's investigation and prosecution.
Applied kinesiology is an unscientific method of diagnosis and treatment that includes muscle-testing to detect the alleged presence of disease, vitamin deficiency, and other problems.
In addition to complaining to the board, the woman has filed a civil suit alleging sexual battery, sexual harassment, slander, lack of informed consent, and negligence. The suit also names two seminar sponsors as defendants.
BEFORE THE CHIROPRACTIC PHYSICIANS' BOARD OF NEVADA
IN THE MATTER OF
TIMOTHY FRANCIS, D.C.
Case Nos. 14-08S
NOTICE OF CHARGES
The Chiropractic Physicians' Board of Nevada (hereinafter "the Board"), by and through its Board Counsel Louis Ling, makes the following which shall serve as a notice of intended action pursuant to NRS 233B.121 and as a notice of charges pursuant to NRS 634.170. The pertinent facts and law regarding this notice of charges are as follows:
On January 1, 2003, Dr. Francis became licensed as a chiropractor in Nevada (License No. B309). At all times pertinent to this matter, Dr. Francis' practice was and is located at Chiropractic Kinesiology, 7473 W. Lake Mead Blvd., Suite 100, in Las Vegas, Nevada 89128.
In his chiropractic practice and in addition to traditional chiropractic diagnoses and techniques, Dr. Francis uses diagnostic techniques known as applied kinesiology and muscle testing.
Dr. Francis teaches applied kinesiology and muscle testing at seminars, some of which are conducted privately by him and some of which are affiliated with various colleges and schools across the nation.
In January 2012, Dr. Francis taught an applied kinesiology and muscle-testing seminar affiliated with a naturopathic college in Chicago, Illinois. At that time, Dr. Francis was 55 years old. One of the attendees at the seminar was Patient T, a 23-year-old female student at the naturopathic college. The seminar was conducted one weekend per month for a period seven such weekend sessions over eight months.
In the course of the seminars, Dr. Francis would ask Patient T to serve as his model for the demonstration of hands-on techniques. Also, during the course of the seminars from January 2012 through May 2012, Dr. Francis and Patient T developed a rapport in which various and increasingly personal information was shared.
In the course of the weekend seminar in May 2012, Dr. Francis asked Patient T out to dinner. Over the course of the weekend, Patient T shared information regarding certain of her medical conditions with Dr. Francis. During the Saturday of this weekend, Dr. Francis invited the students to dinner—including Patient T—and he applied his techniques of applied kinesiology and muscle testing upon Patient T. Thereafter, Dr. Francis diagnosed Patient T as suffering from certain conditions for which he then commenced treating her, including prescribing a course of treatment involving nutriceutical supplements, homeopathies, dietary recommendations, exercise recommendations, and the wearing of colored glasses for periods of time. Dr. Francis provided Patient T with a set of the colored glasses so she could engage in the therapy he ordered. Dr. Francis also provided Patient T with some of the remedies, homeopathics, and supplements he prescribed.
After May 2012, Dr. Francis routinely communicated with Patient T via telephone calls, voice mail messages, and text messages through which he sought and obtained information regarding Patient T's condition from her. At various times after May 2012, Dr. Francis would modify Patient T's therapy based upon her description of her condition and through Dr. Francis' administration of applied kinesiology and muscle testing. Dr. Francis would communicate his therapeutic directions to Patient T through texts, voice mails, written notes, or telephone calls. At times, Dr. Francis would also chiropractically adjust Patient T.
In June 2012, Patient T attended a seminar in Dallas, Texas offered by the International College of Applied Kinesiology (lCAK), an organization in which Dr. Francis is very active. Dr. Francis taught at the ICAK seminar. In the course of the weekend, Dr. Francis performed muscle testing upon Patient T and informed her that he had performed similar muscle testing upon himself and that the muscle testing showed that he and she were compatible 99 out a possible 100. He explained that such a high testing score meant that they were destined to be together and that they had been married in previous lives. Dr. Francis discussed with Patient T that they should marry, that they had shared relationships in previous lives, that the score of 99 out of 100 never happens (implying that the two were perfectly compatible), that their souls were entangled, and that while muscle-testing her he had opened her heart chakra so that soon she would experience feelings that she had not experienced before.
