|From the website of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)|
Per the LA Weekly, "In both its mission statement and its IRS filings, the Washington, DC–based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) says it is 'strongly opposed to unethical human research.'"
But meanwhile, as the article reported, PCRM turns a blind eye to the notorious medical atrocity experiments conducted by my father, a longtime member of PCRM's advisory board. And every couple of years, PCRM presents the Henry J. Heimlich Award for Innovative Medicine.
Via the British Medical Journal, here's a sample of that innovation:
...(Dr.) Heimlich became convinced that he could cure cancer, Lyme disease, and AIDS by infecting patients with malaria, known as “malariotherapy.” When the US Food and Drug Administration refused to allow the research to be conducted in the United States, the men moved the study to China, Ethiopia, and Gabon. The World Health Organization denounced the study as an example of “clearly unscrupulous and opportune research.”The Africa experiments are utterly clandestine because they violate international law protecting human subjects. In order to generate more public awareness and perhaps shake loose new information, I've been raising sand in the media using the PCRM hypocrisy angle.
For example, via the Jackson, MS, NBC-TV affiliate:
In a new twist, the son of a famous doctor is speaking out against PCRM. Peter Heimlich, son of Dr. Henry Heimlich who created the Heimlich maneuver, claims his father allegedly used people for controversial medical research. Dr. Heimlich serves on the board for PCRM....
"My concern is the organization seems to put the interest of pigs above human beings who are being subjected to violative medical research," said Peter Heimlich.
PCRM has been criticized by others as being a "PETA front group"..."I'd say they're fools," said (PCRM's Dr. John) Pippin.
Fool that I am, over the past two months, I sent a string of e-mails to Dr. Pippin and other PCRM executives and attached published reports including Thomas Francis's landmark 2005 Radar magazine article that included:
Mekbib Wondewossen is an Ethiopian immigrant who makes his living renting out cars in the San Francisco area, but in his spare time he works for Dr. Heimlich, doing everything from "recruiting the patients to working with the doctors here and there and everywhere," Wondewossen says. The two countries he names are Ethiopia and the small equatorial nation of Gabon, on Africa's west coast.All I wanted from Dr. Pippin was his answer to this question, presumably a piece of cake for any "research expert":
"The Heimlich Institute is part of the work there - the main people, actually, in the research," Wondewossen says. "They're the ones who consult with us on everything. They tell us what to do."
..."We go to an epidemic area where there is a lot of malaria, and then we look for patients that have HIV too. We find commercial sex workers or people who play around in that area."
...Wondewossen say that the researchers involved in the study are not doctors. He refuses to name members of the research team, because he says it would get them into trouble with the local authorities. "The government over there is a bad government," he says. "They can make you disappear."
Wondewossen won't reveal the source of funding for this malariotherapy research. "There are private funders," he says. But as to their identity?"I can't tell you that, because that's the deal we make with them, you know?" He scoffs at the question of whether his team got approval to conduct this research from a local ethics review board. Bribery on that scale, he says, is much too expensive: "If you want the government to get involved there, you have to give them a few million - and then they don't care what you do."
Do you consider the Heimlich Institute's "malariotherapy" experiments to be ethical?No answer.
A few years ago when a prominent medical historian from the Mayo Clinic wrote to Dr. Pippin, he played dumb and passed the hot potato to his boss, PCRM founder/president Neal Barnard MD, who considers my father to be "one of the leading medical pioneers of our time."
Some sex workers in Ethiopia might disagree.
I also asked PCRM execs when the next presentation of their Heimlich Award was scheduled.
They seem be keeping that a secret, too.