File Number: Med19/442P
Practitioner: Mitchell Dean Feller
Hearing Start Date:
Hearing End Date:
Financial gain - inappropriate (Established)
Informed consent - inadequate (Established)
Codified professional standards breach (Established)
Name Suppression to Practitioner
Interim order for name suppression of the practitioner.
Name Suppression to Complainant and/or Patient and/or client
Suppression of the name and all details of the medical conditions granted to the patients involved in the trial, except for the late Sir Colin Meads.
Precis of Decision:
At a hearing held in Wellington on 22 – 23 July 2019 the Health Practitioner’s Disciplinary Tribunal considered a charge laid by the Professional Conduct Committee appointed by the Medical Council of New Zealand against Doctor Mitchell Feller (the Doctor) formerly of Hawera.
The charge alleged that the Doctor developed and/or conducted a clinical study and/or clinical trial undertaken in circumstances where he had failed to seek or obtain the necessary approvals and failed to adequately follow or comply with relevant ethical guidelines for clinical research studies.
The Doctor was charged with supplying or assisting to supply or encourage the use of his preparation named Te Kiri Gold (TKG), by his patients. Failing to obtain his patient’s informed consent and failing to disclose his financial interest in the product. He also used a patient group which included vulnerable or terminally ill patients.
The charge was heard by way of formal proof as the practitioner did not attend the hearing or participate in the hearing process in any way.
The Tribunal found that the charge was made out in all its particulars as misconduct, malpractice and negligence and the conduct brings discredit to the profession. Vulnerable patients were put at risk, they were misled and their consent was not properly informed. The Tribunal agreed that disciplinary sanction should follow.
The Tribunal censured the Doctor and cancelled his registration in NZ. The Doctor was ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and pay a total contribution of $56,100 towards the costs of the Tribunal and the PCC. The tribunal also requested a copy of its decision be sent to the appropriate authorities in South Carolina and the Federation of State Medical Boards in the USA.