Autism and hyperbaric therapy - A crisis to resolve

December 18, 2006

To the Prime Minister of Canada
The right honorable Mr. Stephen Harper

The Canadian government made announcements two weeks ago regarding Motion M-172 to have a National Autism Strategy.

But at the same time, Health Canada is preventing more than 100 000 children
in Canada affected by Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders from having access to an effective, affordable, and medically proven technology: Hyperbaric therapy.

Health Canada has been harrassing sales representatives, manufacturers, potential customers, parents of children with autism or cerebral palsy, alternative therapists, chiropractors, and even licensed MD's either directly or through the Quebec College of Physicians for the last 6 years...

Many of them have been or are using portable hyperbaric chambers in their private clinics or homes, or are simply promoting the benefits of hyperbaric therapy... This is unacceptable.

Canada is signatory to the World Health Organization’s Declaration of Helsinki, which states: “In the treatment of the sick person, the physician must be free to use a new diagnostic or therapeutic measure, if in his or her judgment it offers hope of saving life, re-establishing health or alleviating suffering.” Therefore, any college or board of physicians or equivalent medical licensing board that investigates or harasses a physician for using hyperbaric therapy is in violation of the Helsinki Declaration.

Health Canada is obstructing with the certification process of portable hyperbaric chambers which are available in the USA. This product is already approved by the US FDA as a class II medical device for Altitude Mountain Sickness (caused by lack of oxygen in the brain).

The problem is that Health Canada doesn't want to recognize this certification and requires
a class III certification which is relevant only to hard shell hyperbaric chambers that utilize
100% pure oxygen with much higher pressures. The portable chambers use very low
pressure and compressed room air and do not present significant risks. So, how can
Health Canada justify its obstruction when hundreds of licensed doctors, chiropractors,
alternative therapists, parents and US professionnal athletes are using these chambers on a daily basis in the USA ? Even
famous Nascar drivers like Tony Stewart (2005 winner) and Jimmie Johnson (2006 winner).

We therefore ask you to help us resolve this matter with the health minister and the people in charge at Health Canada so that children with autism and cerebral palsy can have access to this unequalled therapy immediately. Lastly, the information on Health Canada's website is incorrect and highly misleading and needs to be updated with the evidence from the last 20 years of medical experience in this field.

In a country that prides itself as having one of the best health care system in the world, we really need to catch up here with the developments of our US neighbors before embarassment becomes too big for Canada.

The benefits of mild hyperbaric therapy for autism have been sufficiently documented lately:

See also the details of this upcoming conference that will be presented march 16th 2007 in Montreal, which will expose hyperbaric therapy's efficacy to the Canadian autism community. This unique event will be broadcasted Live on the internet in french and english.

What will we tell to parents about the Canadian government's position on this issue ? You must act now for the sake of children's health and basic compassion for human life.

We look forward to hearing from you soon,

Thank you,

K. Paul Stoller, MD
President, Quebec Society for Hyperbaric and Subaquatic Medicine
President, International Hyperbaric Medical Association
Medical Director, Hyperbaric Medical Center of New Mexico

Daniel Pagé, president
Energy Fountains
(418) 800-0035