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Please weigh in on Maggiore death
Oct 27, 2005

Hi, Dr. Bob.

First off, thank you for being a voice of reason and logic when it comes to the subject of HIV/AIDS.

I'm sure you are aware of the recent death activist Christine Maggiore's young daughter, most likely from AIDS-related pneumonia. There has been a lot of talk among my friends about the death and many have concluded that it was within Mrs. Maggiore's rights to refuse HIV testing (and, consequently, HIV treatment) for her young daughter, even if this refusal ultimately resulted in the child's death. They also support the physicians who apparently allowed this to happen.

Could you please weigh in on what you think, both of the rights of the mother to refuse treatment and testing for her daughter and on the physicians who did not insist on treatment, either?

You can probably tell that I think the child should have gotten tested and treated with the most effective medical procedures available, but I'm interested in the opinion of an expert.


Response from Dr. Frascino


Here's what we know about this tragic case so far: Christine Maggiore is the founder of an organization called "Alive and Well AIDS Alternatives," which claims HIV does not cause AIDS and that HIV tests and medications only cause harm. Christine Maggiore is HIV positive; she breastfed her two children and refused to allow them to be tested for HIV. Her three-year-old daughter died in May of this year of AIDS-related pneumonia, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner. Christine Maggiore and her husband Robin Scovill are now being investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services for possible child endangerment related to their other child, an eight-year-old boy. Apparently after the death of their daughter they have now had the youngster tested for HIV and he is negative. They are expected to be able to retain custody of their son for now.

The Los Angeles Police Department is also investigating the parents on possible criminal charges for their handling of their daughter's health care. At least three physicians were involved. As to why none of them intervened, I do not know. The Medical Board of California is investigating the two California physicians (Jay Gordon of Santa Monica and Paul Fleiss) as well as a third doctor, Philip Inaco, who allegedly prescribed antibiotics for the young girl two days before her death, even though he is not licensed to practice medicine in the State of California.

This is another in a series of preventable tragedies directly linked to AIDS "denialists." Shockingly, Christine Maggiore has said her daughter's death has not changed her beliefs about HIV and she plans to send the initial coroner's finding to another "reviewer."

Individuals have the right to "believe" whatever they wish, even if it's contrary to incontestable scientific fact, common sense and years of experience. However, children also have the right not to be harmed or killed by their parents' beliefs. Christine Maggiore remains an "AIDS denialist," refusing to believe HIV has anything to do with AIDS. She continues to "believe" in her "Alive and Well AIDS Alternatives." Unfortunately, her three-year-old daughter is no longer either "Alive" or "Well." Just how she can deny that, I do not know.

My feelings about this case, Ms. Maggiore, AIDS denialists and the physicians involved are self evident: a senseless, heartbreaking and totally preventable tragedy!

Dr. Bob

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