In August 2012, when Dr. Francis was in Chicago for the monthly seminar, he invited the class—including Patient T —out to dinner. In the course of the evening, Dr. Francis pressured Patient T to begin a sexual and personal relationship with him. Patient T resisted and explained to Dr. Francis that she already had a boyfriend. During this weekend, Dr. Francis told Patient T—his student and his patient at the time—that he loved her. This August weekend was the last weekend for the seminar that Dr. Francis was teaching his seminar at which Patient T was a student.
On September 14, 15, and 16, 2012, Patient T came to Las Vegas to attend a seminar being taught by Dr. Francis. Dr. Francis specifically recommended to Patient T that she attend this seminar because he wanted her to learn Total Body Manipulation (TBM) instead of applied kinesiology. Dr. Francis took Patient T to dinner, during which Patient T drank a considerable quantity of champagne supplied by Dr. Francis. Later that evening, Dr. Francis and Patient T engaged in sexual relations.
The evening of and day after Dr. Francis and Patient T engaged in sexual relations, Dr. Francis performed chiropractic adjustments upon Patient T and provided her other treatments in his and her hotel rooms to treat her for alcohol intoxication and hangover.
On September 17, 2012, Dr. Francis prepared an "Authorization for Absence" form for Patient T to excuse her absence from her school for September 17 and 18, 2012 for "Seminar Attendance." The "Authorization for Absence" contained an initial from Dr. Francis and was stamped in the "Authorizing doctor" blank with the following:
DR. TIMOTHY D. FRANCIS
7473 W. LAKE MEAD BLVD STE. 100
LAS VEGAS, NV 89128
Also on September 17, 2012, Dr. Francis prepared a "School Physical Exemption Report" form for Patient T to recommend that she take no exercise for the entire school year. The "School Physical Exemption Report" prepared by Dr. Francis indicated that he had diagnosed Patient T with "ligament laxity syndrome" and that she should have not manipulations for the entire school year. The "School Physical Exemption Report" contained an initial from Dr. Francis and was stamped in the "Doctor's Signature" blank with the following:
DR. TIMOTHY D. FRANCIS
7473 W. LAKE MEAD BLVD STE. 100
LAS VEGAS, NV 89128
In October 2012, Dr. Francis informed Patient T that through muscle testing he had determined that she had gonorrhea that she had been infected her boyfriend. Dr. Francis explained that Patient T's gonorrhea infection was sub-clinical, that she had had it for three years, that her boyfriend also had gonorrhea, and that she would be reinfected if her boyfriend was not treated. Dr. Francis explained that Patient T had exposed him to gonorrhea in their sexual encounter.
Patient T subsequently was tested for gonorrhea, and she was negative. Patient T did not have gonorrhea.
In January 2013, Dr. Francis arranged to visit with Patient T in Chicago. About a week before the visit, Dr. Francis informed Patient T that through muscle testing he had determined that she was infected with trichomonas vaginalis and that she had received the infection from her boyfriend who was cheating on her (so Dr. Francis claimed).
As a result of his diagnosis of trichomonas vaginalis, Dr. Francis arranged for a colleague, Dr. Carlotta Watson from Portland, Oregon, to call in a prescription for Patient T for Metronidazole 500 mg. to a Walgreens pharmacy in Lombard, Illinois. Metronidazole is an antibiotic that can be used to treat sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Francis told Patient T to take the Metronidazole tablets to treat the trichomonas vaginalis he had diagnosed.
Patient T has never met or been examined by Dr. Watson either before or after Dr. Watson prescribed the Metronidazole tablets for Patient T.
