Martha Grout, M.D., Reprimanded by Arizona
Medical Board, Relinquishes Florida License
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Martha Grout, M.D., who founded and directs the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona, has been reprimanded by the Arizona Medical Board. Grout's clinic's Web site states that she has been a homeopathic physician for the past ten years and is "dedicated to the natural treatment of cancer, Lyme disease, diabesity (cardiometabolic), irritable bowel and other chronic diseases." The medical board's order (shown below) states that (a) she administered amygdalin (laetrile) to an 18-month-old girl with retinoblastoma (an eye cancer), (b) the child developed respiratory distress and died five hours later, and the board's medical consultant concluded that the cause of death was cyanide poisoning. Laetrile is a bogus cancer treatment that releases cyanide into the body and has been banned by the FDA. The board's reprimand carried no penalty or restrictions. Grout is also licensed by the Arizona Board of Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Examiners, which has been investigating the case for more than a year but has not decided whether to initiate regulatory action. Grout served as a member of the homeopathic board from August 2006 through June 2012 and was vice-president during most of this period.
Grout was also licensed in Florida. In response to the Arizona, Florida filed an administrative complaint that was settled with an agreement under which Grout was reprimanded, fined $2,500, assessed costs of $1,294.42, and required to take a course in legal and ethical implications in medicine. She also voluntarily relinquished her Florida license.
BEFORE THE ARIZONA MEDICAL BOARD
In the Matter of
MARTHA GROUT, M.D.
Holder of License No. 24896
Case No. MD-13-0320A
ORDER FOR LETTER OF REPRIMAND
Martha Grout, M.D. ("Respondent") elects to permanently waive any right to a hearing and appeal with respect to this Order for Letter of Reprimand; admits the jurisdiction of the Arizona Medical Board ("Board"); and consents to the entry of this Order by the Board.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. The Board is the duly constituted authority for the regulation and control of the practice of allopathic medicine in the State of Arizona.
2. Respondent is the holder of license number 24896 for the practice of allopathic medicine in the State of Arizona.
3. The Board initiated case number MD-13-0320A after receiving a complaint regarding Respondent's care and treatment of a 18 month old-female patient ("MM"). The complaint alleged that Respondent failed to properly treat a patient with retinoblastoma by providing laetrile resulting in the death of the patient.
4. On February 22, 2013, MM underwent enucleation of her right eye. She was being treated by an oncologist and ophthalmologist in Maine. A post-procedure brain MRI was negative. Per MM's medical records, her parents were reluctant to comply with follow up allopathic medical care and would not cooperate with the staging of the tumor post-enucleation. MM's oncologist advised her parents to comply with the standard of care, and they were informed of the success of such treatment and the necessity of such treatment was emphasized. The family sought alternative remedies for the treatment of MM.
5. MM subsequently traveled to Arizona with her family. Her ophthalmologist in Maine received the biopsy report confirming that cancer cells had spread beyond the right eye and were detected in orbital tissues. The ophthalmologist contacted MM's family and urged them to have a spinal tap done for the staging of the retinoblastoma. MM's parents consulted Respondent for alternative treatment with amygdalin (laetrile). MM's father signed a consent form that indicated the safety and efficacy of many homeopathic medicines have not been established in controlled studies to the satisfaction of the FDA and many conventional physicians. Pursuant to Respondent's clinic records, she provided MM with 3.4 mL of amygdalin orally on March 13, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.
6. Respondent's medical note written on March 14, 2013, indicated that she was contacted by MM's father around 5:15 p.m. and informed that MM was crying and behaving unusually. According to the police report, MM's father stated that MM was having shortness of breath and bloating. MM's parents were advised by Respondent to return to the clinic. Respondent documented that upon arrival to the clinic, MM was sleeping and had a slow respiratory rate. She then experienced a sudden onset of pallor and cardiorespiratory arrest. Respondent called the paramedics at 6:15 p.m. and provided initial CPR to MM. By the time the paramedics arrived, MM did not have a pulse and was apneic. The paramedics provided CPR to MM and transported her to the hospital, where aggressive resuscitation attempts were made. MM was pronounced dead at 7:56 p.m. The Hospital contacted the Scottsdale Police Department ("Department") and MM's father declined consent for an autopsy. The Department requested an autopsy on March 15, 2013. Thereafter, the Department initiated a formal child abuse investigation against Respondent and MM's parents.
