Tuesday, April 30, 2013

World Health Organization denies my father's claim -- published last month by The Atlantic -- that the WHO supported his notorious experiments on Chinese AIDS patients

Last month I blogged about reportorial problems in a March 11 Atlantic article, The Grand Vision of Dr. Heimlich, After the Maneuver Limelight by Lindsay Abrams.

Per my item, a corrections request I submitted apparently triggered a significant re-write plus an update that included:

That updated "perspective" included:

As has been widely reported, my father's claim about UCLA is not quite true. UCLA staffers were involved, but there's no indication that the university was aware of it at the time.

But the WHO supporting infecting Chinese AIDS patients with malaria?

Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta, MBBS, DCH, FRCP, FCPS, FRCPCH, PhD (source)

Does this sound supportive?

Via Ethics in International Health Research: A Perspective from the Developing World by Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta, published in 2002 by the WHO's Commission on Macroeconomics and Health:
The recent guidelines for regulation of human experimentation must be seen in the backdrop of atrocities committed by doctors upon vulnerable subjects within recent memory. The highly controversial trials of induction of malaria in HIV patients (Heimlich et al 1997) and the trovafloxacin trial in Nigeria (Boseley 2001, Stephens 2000 & 2001) are two recent examples.

...(Clearly) unscrupulous and opportune research which exploits the vulnerability and want of a given population, must be condemned. The case of the Trovan drug trial in the midst of a meningitis outbreak in Nigeria (Stephens 2000) and the induction of malaria in HIV patients (Heimlich et al 1997) are examples where the need for ethical guidelines and minimal universal ethical standards for research becomes absolute.
So last month I wrote to the WHO and asked whether or not the claim published by The Atlantic was accurate.

In response, here's an e-mail I received this morning:

So will The Atlantic uncap the red pen again?

I'll submit another corrections request and report the results here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

NPR's Radiolab disappears me from story about my father per agreement they made with my brother to censor me

10/21/13 update via The Sidebar: Radiolab's junk reporting: my investigation requests to the National Science Foundation & WNYC -- and some surprising statistics about choking deaths

5/1/13 update: Today veteran reporter turned journalism professor Ben Kaufman racked up Radiolab's "Heimlich censorship deal" in his media criticism column published by the Cincinnati CityBeat newsweekly.


As I reported, last month the Cincinnati Business Courier disappeared a staff reporter's article, apparently because it included critical information about my father.

Now, courtesy of a popular National Public Radio program, it's my turn to go down the memory hole.

Via Radiolab's website:

Based at WNYC, New York City's "flagship public radio station," Radiolab is hosted by the show's creator, Jad Abumbrad, and veteran reporter Robert Krulwich.


On March 5, Radiolab aired The Man Behind the Maneuver, a 25-minute story about my father's career by staff producer Pat Walters.


The show included part of a two-hour recorded interview I gave to Walters on December 18, 2012.

About a week ago, this appeared on Radiolab's website:

From the show's updated podcast, here's the segment in which Walters explains the deal Radiolab cut with my brother to censor my voice from the story so they could gain access to my father:

Monday, April 1, 2013

After I tag Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Cliff Radel's junk reporting, he hides behind his editor's skirt

This goes back a couple of months but it bugs me, so I'm documenting it.

On January 21, the Cincinnati Enquirer published IN-DEPTH: Red Cross' recommendations 'horrify' Heimlich, a front page report by staff reporter Cliff Radel about my father's displeasure with the American Red Cross (ARC) for downgrading the Heimlich maneuver to a secondary treatment response for choking. (The original version is archived, but click here to read it via USA Today.)

The ARC now recommends performing a series of backblows; if that fails to remove the obstruction, rescuers should then proceed with "abdominal thrusts."

Here's a clip from an accompanying video interview Radel conducted with my father:

"The Red Cross teaches not the Heimlich maneuver anymore. They call it the abdominal thrust. This is probably the most important thing I have to say. The Heimlich maneuver is putting your fist above the belly button -- you can even save yourself -- but below the rib cage and pressing inward and upward. And what that does is it pushes the diaphragm up which compresses the lung and causes a huge flow of air that we've measured, that simply carries the object out -- it can only go in one direction and it comes completely out. An abdominal thrust -- not only doesn't it save a life because it doesn't push the diaphragm up but it causes deathly injuries -- a ruptured liver or spleen or something of that nature. So it's extremely important that you do the Heimlich maneuver and not the abdominal thrust."

The day it appeared I e-mailed this question to Don Lauritzen, an ARC media rep:
Is there a difference between the "Heimlich maneuver" and abdominal thrusts as taught by the ARC?
His reply?
So I e-mailed Radel and asked if the Enquirer intended to inform its readers he had provided a platform for the erroneous ramblings of an almost 93-year-old man who reportedly lives in a retirement community.

I also asked Radel why his article failed to inform readers that the ARC's "backblows-before-Heimlich" update happened in Spring 2006 and if he asked my father why he'd waited almost seven years to make a fuss.

In other words, why was Radel's front page story newsworthy?

Randy Essex (source)

Radel didn't reply, but I got this in a January 24 e-mail from Enquirer editor Randy Essex:
Cliff isn’t able to do further reporting to answer your questions; he needs to move on to other things.
Essex also wrote me that he joined the Enquirer in June of last year, so he wasn't on board for Radel's previous rah-rah article that ran on April 12, 2012, Young students soon to become Heimlich Heroes.

Here's a fair question.

Why is the Enquirer -- the newspaper that in Spring 2003 ran front page articles exposing my father as a "liar and a thief" and for conducting medical atrocity experiments on Chinese AIDS patients -- now apparently trying to rehabilitate his reputation?

This item has been slightly updated.