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Richard Carter, a 53-year-old physician with a medical practice in Salt Lake City, Utah, has lost his medical license after it was uncovered he had been denying cancer patients traditional treatment in favor of a more unorthodox treatment plan involving the application of coconut oil.

According to official records, Carter provided the unapproved treatment to at least 70-patients over the past 4-years. Several patients have indicated the treatment plan involved the application of coconut oil to the patients “troubled area”- meaning if the patient had stomach cancer, Carter would rub excess amounts of coconut oil on the patient’s stomach.

Authorities initiated their investigation into Carter and the medical practice he shared with local physician Darrin Wilcox in July 2016, after they received information regarding Carter’s seemingly unsafe and negligent behavior, specifically pertaining to his treatment of cancer patients.

Throughout their investigation, officials were able to link 31-fatalities to Carter’s mistreatment of patients suffering from various forms of cancer. According to medical records, many of Carter’s patients eventually sought out treatment from dedicated cancer treatment centers or cancer specialists, preventing his potential death-toll from reaching an even higher number.

According to investigators, Carter has been cooperative throughout the investigation and has freely admitted to treating several patients with an unauthorized method of treatment involving the heavy application of coconut oil on his patient’s “trouble areas”. Carter told investigators that a doctor has a responsibility to his patients to frequently conduct independent research on new or alternative treatments for varying ailments long after medical school.

Carter acknowledges that treating an illness as serious and potentially terminal as cancer with coconut oil is definitely a more holistic approach to healing than standard medical treatments, however, he claims to have had the best interest of his patients in mind at all times and adamantly stands by his approach.

Carter told authorities that he had conducted upwards of 32-hours of independent research regarding the holistic effects of coconut oil prior to developing his controversial treatment method. Although, its currently unknown to the public where Carter was conducting his research, a quick Google search displays multiple websites professing the benefits of coconut oil for a myriad of applications – including cancer treatment. It should be noted however, the majority of these websites are NOT reputable medical resources or journals, but websites that display click-bait style headlines and provide little in the way of relevant sources for their findings.

Though Carter’s medical license has been revoked, at the time of this writing, it’s unclear what legal consequences he will face if any. Authorities are asking the public to be wary of “alternative medical practices” and asking the public to use the hashtag #cureforwellness in order to spread awareness.