License Revocation of Sandor Olah, D.O.

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

In 1997, the Michigan Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery charged Sandor Olah, D.O. with negligence and incompetence in connection with his treatment of two cancer patients. At that time he was 51 years old. The administrative complaint (show below) stated that one of the patients died because he administered an herbal brew (Essiac) intravenously. Shortly after this complaint was filed, the board also summarily suspended Olah's license. In 1999, after Olah was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, his license was revoked for a minimum of three years. In 2006, in response to his application for reinstatement, the Board said that in order return to full practice, he must complete a 2-year residency program, pass the family practice certification exam, and serve one year of probation, during which his practice would be monitored by another physician. Olah failed to comply with these conditions, so his license is still revoked.


In the Matter of

Sando Olah, D.O.

/ Complaint No. 51-96-0667-00


Attorney General Frank J. Kelley, through Assistant Attorney General Linda K. Craven on behalf of the Department of Consumer and Industry Services, file') the within complaint against Sandor Olah, D.O. (Respondent), alleging upon information and belief as follows:


1. The Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery (Board), an administrative agency established by the Public Health Code, 1978 PA 368, as amended. MCL 333.1101 et seq; MSA 14.15(1101) e! seq, is empowered to discipline licensees under the Code through its Disciplinary Subcommittee.

2. Respondent is currently licensed to practice osteopathic medicine and surgery pursuant to the Public Health Code.


Patient P.H.

3. On or about January 26, 1996, patient P.H. appeared in the emergency room at Hackley Hospital. The patient was complaining of shortness of breath and was in respiratory distress. The patient was admitted to the Critical Care Unit (CCU) at Hackley Hospital.

4. P.H. was admitted to the hospital with systemic immune response syndrome and multiple organ failure. Even though the patient received aggressive treatment, the patient developed respiratory failure and died on February 6, 1996.

5. Patient P.H suffered from chronic leukemia. She was under the care of an oncologist.

6. On the day that P.H. arrived at the hospital in critical condition she had sought treatment from Respondent. This treatment included an intravenous infusion of Native Legend Tea (TEA), also known as Essiac.

7. P.H's oncologist, Dr. Sipahi, indicated that prior to P.H.'s being admitted to the hospital in critical condition, he had information that she was doing well. He did not advise her to seek any alternative treatment, and was unaware of the fact that she had done so.

8. When P.H. arrived at the hospital she gave medical information that she had been administered an intravenous infusion of Tea by Respondent in Hamilton, Michigan.

9. Bruce Olson, M.D. is an internist who is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases. After P.H. was admitted, he was called in by the primary care physician, Dr. Sipahi.

10. Dr. Olson had a telephone conversation with Respondent on January 26, 1996, at which lime Respondent admitted he administered the Tea intravenously to patient P.H. Dr. Olson advised Respondent not to give any more of this preparation to any other patients.

11. Mr. Tom Bader, R.Ph. is an employee of College Pharmacy at 833 North Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903. Mr. Bader indicated that two requests came from Respondent's office, the first on or about 10/23/95, and the second on or about 11/1/95, to compound Native Legend Tea for Respondent.

12. Mr. Bader advised that the pharmacy did, in fact, compound the Native Legend Tea to the specifications requested from Respondent's office. Mr. Bader also indicated that the Respondent's office supplied the ingredients.

13. Mr. Bader forwarded copies of all the documents and correspondence that he had concerning the ordering, compounding and dispensing of Native Legend Tea to Respondent (See Attachment 1).

14. Carrie Renahan, R.Ph., who is also an employee of College Pharmacy at the above address, was also contacted by the investigator In this matter. Ms. Renehan indicated that the ingredients for the Native Legend Tea were sent to College Pharmacy in a clear baggie with no identification. College Pharmacy did not evaluate the ingredients in the baggie.

I5. Ms. Renehan indicated that College Pharmacy would never have compounded Native Legend Tea for intravenous administration.

16. This tea was never meant to be given intravenously. It had been stored tor over two months, and to administer such a preparation was blatantly medically unsound.

17. This preparation was never approved by the Food and Drug Administration for injection intramuscularly or by intravenous infusion.

18. Barry W. Kram, M.D., who is an internal medicine doctor specializing in nephrology, was called in to consult about the patient after she was admitted to the CCU.

19. Dr. Kram stilted that the patient was in shock, which was the result of the infusion of this substance, and her kidney failure was also a result of this infusion.

20. Respondent graduated in 1977 from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. He did an internship at Grand Rapids Osteopathic Hospital from 1977 to 1978.Respondent indicates he specializes in family practice; however, he is not board certified.

