Jean Paton and Chelation Therapy
All of Jean Patons’ many adoption reform activities took its toll on her health. By the fall of 1996, Jean, now 88 years old, investigated the credibility of chelation therapy and, convinced of its effectiveness began treatment in February 1997. Jean was especially impressed with Dr. Melissa Taliaferro, an MD from a Texas university and pioneer in chelation therapy, who had opened a small clinic in the town of Leslie, about fifty miles from Jean’s home in Cedaredge, Colorado. Among the multitude of claims made for chelation therapy were that it would clean the patient’s arteries, reduce high blood pressure, diminish free radical activity, improve memory, improve blood flow to the heart, brain, body organs, and legs, and improve enzyme activity. However, the treatment is not scientifically sound: the evidence supporting it consists of anecdotes, testimonials, and poorly designed experiments. Although initially finding some benefit from the chelation therapy, Paton abruptly discontinued treatment after one month.