Patient T subsequently was tested for trichomonas vaginalis, and she was negative. Patient T did not have trichomonas vaginalis.
On January 17, 2013, Dr. Francis and Patient T engaged in sexual relations while he was in Chicago to teach another seminar.
On January 18, 2013, Dr. Francis, through muscle testing, diagnosed Patient T as being pregnant resultant from their sexual encounter the previous evening. At Dr. Francis' urging, Patient T obtained and ingested Next Choice One Dose, an emergency contraceptive tablet.
Subsequently, Patient T determined that she had not been pregnant.
Throughout the period of January 2013 through October 2013, Dr. Francis continued to maintain a personal relationship with Patient T.
Throughout the period of January 2013 through October 2013, Dr. Francis continued to diagnose Patient T and, based upon his diagnoses, to adjust her nutriceutical supplements, homeopathies, other treatments, and colored glasses regimen to address the issues he had diagnosed. Dr. Francis would communicate the changes to Patient T's treatment regimen to Patient T via texts, voice mails, written notes, and telephone calls. Dr. Francis would also chiropractically adjust Patient T. The last chiropractic adjustment he provided to Patient T was in August 2013.
The relationship between Dr. Francis and Patient T ended in October 2013.
Dr. Francis made no medical records regarding any of his diagnoses or treatment of Patient T.
Dr. Francis is licensed as a chiropractor in Nevada and is not licensed in any professional capacity in Illinois.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
In engaging in a romantic or dating relationship with Patient T, including in engaging in sexual relations as part of the relationship, Dr. Francis violated Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 634.018(10) and/or NRS 634.018(11) and/or NRS 634.018(17) and NRS 634.140(1) and/or Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 634.430(1)(a) and/or 634.430(1)(0).
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
In failing to make or maintain any health care records regarding his diagnoses and treatment of Patient T, Dr. Francis violated NRS 634.018(10) and/or NRS 634.018(11) and/or NRS 634.018(17) and NRS 634.140(1) and NCA 634.435.
WHEREFORE, the Board's Staff requests that the Board impose such discipline as it deems just, necessary, and appropriate in this matter.
Signed this 23rd day of March, 2015.
LOUIS LING, Board Counsel
STATEMENT OF RESPONDENTS RIGHTS
As the Respondent in this action, you have the following rights:
- A hearing regarding this matter will be held no sooner than 30 days from the date of this Notice of Charges. The time and date will be made by a separate Notice of Hearing once it has been set. The intent of the hearing of this matter is to determine whether the allegations made against you in the Notice of Charges have been proven by substantial evidence, and if so, what discipline is appropriate.
- You may appear at the hearing of this matter. You may be represented by your counsel of choice. The hearing shall be conducted at an open and public meeting of the Board and shall be conducted in conformance with NRS chapter 233B and 634 and NAC chapter 634, including your right to present testimony and evidence in support of your case and your right to cross-examine witnesses presented by Board Staff.
- The Board shall attempt to hold your hearing at the time set, but you should be aware that the Board retains the discretion to conduct its meeting as it deems best and your case may be heard later than the time set.
- You may file an Answer to the Notice of Charges in this matter pursuant to NAC 634.650.
- To do so, you must file your Answer in writing with the Board's office within 15 days of your receipt of this Notice of Charges. Your failure to timely file an Answer to the Notice of Charges may be deemed by the Board to be an admission to the contents of the Notice of Charges.
- You may request that the Board issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of evidence at the hearing of the matter pursuant to NRS 634.196 and NAC 634.660.
- Should you choose not to appear at the hearing of the matter, the Board may enter a default against you and still proceed with the hearing of the matter in your absence pursuant to NAC 634.715.
- You may seek to negotiate a settlement regarding this matter. If you desire to discuss a potential settlement of the matter, you may contact Louis Ling, Board Counsel, pursuant to the contact information contained on this Notice of Charges.
This article was posted on October 12, 2015.