Regulatory Action against Wendell G. Hendricks, D.O.

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
August 20, 2020

Wendell G. Hendricks, D.O., was disciplined in 1963 by the Medical Board of California for violating California’s Cancer Law. The following summary came from the files of the California Cancer Advisory Council.

Complaints about Dr. Hendricks’s practice began in approximately 1952 and, although there were numerous investigations by the Board of Osteopathic Examiners, nothing came of them until the 1960s.

One complaint was made by Miss V.P. , who went to Dr. Hendricks because of a breast lump. She continued with him for 18 months and received in succession the Koch treatment, the animal cells, a poultice applied locally which was supposed to bring the tumor out through the skin and, finally, injections of two other agents which produced chills and fever. She paid a total of $1200 and, at the end of 18 months, went to a surgeon where malignancy of the breast was diagnosed and a radical mastectomy performed. She later died of her disease.

In June 1961, the Osteopathic Board received a telephone call from Mrs. M.D., who had a cancer background and who expressed her intent to seek cancer treatment from Dr. Hendricks. The patient’s suspicions were aroused because of the very strong “sell” by the receptionist when an appointment with Dr. Hendricks was requested. Since she did have this suspicion and since something was known of Hendricks’ operations, the patient agreed to serve as an undercover operative and to visit Hendricks for treatment.

She was told by Dr. Hendricks that he would treat her with a cancer antitoxin which originated in Russia but which he now obtained in Canada, and if she had cancer she would get a reaction with chills and fever. Later, after continued treatment, when she no longer got such a reaction it would mean that she no longer had cancer. When that happened, he would then start on the cell treatment, an injection method—the agent being made from lyophilized cells of unborn animals, usually lambs. The agents are made both in Switzerland, where they originated, and in Mexico. He also stated that he had the Lincoln method of treatment and the Koch oxidation catalyst. This patient was charged $250.

In October, 1961, Mrs. T.T., another undercover operative, a laryngectomee with a ten-year cure, visited Dr. Hendricks. During the two visits this patient made, she was given an injection into the hip, supposedly the Koch treatment, and also an injection into the vein, presumably the detoxification agent or the antitoxin from Canada. She was also told about the cellular treatment which would be obtained from Switzerland and which could be administered to her for $1,300. This patient paid Hendricks a total of $160.

Dr. Hendricks was subpoenaed to appear at an investigatory hearing and directed to bring samples of the agent he used in the treatment of cancer. The names of these agents and their synonyms were listed on the Subpoena Duces Tecum. Hendricks appeared, was represented by counsel, but brought none of the agents with him. He was then summoned to an accusatory hearing held before a hearing officer where the State’s evidence was presented. The hearing officer proposed that a Cease and Desist Order be issued based on the feature of the law which permits a conclusive presumption that the agents in question are of no value if the proponent fails to produce requested samples or other information.

A Cease and Desist Order dated July 23, 1963 was issued against Dr. Hendricks.

In 1964, subsequent to the issuance of the Cease and Desist Order, additional complaints reached the Department of Public Health. One of these was from a patient with multiple myeloma who was treated with the cell treatment. A total of $3,000 was paid.

Another was a case of malignant melanoma which was treated by Hendricks with the Koch Oxidation Catalyst, and was promised treatment with the cellular injections. Both of these patients have died of their disease.

Since by this time, the Professional and Vocational Standards were interested in Dr. Hendricks’ activities, no further attempt was made by the State Department of Health to gather additional evidence. The action of the Professional and Vocational Standards resulted in the revoking of Dr. Hendricks’ license to practice medicine.