License Revocation of Robert B. Vance, D.O. (1981)


Stephen Barrett, M.D.
February 27, 2020

In 1980, the Utah Department of Registration charged Robert Bliss Vance, D.O. with 35 instances of unprofessional conduct. In 1981, as noted below, after holding hearings, the department upheld eight of the charges and revoked Vance’s license. The unprofessional conduct included:

  • Applied kinesiology muscle-testing as a sole test to determine food allergies
  • Inappropriately diagnosing hypoglycemia
  • Kirlian photography for “research purposes”
  • Laetrile instead of standard cancer treatment
  • Inappropriate use of chelation therapy to treat atherosclerosis

Vance appealed to state and federal courts but lost. In 1987, when the Texas Medical Board was considering Utah’s action, Vance surrendered his Texas license. In 1996, Texas denied his application for reinstatement. He died in 2017 at the age of 83.


BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF REGISTRATION
STATE OF UTAH

IN THE MATTER OF THE LICENSE
TO PRACTICE AS AN OSTEOPATHIC
PHYSICIAN AND SURGEON OF
ROBERT B. VANCE, D.O.
]
]
]
]

FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
AND RECOMMENDED ORDER

Appearances:

Leon A. Halgren for the Division of Registration.
Robert McRae, Attorney for Respondent.

Pursuant to notice duly served by certified mail, this matter cane on regularly for hearing on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th day of January, 1981 and also on the 2nd day of February, 1981 before the Osteopathic Committee of the State of Utah and the Division of Registration. Evidence was offered and received, and the Osteopathic v, having been advised in the premises, now makes and enters to the Director of the Division of Registration the following Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and its Recommended Order based thereon:

F’INDINGS OF F’ACT

1. We find that osteopathic physicians and surgeons should maintain and uphold the sane standards of care as medical doctors in caring for and treating their patients. When a physician assumes primary care of a patient by advising a patient to discontinue medications or instructions from a previous physician, the new physician should do a complete physical examination and record such. The physical examination should include at least examination of the heart, lungs and abdomen. No intravenous solutions should be given without a physical examination (including heart and lungs) being performed. We also find that a physician must be in attendance when intravenous solutions are given unless it is an emergency. We find that Robert B. Vance did not abide by and follow these standards in his treatment of patients and in particular in his care and treatment of James Nickeson.

2. We have had testimony that preventive medicine as practiced by Dr. Vance and his colleagues should be practiced in addition to the basic (orthodox) standards of medicine in the United States. We find that Dr. Vance has not maintained these basic standards in his practice.

3. Inasmuch as Chelation Therapy is not accepted among medical standards as a proper method of treatment for atherosclerosis in the United States, it should not be prescribed as such be a physician in general practice.

4. We find that Laetrile (Amygdalin, B-17) should not be prescribed in lieu of standard accepted medical treatment for a patient suffering from cancer.

5. We find that Robert B. Vance diagnosed hypoglycemia too often without adequately ruling out other diseases or body dysfunctions.

6. We find that in many cases Dr. Vance led many patients into believing that his form of therapy was more beneficial than treatment which is recognized as proper or appropriate in the medical profession.

7. Dr. Vance’s use of Kinesiology (having patient hold arm out, with the resulting dropping of the arm determining food allergies) as the sole test to determine food allergies is totally unfounded.

8. As to the allegations in the petition (referring to doctor placing his hand on top and thinking of various foods, with the referring to the paragraphs of the petition) we make specific findings as to each such allegation as follows:

A. We find the allegations to be true in that Robert B. Vance provided unnecessary and unproven medical treatment for atherosclerosis by giving Chelation therapy.

B. No finding.

C. No finding.

D. No finding.

E. We find the allegation to be true and substantially supported by the evidence.

F. No finding.

G. We find the allegations to be true in that the evidence showed that Robert B. Vance did not do a physical examination; he used iridology, an unaccepted and unproven method of diagnosis, and diagnosed hypothyroidism from a low axillary temperature with disregard for normal laboratory tests.

H. We find the allegations to be true. He charged for a Cronogram (Kirlian Photography) which he testified he was doing for research purposes, without notifying the patient of such fact and admitted its use as a diagnostic tool was of questionable value.

I. We find the allegations to be substantially supported by the evidence.

J. No finding.

K. No finding.

L. No finding.

M. No finding.

N. No finding.

O. No finding.

P. No finding.

Q. No finding.

R. We find the allegations to be substantially supported by the evidence.

S. No finding.

T. No finding.

U. No finding.

V. No finding.

W. No finding.

X. No finding.

Y. No finding.

Z. No finding.

AA. No finding.

BB. No finding.

CC. No finding.

DD. No finding.

EE. No finding.

FF. No finding.

GG. No finding.

HH. We find the allegations to be substantially supported by the evidence.

II. We find the allegations to be true and fully supported by the evidence. In the Nickeson case there was evidence of gross negligence on the part of Dr. Vance. He should not have encouraged the family to have the patient leave the Casper, Wyoming Hospital; the diagnostic process had not been completed. He instituted intravenous therapy in his office before doing a physical examination; in fact, he never did no a physical examination. The patient was treated with questionable therapy in lieu of standard medical treatment. Dr. Vance did not see the patient in excess of five days while the patient, not under the direct control of Robert B. Vance, was receiving daily I.V. therapy. He discontinued the Coumadin therapy without examining the patient’s leg or thrombophlebitis or monitoring clotting times. Mrs. Nickeson, the patient’s mother, purchased oral Laetrile (Amygdalin, B-17) in Dr. Vance’s office from Margaret Smith. We feel that he is responsible for anything that takes place in his office. In general, this case was beyond the expertise of a general practitioner.

In spite of the fact that he has gained a great deal of knowledge in the field of preventative medicine, assuming primary care for a patient such as Mr. Nickeson was beyond the scope of his additional knowledge.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

a, the basis of the Findings of Fact the Osteopathic Committee concludes that the Respondent Robert B. Vance is subject to the provisions of Section 58-12-36(15) Utah Code Annotated 1953, as amended and that he has committed acts of sufficient severity amounting to unprofessional conduct as set forth 1n said Section 58-12-36(15) on which to base disciplinary action for revocation o: his license to practice as an Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon in the State of Utah as hereinafter provided.

RECOMMENDED ORDER

The Osteopathic Committee of the State of Utah recommends to the Director of the Division of Registration that the license of the Respondent, Robert B. Vance, as an Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon in the State of Utah be revoked.

Dated this 2nd day of February, 1981.

______________________
Leland D. Shafer, D.O.

______________________
Victoria Greenwood, D.O.

This article was posted on January 20, 2020.