A jury in San Diego, California ordered the author of a book on supposed naturopathic cures for cancer to pay US$105 Million to a woman to whom he represented himself as a doctor.

Robert Oldham Young, author of the best-selling "ph Miracle" books, was convicted of practicing medicine without a license 16 months ago and spent a few months in prison.  Similar charges were filed and dropped in Utah in 2001, and before that Young pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of "attempted practicing of medicine without a license" to settle a triple-felony case there in 1995.

The plaintiff in the civil case in San Diego is cancer patient Dawn Kali.  She alleged that Young advised her to forego traditional chemotherapy in favor of his "ph Miracle", which hypothesizes that acidity in the body causes cancer, and that the so-called alkaline diet is the cure. 

Young said he had advanced degrees such as a PhD and Doctorate in naturopathy; prosecutors said these were purchased from an unaccredited diploma mill.

Ms. Kali now has stage four cancer and only a few years to live. 

"The jury listened carefully and understood the gravity of the evidence, and rendered a verdict that was commensurate with the damage Ms. Kali suffered, and will suffer," said Kali's attorney Patrick Swan, who hopes the verdict "will have an effect on the "miracle, cure-all cancer industry".

Other "patients" of Young have died, including half of the twelve victims named in the San Diego criminal case last year.  Another was British army officer Naima Houder-Mohammed, who paid thousands of dollars for his "alkaline treatment".  It consisted mainly of intravenous infusions of baking soda - "the same Arm and Hammer stuff you stick in your fridge to absorb smells," the BBC reported.  There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to show that baking soda injections or the alkaline diet does anything to fight cancer.

As a result of the criminal case, Young was required to admit that he has no degrees from any accredited schools, and that he is not a microbiologist, hematologist, medical doctor, naturopathic doctor, or trained scientist.