How to Get Intravenous Vitamin C Given to a Hospitalized Patient: A Checklist 

1) Know before you go. It is immeasurably easier to get what you want if you contract for it beforehand. Prenuptial agreements, new car deals, roofing and siding estimates, and hospital care need to be negotiated in advance. When the tow truck comes, it is too late to complain about who’s driving. Same with an ambulance, or a hasty hospital admission. You have to pre-plan, and here’s how:

2) Get a letter.  Yes, a “note from the doctor” still carries clout. Have your general practitioner, today if possible, sign a letter stating that he backs your request for a vitamin C I.V. drip, 10 grams per 12 hours, should you (or your designated loved one) require hospitalization. Have copies made and keep them handy. Update the letter annually. You now have your G.P.’s permission. Good start, but not enough.

3) Get some more letters.  Obtain a similar letter form every specialist that you have used, are using, or may use in the foreseeable future. This sounds cumbersome, but is no more unmanageable than most people’s grocery lists. Keep it in perspective: this is just as important as wearing a medical alert bracelet or keeping a fresh battery in Grandpa’s pacemaker.

4) Make some calls. Telephone a representative or two from every hospital within one hundred miles of your home. Find out which wants your business the most. When you find a “live one” on the phone, write down their name and title, and follow up with a letter.

5) Write for your rights. In your letter, ask for the hospital’s permission to have a vitamin C IV drip, infusion, push or injection, as well as oral vitamin C, should you or your designated family member(s) come in to that hospital. YOU MUST GET THIS IN WRITING. Now, do NOT say, “I want that in writing,” because people do not like that. But if you WRITE to them, they will naturally write back to you. Bingo.

Helpful hint: Do NOT correspond by email; you want a real signature on hospital letterhead. (And no, don’t ask for that either! It will happen automatically if you write first.)

You might be wondering, What if they write back, “No, we won’t.” Hold onto that letter. You can make a real stink with it should you need to play hardball in court, and I do NOT mean a handball court.

These actions are much more likely, however:

  1. a) They simply will not write back. OK, so ask yourself this: What if your credit card company didn’t respond to your letters? So would you entrust your life to a hospital that refuses to even answer their mail? Make a point to go someplace else. If you live in a rural community or smaller city, you might be thinking that you do not have a choice of hospitals. Maybe not for the first 24 hours in an unexpected circumstance. But people can be moved. That’s what modern transportation is for. Famous hospitals get people from all over. How many people do you know that live within walking distance of Sloan-Kettering, Roswell, the Brigham, or the Mayo Clinic?
  2. b) What is most likely is that the hospital’s representative will send you a garbage answer, with a response so noncommittal as to be unusable. This may mean that you wrote the wrong person, or wrote the wrong letter. Try this: have your doctor issue the letter you write. The doctor’s letterhead and signature; your composition. Go ahead; you can give a professional a rough draft of what you want said. I had lawyer ask me to do exactly that when I sought (and succeeded in getting) a vitamin C IV into my hospitalized father. I wrote it and faxed it to the attorney; his staff rewrote it on his stationery and he signed it. It saves time.

Helpful hint: Be sure your (doctor’s) letter clearly REQUESTS A REPLY.

Another Helpful hint: FAX wherever you can to save time. Always send a back-up copy of the letter by postal mail. Then, write again to confirm that they received it.

  1. c) It is also quite possible that they will ask for more information. This could be a genuine interest, but it is more likely a stall. If you think Nero fiddled whilst Rome burned, you should see what medical bureaucrats can do. To cut through the treacle, you need to understand the nature of the beast. The first rule of lion taming is, You have to know more than the lions. Therefore:
  2. Know the law.  Many states have enacted legislation that makes it possible for a physician to provide any natural therapy that a patient requests without fear of losing his or her license. If your state has such a law, it will make it somewhat easier to get a doctor to prescribe a vitamin C IV.
  3. Know the power structure. Find out who is in charge.  I have heard doctors say that they’d be happy to start a megavitamin C IV but the hospital will not let them. Then, when asked, I have heard the hospital say that they allow vitamin C IVs but the doctors won’t do them. To avoid an endless Catch-22 situation, you have to know the ropes and where everybody stands.

On the doctor side: Which physician (as opposed to witch doctor) is in charge?  It could be the attending surgeon; it could be your general practitioner; it could be the chief resident. One thing is for sure: someone has the power to prescribe. Go to the person that can do you the most good (or harm) and start your negotiations there.  If you can persuade the king, the castle is yours.

On the hospital side: Which of the administrators has the clout? Talk to their secretaries (they are the people who really run things anyway) and you will find out. It could be that the most influential person for you may be the hospital’s patient rights advocate or V. P. for customer service. It may be the hospital chaplain. It might even be the hospital’s public relations director. Who knows? You sure don’t, so remove the veil of anonymity and find out.