21. Respondent admits that in September of 1995 he had a 21 year old woman in his employ named Christina D. Ms. D was not licensed in any medical area, nor was she ever formally trained. She had been working for Respondent since January of 1995,

22. This young, untrained woman suggested the Native Legend Tea be ordered and sent it to the pharmacy in Colorado Springs to be compounded. The Respondent was fully aware of this order, and had been given literature regarding this tea by Christina D.

23. Respondent admits he remembers the Native Legend Tea arriving, but does not recall how it was stored. It was only after patient P.H. suffered the serious reaction that Respondent questioned what was in the Native Legend Tea and where the idea for intravenous infusion of the tea was derived from.

24. Respondent indicates that he saw P.H. as a patient on or about January 25, 1996. Respondent indicated that at this time his assistant, Christina D., was no longer working for him; that her last day of working for him had been the day previous to the January 25, 1996 date. On January 25, 1996, patient P.H. appeared at the Respondent's office for a scheduled appointment. She came with a friend, Elaine L, and Christina D., also a friend.

25. Respondent indicated that prior to January 25. J996, he had ordered some laboratory work done for patient P.H. Respondent said the laboratory work confirmed leukemia.

26 On January 26. 1996, P.H. first received an injection of the Native Legend Tea to see if she would have an adverse reaction. It was determined she did not.

27. Respondent admits that Christina D., who was no longer working for him, assisted, in preparing the IV. He admits that 50 cc of Native Legend Tea was injected into 500 cc of sodium chloride to be given by intravenous drip.

28. Respondent admits that he administered the IV. He checked to make sure it was working, and within 5 to 10 minutes after starting the IV drip he left the room.

29. Shortly after the intravenous drip was started, patient P.H. complained of multiple symptoms, including shortness of breath. This occurred after approximately one-third of the intravenous drip was infused.

30. Respondent admits that because of patient P.H.'s reaction he stopped the IV.

31. The patient was exhibiting symptoms of shock, her blood pressure was low, she was weak and nauseated and was having trouble breathing, and still the Respondent sent her home.

32. Respondent admitted that the Native Legend Tea sat in the refrigerator for approximately 86 days from the time it was received before it was given to patient P.H.

33. Respondent states that he never thought about whether this Native Legend Tea should be given orally, versus intravenously; he relied upon the suggestion of Christina D., his 21 year old unlicensed, untrained, former employee. These are duties and responsibilities that the Respondent cannot delegate to an unlicensed, untrained, former employee.

34. On at least one occasion. Respondent represented Christina D. as a nutritionist. Ms. D. asked Respondent to not refer to her that way again.

35. The autopsy of patient P.H. includes cause of death as toxic reaction to an intravenous infusion of "Herbal tea."

Patient A.H.

36. Patient A.H., husband of P.H., received injections of Native Legend Tea intramuscularly at Respondent's office in September, October and November of 1995. A.H. was suffering from a malignant melanoma. Patient A.H. also received injections intramuscularly of a number of vitamins.

37. Respondent indicates that at no time did patient A.H. have any adverse reaction to this Native Legend Tea given intramuscularly.

38 Patient A.H. was sometimes too weak to come into the office. The Respondent authorized Christina D. to go to the patient's home to give him the intramuscular shots.

39. On November 2, 1995, for the first time, the Native Legend Tea was given intravenously to patient A.H.

40. This was the last time patient A.H. was seen by Respondent. The records indicate that P.H., wife of A.H., called the Respondent's office on November 8, 1995, and stated that A.H. wanted to stop the injections and the IVs and he was ready to die. Patient A.H. died on January 1, 1996.


Respondent's conduct, as set forth in paragraphs 1 through 40 above, evidences a violation of general duty, consisting of negligence or failure to exercise due care, including negligent delegation to or supervision of employees or other individuals, whether or not injury results, and/or a conduct, practice, or condition, which impairs, or may impair, the ability to safety and skillfully practice the health profession, in violation of Section 16221(a) of the Public Health Code.


Respondent's conduct, as set forth 3 through 40 above, evidences incompetence [defined at Section 16106(1) of the Public Health Code as Hi] departure from, or failure to conform to, minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing

RESPONDENT IS HEREBY NOTIFIED that, pursuant to section 162131(7) of the Public Health Code, Respondent has 30 days from receipt of this complaint to submit a written response to the allegations contained in it. further, pursuant to Section 16231(8), failure to submit a written response within 30 days shall be treated as an admission of the allegations contained in the complaint and shall result in transmittal of the complaint directly to the Board's Disciplinary Subcommittee for imposition of an appropriate sanction.

Respectfully submitted,
Attorney General

Linda K. Craven (P 31440)
Assistant Attorney General
Health Professionals Division
P.O. Box 30212
Lansing, MI 48909
Tel: (517) 373-1146
Fax: (517) 241ยท1997

DATED March 14, 1997

This page was posted on July 10, 2015.

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