What happened to Barbara O’Neill? Barbara O’Neill is an Australian alternative medicine personality, known for promoting dangerous and unsupported alternative medicine. She was banned from providing any health services or education in 2019 by the Health Care Complaints Commission in New South Wales, after an investigation found that she provided harmful advice to vulnerable clients and lacked any qualifications in a health-related field. She is also the wife of Michael O’Neill, the founder of an anti-vaccination and anti-fluoride political party.
Barbara O’Neill’s background and activities
Barbara O’Neill claims to be a naturopath, nutritionist, and health educator, despite having no relevant qualifications or training. She failed nursing training and has never completed any formal education in a health-related field1. She has been involved in the alternative medicine business since at least 2004, presenting her treatments at various venues, such as alternative medicine schools, wellness retreats, and Seventh-day Adventist Churches2.
Some of the treatments that O’Neill has promoted include:
- Using bicarbonate soda to cure cancer
- Giving infants unpasteurised goat milk
- Using raw eggs to treat diabetes
- Using castor oil packs to treat fibroids
- Using clay to treat heavy metal poisoning
- Using urine therapy to treat various diseases
- Avoiding vaccinations and fluoride
- Advocating for a vegan diet and fasting
O’Neill has also written several books and produced many videos and podcasts on her website and YouTube channel, where she shares her views and advice on various health topics.
Barbara O’Neill’s ban and controversy
In 2019, the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) in New South Wales issued a public statement of decision that prohibited O’Neill from providing any health services or education, either in person or online3. The HCCC found that O’Neill had breached the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners by:
- Providing health services that were not evidence-based and that posed a risk to public health and safety
- Failing to recognise the limitations of her skills and knowledge and to refer clients to other health professionals when appropriate
- Making false or misleading claims about her qualifications, training, and expertise
- Exploiting the vulnerability of her clients and exerting undue influence on them
- Failing to obtain informed consent from her clients and to respect their privacy and confidentiality
The HCCC also found that O’Neill had provided dangerous advice to clients with serious medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, infertility, and autism. She had advised them to stop or delay conventional treatments and to follow her alternative methods instead. She had also discouraged them from seeking medical advice from qualified health professionals.
The HCCC stated that O’Neill’s conduct was unethical, unprofessional, and irresponsible, and that it posed a serious risk to public health and safety. The HCCC also stated that O’Neill had shown no remorse or insight into her actions, and that she had continued to provide health services despite being under investigation.
O’Neill appealed the HCCC’s decision to the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), but the appeal was dismissed in 20204. The NCAT upheld the HCCC’s findings and orders, stating that O’Neill had failed to demonstrate any grounds for appeal. The NCAT also stated that O’Neill had shown a lack of respect for the regulatory process and had continued to breach the Code of Conduct.
O’Neill has denied any wrongdoing and has claimed that she is a victim of censorship and persecution. She has also claimed that she has received support from thousands of people who have benefited from her treatments. She has launched a petition on Change.org to reverse the HCCC’s decision, which has gathered over 50,000 signatures as of April 20215.
Barbara O’Neill’s current situation and future plans
O’Neill has left Australia and moved to the United States with her husband Michael O’Neill, who is the founder of the Informed Medical Options Party (IMOP), a political party that opposes mandatory vaccination, water fluoridation, 5G technology, and other public health measures6. Michael O’Neill is also writing a book to vindicate his wife’s name and expose the alleged corruption behind her ban7.
O’Neill has stated that she will continue to provide health education and services online, despite the HCCC’s prohibition. She has also stated that she will continue to fight for her rights and freedom of speech. She has expressed her hope that one day she will be able to return to Australia and resume her work8.