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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

June 4, 2014


Babies Die from Federal Medical Experiments

Federal officials are defending an unconscionable act. Between 2005 and 2009, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported research on 1,316 premature newborns without requiring parents to be told their baby could die and the baby's oxygen monitor would not show their child's true oxygen level - a violation of their own ethics rules, reports Sharyl Attkisson at The Daily Signal.


The experiment was carried out on premature infants at 22 sites. The purpose: to determine how much supplemental oxygen premies should receive. According to NIH, 28,000 premies are born each year out of 3.9 million births, with 14,000 - 16,000 of them experiencing vision loss due to supplemental oxygen, of which 90% experience no permanent damage and 400-600 babies become legally blind.


The $20 million research was funded by taxpayers through NIH's Neonatal Research Network of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development -- the same entity now funding development of controversial genomic sequencing for newborn screening.


Babies died. The researchers reported, "one additional death for approximately every two cases of severe retinopathy that are prevented." They discovered that premies with oxygen saturation levels of 85 - 89% were less likely to experience vision impairment but more likely to die (19.9% vs. 16.2%). Premies with oxygen levels at 91 - 95% were more likely to live, but the survivors were more likely to experience severe vision loss due to higher oxygen levels (17.9% vs. 8/6%).


NIH officials say, "The increased risk of death was a significant and unexpected finding of the study." But it wasn't. In their findings, the researchers discuss a 1950s study, which demonstrated a 4.9% increase in infant mortality with oxygen restrictions. Yet the recent study's parent consent form simply said,


"The babies in the lower range group will have a target saturation of 85-89%, while the babies in the higher range group will have a target saturation of 91-95%. All of these saturations are considered normal ranges for premature infants." [emphasis added]


In March 2013 the federal HHS Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) found the "researchers failed to provide prospective parents sufficient information about the risks posed by the study." The NIH disagreed, arguing [my response in brackets]:


  • "When the study began, targeting an oxygen-saturation range of 85 - 95% was becoming standard clinical practice." [not standard yet]
  • "The researchers had no reason to foresee that infants in one study group would have a higher risk of death than would those in the other group." [1950s study gave reason]
  • The care of babies included in the experiment "was never compromised for the sake of the study." [parents disagree

Public Citizen and nine scholars recently called for an investigation of NIH interference with OHRP's investigation.


Researchers prefer uninformed research subjects. Several doctors write, "We are dismayed by the response of the OHRP and consider the ... trial a model of how to make medical progress." The NIH writes, "...the outcome of this debate could affect how we conduct and communicate about critical research on interventions that are within the standard of care for all diseases and conditions." Indeed it should!


Standards of care are often in dispute and....there are no standardized patients. If simply using a "standard of care" becomes the criteria for not fully informing prospective subjects of research, it's open season on all patients.


No medical experiments on children should be allowed without fully informed written parent consent. But even then, experimentation on a child should leave us quite uncomfortable. Your tax-deductible donation of $25, $50 or $100 today will help CCHF protect children from unconsented research. Please give generously.


Working with you to protect babies and parent rights, 


Twila Brase

President and Co-founder




News to Know:

'Cancer' Redefined?

Top cancer experts writing in The Lancet Oncology suggest updating the definition of cancer and even removing the word used for many slow-growing lesions that are unlikely to be fatal.  A new name is part of the panel's proposal for a major change in how cancer is diagnosed and treated, which is also proving controversial. The American Academy of Dermatology wrote a letter disagreein g with the panel, saying the changes could send a dangerous message to the public.

48 Million Children Under Analysis?

The National Association of School Nurses wrote a letter in response to an article about data mining of primary care health records. Why not let researchers take the health records of school children while they are at it, the group suggests. "By analyzing the data that is collected on the 48 million children who attend school every day, knowledge can be generated on the best ways to promote healthy life choices and to intervene before chronic conditions develop," they wrote.

VA Whistleblower Silenced in CO

Whistleblower Lisa Lee, a former scheduler at the Ft. Collins Veterans Affairs Clinic, said she was punished - put on a two week unpaid leave - for not "cooking" the wait times for veterans' appointments at the clinic last year. The VA policy seeks to provide care within 14 days of a patient's request. Before filing a federal whistleblower complaint, Lee filed an internal grievance that was denied. She was then transferred to another VA facility that included a cut in pay.

Privacy Nightmare on Facebook!  

Facebook and other major tech companies are poised to collect sensitive but valuable health data from fitness tracking devices.  Facebook recently acquired Moves, a fitness tracking app with new technology that Dr. Deborah Peel M.D. of Patient Privacy Rights calls "really, really a privacy nightmare." She tells The Washington Post that companies want to get into the health data business because, "It's the most valuable information in the digital age, bar none." 

