Paul Bronston drprotec at
Sun Nov 7 21:43:09 EST 1999

I just found this great site at  It teaches you how to
force the HMOs and Medical Insurance Companies to give you all the health
care you need.  It taught me a lot.  Spread it around.

rosaphil wrote:

> +********** Snail me yer rosehips if you liked this post! ************
> *Better Living Thru Better Living!* *
> Date: 8 Oct 1999 03:50:51 GMT
> From: CIRCARE <veracare at>
> Newsgroups:
> Subject: US Doctors Conduct Sham Head Drilling Surgery in Placebo trial
> Resent-From: rich at
> Resent-From: mapm
> Followup-To: alt.activism.d
> From: Vera Hassner Sharav
> 142 West End Ave, Suite 28P
> New York, NY 10023
> Tel. 212-595-8974  FAX: 212-595-9086
> E-mail: veracare at
> US doctors repeated an experiment in which they drilled holes in the
> heads of Parkinson's patients -- some of whom serving as placebo
> controls!  These patients were persuaded to undergo the surgical
> procedure with no medical justification, but rather for experimental
> purposes.  "Richard Nicholson, editor of the Bulletin of Medical
> Ethics, said the trial appeared to breach  the Helsinki declaration on
> research, which says that the interests of science and society  ahould
> never take precedence over the individual."
> But Ethical considerations and risks to human subjects seem to be swept
> aside in highest risk American Government sponsored experiments that
> are being conducted on vulnerable American patients.
> This time, the sham surgical experiment was conducted by doctors at
> Mount Sinai Med Center, NYC and U of So. Florida  in an effort to learn
> "If foetal tissue transplants are found to be safe and effective" as a
> treatment for Parkinson's disease.
> The experiment has raised serious concerns of the Royal College of
> Surgeons in England, but was approved by the academic Institutional
> Review Boards and the National Institute of Health.
> AMERICAN SURGEONS have carried out sham operations, which involved
> drilling holes in patients' skulls, as placebo surgery designed to test
> the effectiveness of a new treatment for Parkinson's disease.  The
> patients, who all suffer from the debilitating neurological disorder,
> were put under general anaesthetic for the placebo operation. The
> results are to be compared with those of a second group of patients who
> received the genuine treatment, involving the transplant of foetal
> brain cells, in the same way as new drugs are tested alongside inert
> placebo pills.
> The operations have drawn criticism for breaching a fundamental
> principle of medical ethics - that doctors should avoid doing harm to
> patients. The President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
> said yesterday that the development was "very worrying".
> Surgeons from the University of South Florida and the Mount Sinai
> School of Medicine in New York selected 36 patients with Parkinson's
> disease who had failed to respond to medical treatment for the
> disorder, which leaves sufferers with an uncontrollable tremor in their
> limbs.
> The patients agreed to be allocated randomly either a transplant of
> foetal brain cells or a similar placebo operation. They were promised
> free medical treatment for their condition and a free transplant if the
> operation was proved to work.
> Transplants of foetal brain cells for patients with Parkinson's disease
> are being tested in 18 centres around the world. The researchers, who
> describe their study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), say
> a placebo- controlled trial is the only way to establish whether the
> procedure works.
> The study was sponsored and approved by the National Institutes of
> Health, the US federal funding body for research. Placebo-controlled
> trials are the gold standard for assessing new drug treatments but they
> carry no risk to the patients who receive the placebo, which is usually
> a sugar pill.
> In the Parkinson's study, however, the patients in the placebo group
> were not risk-free: they had a general anaesthetic, which carries risks
> in itself; the hole drilled in their skulls runs the risk of causing
> bleeding and infection that could lead to meningitis; and six months'
> treatment with the anti-rejection drug cyclosporin exposes them to the
> risk of renal failure. Furthermore, Parkinson's disease patients tend
> to be elderly - and all of these dangers are greater in older people.
> Thomas Freeman and colleagues say in the journal that controlled trials
> are essential in surgery and cite a list of operations, including
> tonsillectomy and circumcision, which were never tested and whose
> routine use has now been abandoned. They say the risks of the surgery
> for Parkinson's were clearly explained and accepted by the patients.
> "If foetal tissue transplants are found to be safe and effective,
> thousands of patients with Parkinson's disease stand to benefit and
> further research will be encouraged. If the transplants are found to be
> ineffective, or if they offer nothing more than a placebo effect,
> hundreds or even thousands of patients will be spared the risks and
> financial burdens of an unproven operation," they say.
> Barrie Jackson, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England,
> said he had not come across sham surgery before. "I would need a lot of
> persuasion to undertake it," he added.
> Richard Nicholson, editor of the Bulletin of Medical Ethics, said the
> trial appeared to breach  the Helsinki declaration on research, which
> says that the interests of science and society  ahould never take
> precedence over the individual.

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