Carmel holistic doctor accused of misleading advertising, other counts


The Indiana attorney general’s office is asking the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana to consider disciplinary sanctions for a holistic doctor in Carmel accused of using false or misleading advertising, failing to inform patients of potential side effects and ordering tests and treatments not indicated for conditions present in multiple patients.

The attorney general’s office filed the 13-count administrative complaint regarding Clifford Fetters in May 2023 after receiving at least four consumer complaints between 2017 and 2021 and determining the allegations “had merit.”

Fetters operates Health and Wellness of Carmel at 11900 N. Pennsylvania St. According to its website, its services include care for a variety of cancers and autoimmune disorders and IV therapy. It also sells supplements.

Fetters did not respond to a request for comment. Taunie Nungester, Health and Wellness of Carmel administrative operations manager, emailed Current a statement addressing the situation.

“We are handling this matter professionally with the attorney general and the medical board, and we are confident that it will be resolved in a favorable manner,” Nungester said. “At this time, we have no further statements.”

The administrative complaint does not identify by name patients treated by Fetters and includes redacted versions of the consumer complaints.

One complainant, whose father went to Fetters for treatment of pancreatic cancer, stated that “Fetters is preying upon the sick and elderly who have cancer.” He stated that after already paying $15,000 for vitamins and supplements, his father was told that if he paid an additional $12,000 for a new dendritic treatment it could give him a 30 percent chance of survival.

“He has no proven history of curing anyone’s cancer or any factual evidence that his treatments work, but he continues to tell people he can cure them and give them false hope while he is clearing out their bank accounts in the process,” the consumer complaint stated.

Another complainant said his father sought alternative treatment for advanced cancer from Fetters after other forms of aggressive treatment did not work. The complaint states that “Fetters has been truly negligent in the care of my father.”

“He has also convinced my father that patients under his treatment do not need opioid pain medication,” the complainant stated. “My father is no longer following his pain regimen, causing him to be in severe pain, only being able to sit for minutes at a time without needing to reposition or stand.”

In another consumer complaint, the complainant states his wife, who had stage 4 brain cancer, sought holistic treatment with Fetters in addition to receiving traditional care. The complaint states that Fetters told the couple “he felt pretty sure” his therapies could have the patient back to work.

“This caused (my wife) to be so hopeful that she was actually extremely stressed by this comment, because she had been a respiratory therapist and had let her license lapse because the oncologist had informed us on her initial diagnosis that she would never be capable of returning to work again,” the complaint states.

The complaint also states that Fetters frequently added new supplements to the patient’s treatment plan that could only be purchased through his office.

“When Dr. Fetters saw how desperate my wife was to have a glimmer of hope of improvement, he took advantage of us and conned us for thousands of dollars,” the complaint states. “More importantly, however, he gave my wife false hope and during his course of treatment advised her to discontinue the medications that were best controlling her symptoms while requiring a restricted diet and excessive supplements, IV treatments and exercise. He robbed (her) and her family of the best quality of life she could experience in her final months.”

In addition, in September 2020 Fetters received a notice from the Federal Trade Commission that stated it had determined he was unlawfully advertising certain products that treat or prevent COVID-19 without “competent or reliable scientific evidence.” He was ordered to immediately cease making such claims.

The medical board has not decided in the matter, and a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office stated it is unknown when the hearing will occur.