Twenty States Join "Nullify ACA" Lawsuit

Twenty states, including three with Democrat governors, have joined one of the two lawsuits challenging Obamacare on the grounds that it violated the Origination Clause by starting in the U.S. Senate instead of the U.S. House. The Constitution requires all federal legislation that raises revenue (e.g. taxes, fees) to originate in the House. The brief was filed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and endorsed by another 19 state AGs in support of Hotze vs. Sebelius, now before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Obamacare Hasn't Worked:  ER Visits Rise

Obamacare's big promise to lower emergency room volume and thereby cut costs is not proving true. Almost half of the ER physicians surveyed have seen an increase in ER patients since the new health law took effect on Jan. 1, 2014, and 86% expect the visits to rise over the next three years. This means higher costs for taxpayers.  One reason cited is a shortage of primary-care providers in some areas. 

E-prescribing  Mandates Violate Privacy

The country's largest health information network, Surescripts, said it routed more than a billion prescriptions electronically -- 58% of all eligible prescriptions in the U.S. in 2013. Delaware leads the nation in e-prescribing. Minnesota mandated e-prescribing in 2011 and stands in second place.  CCHF testified against the mandate legislation, noting that e-prescribing allows tracking of a patient's pharmacy choice, refill rate, date and time patient picks up the prescription, or chooses not to. In 2012 Medicare began issuing penalties for doctors who do not e-prescribe. [graphic found at Managed Care magazine]

Belligerent Tactics to Cut Home Health

Although it is known that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to reduce the number of Medicare-certified home health care providers, the tactics used in one case is hard to fathom, but may increase, warns the Home Health Tech Report.  A state surveyor in one state created a hostile situation for a well-respected home health care nurse, threatened to replace her and close down her agency, all without good cause, according to a complaint filed.

Scientists Creating Deadly, New Diseases in Labs

Strains of new, transmissible, and incurable viruses are being created and kept in labs for years, yet scientists are divided over whether it is a good idea to keep them there. Lab accidents are very rare, but they do occur. Two scientists argue in an editorial that it's not a good idea to continue creating deadly agents in labs. They say the risk of harm from the viruses escaping into the public is too great. 

Conflict of Interest: When Your Hospital is Your Insurer

As a result of Obamacare's drive to accountable care organizations (ACOs), Ascension Health may soon also sell health insurance. In ACOs, physicians come under hospital control - and hospitals assume the financial (insurance) risk of patient care under per member/per month capitated payments from insurers. In short, hospitals become the new insurers. Ascension is poised to acquire an insurance company "to boost the system's capacity to accept the financial risk of value-based contracts with employers and insurers." How will it impact medical decision-making when hospitals both deliver and pay for patient care?

HHS Allows Hospitals to Shift Costs to Health Plans

In a  shift from its 2013 position, HHS says health insurers must accept third-party premium payments and cost-sharing payments on behalf of Obamacare exchange enrollees, with some caveats.  Insurers objected to hospital-affiliated and other charities paying for coverage citing "significant concerns" that these payments would skew the insurance risk pool by bringing in too many sick and expensive people. Hospitals see charitable insurance payments as a way to shift medical costs to health plans and cut unreimbursed charity care. 

Remote Control of the Body?

The New York Times featured SetPoint Medical's groundbreaking work in bioelectronics, a growing field of research in which the body's organs and nervous system "communicate" electronically.  The company pioneered the use of wireless implantable devices rather than drugs, to help treat debilitating inflammatory diseases. "Should ... bioelectronics become widely adopted, millions of people could one day be walking around with networked computers hooked up to their nervous systems" which raises concerns about security and hacking! 


Quote of the Week:


"People of means, as well as those who need substantial financial assistance, must be able to trust their doctors. When government sets up rigid protocols that control the surgical procedures a doctor may perform, that limit the medicines approved for treatment, and that deny a critical diagnostic scan that may save a patient's life, the bond of trust is broken." - Dr. Zane F. Pollard, The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2014..


Stat of the Week:

900,000 = Backlogged Medicaid applications in California due to processing difficulties with the federal Obamacare exchange, according to the state's Department of Health Care Services. BNA Health IT Law and Industry Report, May 28, 2014.

News Release of the Week:

Florida Becomes First State to Ban Scanning Kids for Biometric Data

ST. PAUL, Minn. - As schoolchildren in Florida prepare for the exciting end of the year, their parents can celebrate a victory and breathe a sigh of relief, too.

The state of Florida recently passed a law prohibiting schools from scanning biometric information from students. Florida Gov. Rick Scott officially signed the ban that makes it unlawful for schools to collect palm scans, iris scans or fingerprints of its students. Continue reading

Featured Health Freedom Minute:

How Much is Your Doctor Paid?

How much is your doctor paid to treat you? If you donʼt know, why donʼt  you know? You know how much your car mechanic gets paid. You know how much your hair stylist gets paid. One doctor, writing in The Wall Street Journal, says patients in surveys many years ago thought their surgeon was paid $10,000 for a coronary angioplasty when the real 

number was $900.  Continue reading

Twila Brase broadcasts a daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which brings health care issues to light for the American public. Health Freedom Minute airs on the entire American Family Radio Network, with more than 150 stations nationwide in addition to Bott Radio Network with over 80 stations nationwide.

Click here to listen to this week's features.

Citizens' Council for Health Freedom
161 St. Anthony Avenue, Ste 923
St. Paul, MN 55103
Phone: 651.646.8935 • Fax: 651.646.0100

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