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Parents of autistic boy who died sue local doctor

| Monday, July 9, 2007

The parents of a 5-year-old autistic boy who died after receiving a chemical treatment sued the doctor who administered it for wrongful death.

Mawra and Rufai Nadama, who live in Britain, accused Dr. Roy Kerry of causing their son, Tariq, to die of cardiac arrest at Kerry's office immediately after the boy received chelation therapy on Aug. 23, 2005.

Chelation removes heavy metals from the body and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration only for acute heavy-metal poisoning that has been confirmed by blood tests. Some people who believe autism is caused by a mercury-containing preservative once used in vaccines say chelation may also help autistic children.

Kerry, of Greenville, did not immediately return a message left at his office today.

The Nadamas are also suing ApotheCure Inc., of Dallas, which they contend supplied the chelation solution but allegedly did not provide appropriate warnings and instructions about its use.

The company did not immediately return a call for comment.

Chelating agents are chemical compounds, injected or given orally, that latch on to metals in the body and carry them out through urine or feces. Chelation is commonly used for lead poisoning.

Some doctors have used chelation to treat autism, believing mercury or other heavy metals cause the condition's symptoms. However, medical evidence does not support that belief, and the drug is not approved for that use, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

In February 2005, a 2-year-old girl with lead poisoning was treated with three chelating agents and died at a hospital hours later from what an autopsy concluded was cardiac arrest due to depleted levels of calcium.

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