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Accidental death from acute selenium poisoning

Peter S Lavercombe
Med J Aust 2007; 186 (9): 487-488.
Published online: 7 May 2007

In reply: The myth we referred to is the commonly held misperception by a significant percentage of the population that natural therapies are inherently safe. As Lewis and Brighthope very correctly point out, the dose ingested by our patient was hugely in excess of any recommended maximum. We believe this is evidence of the misperception, as most patients would not dream of taking 10 or 20 thousand times the maximum dose of “non-natural” remedies, because they recognise that all such remedies have side effects. Our patient’s confidence that he could safely take such a huge dose was, we consider, at least partly a consequence of his belief in the myth that natural therapies are safe.

  • Peter S Lavercombe

  • St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.

Correspondence: plavercombe@sawmh.com.au

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