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and a documentation of   patient-harming frauds in medical research

 

 

 

 

Footnotes :

 

 

 

17 Silverman WA: Retrolental fibroplasia: a modern parable. Grune & Stratton, Inc., New York, 1980, pages 46-47, describing and quoting observations and reproducing a breathing graph made in 1942 by Smith and Smith and Kaplan in 1942 at the Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.

 

 

18 Partridge E. Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English, Crown Publishers, New York, 1983, page 79 right, bottom.

 

 

19 Leigh L. Oxygen! Whole Earth Review, Summer 1993, 79, 131-132.

 

 

20 Gannet News Service. Biosphere Crew Steps Out After 2-year Mission. The Daily Journal, Vineland, New Jersey, September 27, 1993.

 

 

21 Silverman WA: Retrolental fibroplasia: a modern parable. Grune & Stratton, Inc., New York, 1980, pages 55-57.

 

 

22 McDermott W. Education and General Medical Care, Annals of Internal Medicine 96 (1982), pages 512-517, as quoted by Cassell EJ. The Changing Concept of the Ideal Physician, Daedalus, Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 115:2; Spring 1986, pages 185-208, see page 205 top.

 
 

23 Black HC. Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed., West Publishing Co., St. Paul, 1979, page 564 left, bottom, entry on Fiduciary or confidential relation: "A 'fiduciary relation' arises whenever confidence is reposed on one side, and domination and influence result on the other (...). Such relationship exists when there is a reposing of faith, confidence and trust, and the placing of reliance by one upon the judgement and advice of the other."

 

 


 


 

  

 

  

  Preemies gasping for breath

 

are denied the breathing help they need 

 
 

Davidpreem01.jpg (20108 bytes)

Medical oxygen-starving
practices and experiments

by H. Peter Aleff

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2. Pain and permanent harm for the survivors

A fate which many consider worse than death awaits some of the survivors. Breathing insufficient oxygen is painful and harms many of them permanently; their lack of this gas afflicts them not only with physical handicaps but often deprives them of their mental capacities and hinders them from developing their human potential.

Pain: most preemies breathe more steadily in an oxygen enriched atmosphere than in room air where recordings of their breathing patterns show a characteristic sequence of gasps and skipped breaths. The physicians who first published such recordings in 1942 refrained from judging a smooth pattern as better than an irregular one and concluded:

"We have no proof that the regular type of respiration which we are accustomed to consider 'normal' is 'better' for a premature infant than the periodic breathing described. Likewise, we have no convincing evidence that an increased oxygen contents of arterial blood is beneficial or necessarily of importance. It is evident, however, that these healthy premature infants breathed in a more normal manner in an oxygen enriched atmosphere."17

Detached researchers who seek mechanistic knowledge and try to exclude all emotional aspects from their evaluation may require "proof" that easy breathing is better than labored gasps.  However, since the word care comes from a root meaning of sorrow and grieving18, those who really care for preemies need to add to such abstract reasoning some empathy with the suffering of those who are gasping.

Preemies are humans and must thus be deemed to feel pain as other humans do, perhaps even more intensely since they are more vulnerable. You can therefore probably get an idea how high and low oxygen levels may feel to a preemie when you read this account by one of the inhabitants of the experimental Biosphere 2 closed environment in Arizona.  Here is her description how she felt after the normally 21 volume per cent oxygen level there had declined to 14.2% of the atmosphere and was then raised  to 26% in the "lung" area of their enclosure:

"... it was a sense of intense well-being to breathe deeply and not feel like I needed another deep breath immediately thereafter - after a long period of what I now know is non-well-being. (...) I didn't feel at all like gasping for air, whereas just 15 minutes earlier I would have been terribly winded just walking up 20 feet of stairs slowly. (...) I felt like a born-againer praising the virtues of oxygen to my breathless comrades, and several followed suit in the jog around the lung. An extraordinary experience. I felt that I had been taking my breath for granted all these years, that I never really experienced it until I lost it and then regained it once again. (...) [I was] quipping about the strong feeling of well-being, the lifting of anxieties and dark clouds that we had been carrying for months, that we all felt far more vital now."

As the author walked away from the oxygen injection area, she felt an almost immediate reversal of that boost:

"I felt I was gaining 10 years for each 10 steps I took away from the high O2 area - now 50, now 60, 70, and then 90 with emphysema. (...) We were making our ascent once again, this time at a much faster pace, from 26% oxygen, below sea level, back to 14.2% oxygen, or 13,400 feet. (...) Less than a half hour from leaving the high O2, I felt very heavy, with a heavy pressure above my eyes and in my forehead. (...) My shoulders are slumping and feel sore, and my body feels heavy. My eyes burn terribly. (...) Oxygen is as much nourishment for us as honeydew for ants."19

The low oxygen levels were also blamed for insomnia among the biosphere crew20.

For anyone with compassion, there is no need for a medical study to "prove" which of these conditions is preferable for a patient. Although sick preemies can not yet articulate their needs, they clearly depend on that nourishment at least as much as that healthy biospherian. Under the oxygen starving regime, those who do not die breathe in agony and suffer permanent harm.

Harm: the resistance of oxygen-deprived babies is diminished and their recovery delayed, they are more likely to have physical handicaps, and their mental development is often stunted.

A study of survivors in England and Wales found that for every case of blindness avoided through the oxygen rationing, there was among the survivors about one extra case of spastic diplegia, a type of cerebral palsy21.  In addition, other severe brain damage must be expected in people whose brains suffered even briefly from lack of sufficient oxygenation.

No one has attempted to look further at this hidden part of the iceberg, the additional toll in physical and mental damage from the "better-dead-than-blind" therapy.

According to Dr. Walsh McDermott, a celebrated medical educator at the time of the oxygen-condemning trial, the trustworthy doctor must be willing to stay with the details, and the "deep belief in thoroughness is the most important element of medical education"22.

By ignoring the mass infanticide they caused, and by not even trying to assess the other seriously damaging and highly probable side effects from their treatment, the physicians responsible for that hit-and-run trial ignored this advertised belief. 

They also violated the medical experimenters' fiduciary duty23 towards the trusting public. This duty includes a diligent effort to know and communicate the dangers of the treatments they recommend.

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