Henry Heimlich

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Against allopathy
Alternative medicine
Clinically unproven

Henry Judah “Hank” Heimlich, M.D. (1920–2016) was the inventor of the maneuver that bears his name (also known as abdominal thrusts). As such, he is responsible for saving the lives of untold numbers of people, quite likely including someone that you know. Heimlich was a chest surgeon, and years before inventing the Heimlich maneuver, he also invented a special valve that kept the lungs of people with thoracic injuries — notably soldiers who had been shot — from filling up with blood.

Unfortunately, Heimlich later became a noted flogger of bad medicine. His descent from revolutionary medical genius to woo meister began when he started to advocate using the Heimlich maneuver as a treatment and even a preventative measure for asthma. He then began to argue that the move was the best course of action for drowning, something the American Red Cross advises strongly against (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is still the way to go).

Duckhead.gif Quackwatch says: [1]
For years Heimlich and his associates have promoted abdominal thrusts—the so-called Heimlich maneuver—as a first measure in the treatment of near-drowning. His advocacy appears to be based on observations of eight cases. Heimlich and his spokespeople have regularly stated that “thousands of lives” have been saved by use of abdominal thrusting. However, they have produced no objectively collected, widely accepted data to support the claim.

Later, Heimlich boasted that he developed potential cures for cancer and Lyme disease, as well as an AIDS cure that uses what he calls "malaria therapy". This involves infecting a patient with malaria, with the logic that the high fever kills viruses.

His wife, Jane Murray Heimlich (1926-2012), daughter of dance instructor Arthur Murray, was a promoter of alternative medicine.[2][3]

External links[edit]


  1. Robert Baratz, Dr. Henry Heimlich Widely Criticized. Quackwatch, 23 October 2008.
  2. Articles tagged with "Jane Heimlich", the-sidebar.com.
  3. Maesimund B. Panos and Jane Heimlich, Homeopathic Medicine At Home. ISBN 978-0-8747-7195-4