On the patient side: The patient, if conscious, has all the power because it is his/her body. If a patient insists loud and long enough, s/he can get almost anything. Since patients tend to be sick, and therefore easily slip into becoming non-combatants, a family member has to get in there and pitch for them. A highly experienced nurse told me that she would never leave a family member in a hospital without a 24-hour-a-day guard in the form of a friend or family member or other advocate. That is sound advice from a lady who’s seen it.

Next to the patient, the most powerful family member is the spouse. After that, it would be children. You do not have to have power of attorney to have power, but it helps. If the patient is unable to speak, act, or think, it may be essential. Do not wait until the patient is incapacitated to plan this. Your family needs to come together (difficult though this may be) and present a preplanned, unified front to the medical and administrative people. You may think I am overstating the case, but I have seen patients die simply because NO ONE TOOK THE REINS AND GOT THE VITAMIN C IN THE VEINS. I have seen vitamin C IVs halted simply because the patient was moved to (or from) intensive care. Think that one over. I have seen vitamin C prescriptions over-ridden by a nurse or a pharmacist. You would not think that possible, would you. Well, it is. There is no nice way to phrase this. Stay on top of the situation or you will have a premature burial on your hands.

  1. Know your recourse. If you are rich, get your lawyer on the phone. Better yet, bring your lawyer into the hospital. If you are like the rest of us, you may simply have to bluff if you threaten to call your attorney. The purpose here is to save the life of your loved one, not to make a buck from a malpractice suit. Personally, I think malpractice suits are often a sign of the most abject failure on the part of the family, as well as the medical profession. In the same way that accident insurance does not prevent accidents but only pays the costs, so do malpractice settlements fail to resuscitate a dead family member. “Death control” is somewhat like birth control in that you have to act before the event takes place. But if we push the analogy, we realize a grim truth: there is no such thing as a “morning after” pill for rigor mortis, nor can you abort a funeral.
  2. Know the facts about vitamin C IVs.  For this, there is absolutely no alternative to reading up on the subject. Here is what you will want to begin with:

Professionally speaking, I am not really all that interested in vitamins. I am, however, extremely interested in saving life. The reading I referenced above may make all the difference in your case.

  1. Know how to settle controversy and avoid the run-around.

Doctors and hospitals are quick to offer rather bogus reasons why they would deny your request for a vitamin C IV. Each of these arguments is a lot of bull, and easily refuted.

Their argument: We do not have Vitamin C for intravenous infusion in our pharmacy. Your response: So get some. From another hospital; by Fed Ex, by med-evac helicopter. Or, just make it yourselves. Look: here’s instructions on how to prepare it, written by a highly experienced physician:  And here’s a free download of detailed instructions for administrating IV vitamin C, also written by physicians:

Their argument: We have never done this before. Your response: Then this is a wonderful opportunity to learn. I’ve never lost a (insert family member’s position here) before.   Their argument: The patient is too ill.

Your response: That’s why we want the vitamin C IV.

Their argument: We might get into trouble if we do this. Your response: You will be in legal trouble for sure if you don’t.

Their argument: There is no scientific evidence that this is safe, effective, appropriate for this case, blah, blah, blah . . .   Your response: Read this. (This short phrase is to be spoken as you produce a large stack of actual medical studies written by medical doctors who have successfully used vitamin C IV’s. See references mentioned above.) 

Their argument: But we do not have time to read all those papers. Your response: That’s OK. I already have, and it’s my body (or my father’s, or my mother’s). Run the vitamin C IV. Start with 10 grams every 12 hours and do not stop it without my written authorization.

Their argument: This hospital operates under our authority, these are our rules, and this is the way it is done. Your response: This is my mother. If you deny her the treatment the family requests, you will be sued, and we will win. Do you really want to go to the wall on this one?

Confrontational? Admittedly, yes. But I have seen too many people die too soon. Dr. Frederick Robert Klenner was right when he said, “Some physicians would stand by and see their patient die rather than use ascorbic acid (vitamin C) because in their finite minds it exists only as a vitamin.”

Don’t let it happen to your family

From the book DOCTOR YOURSELF, pages 194-197. Copyright 2003 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul. Revised and copyright 2010.

“Thank you so much for this. I think it is great. The only thing I might add is that if the patient has been taking vitamin C before hospitalization, I would threaten the hospital, physician, or whoever with neglect, criminal malpractice, etc., for deliberately causing withdrawal scurvy at the patient’s time of greatest need. That ought to throw a curve at them. I am linking to your article on my website.” (Robert F. Cathcart, MD)

 Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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