7. The Medical Consultant ("MC") observed that MM died of cyanide poisoning secondary to the amygdalin given to her by Respondent on March 7, 2013. The MC stated that Respondent prescribed the medicine outside of established standard of care for the: treatment of retinoblastoma or any cancer in children. The MC noted that this is not a medication that pediatricians usually prescribe and that the FDA does not approve its use. The MC observed that Respondent gave the medicine to MM who had stage III retinoblastoma treated with enucleation of the right eye.
8. The standard of care requires a physician, prior to the use of amygdalin, to make sure that the patient has tried all forms of currently accepted allopathic medical treatment for cancer and to make sure that the use of amygdalin will pose no harm to the patient.
9. Respondent deviated from the standard of care by administering amygdalin to MM without first ensuring that MM had tried all forms of currently accepted allopathic medical treatment for cancer and by failing to make sure that the use of amygdalin will not pose harm to MM.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. The Board possesses jurisdiction over the subject matter hereof and over Respondent.
2. The conduct and circumstances described above constitute unprofessional conduct pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-1401 (27)(q) ("[a]ny conduct or practice that is or might be harmful or dangerous to the health of the patient or the public.").
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT
1. Respondent is issued a Letter of Reprimand.
DATED AND EFFECTIVE this 8th day of August , 2014.
ARIZONA MEDICAL BOARD
C. Lloyd Vest, II
CONSENT TO ENTRY OF ORDER
1. Respondent has read and understands this Consent Agreement and the stipulated Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order ("Order"). Respondent acknowledges she has the right to consult with legal counsel regarding this matter.
2. Respondent acknowledges and agrees that this Order is entered into freely and voluntarily and that no promise was made or coercion used to induce such entry.
3. By consenting to this Order, Respondent voluntarily relinquishes any rights to a hearing or judicial review in state or federal court on the matters alleged, or to challenge this Order in its entirety as issued by the Board, and waives any other cause of action related thereto or arising from said Order.
4. The Order is not effective until approved by the Board and signed by its Executive Director.
5. Respondent consents to the entry of the order set forth above as a compromise of a disputed matter between Respondent and the Board, and does so only for the purpose of terminating the disputed matter by agreement. Respondent acknowledges it is the Board's position that, if this matter proceeded to formal hearing, the Board could establish sufficient evidence to support a conclusion that certain aspects of Respondent's conduct constitute unprofessional conduct or render her unable to safely engage in the practice of medicine. Respondent agrees not to contest the validity of the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law contained in the Order in present or future administrative proceedings before the Board (or any other state agency in the State of Arizona), concerning the denial or issuance of any license or registration required by the state to engage in the practice or any business or profession or action relating to a license issued by this Board.
6. Upon signing this agreement, and returning this document (or a copy thereof) to the Board's Executive Director, Respondent may not revoke the consent to the entry of the Order. Respondent may not make any modifications to the document. Any modifications to this original document are ineffective and void unless mutually approved by the parties.
7. This Order is a public record that will be publicly disseminated as a formal disciplinary action of the Board and will be reported to the National Practitioner's Data Bank and on the Board's web site as a disciplinary action.
8. If any part of the Order is later declared void or otherwise unenforceable, the remainder of the Order in its entirety shall remain in force and effect.
9. If the Board does not adopt this Order, Respondent will not assert as a defense that the Board's consideration of the Order constitutes bias, prejudice, prejudgment or other similar defense.
Martha Grout, M.D.
EXECUTED COPY of the foregoing mailed this 8th day of August, 2014 to:
Stephen W. Myers, Esq.
Myers & Jenkins, P.C.
One East Camelback Road, Suite 500
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
ORIGINAL of the foregoing filed this 8th day of August, 2014 with:
Arizona Medical Board
9545 E. Doubletree Ranch Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Arizona Medical Board Staff
This page was revised on November 9, 2016.