Thursday, January 27, 2011

Can Cancer Patients Ever Trust Duke Medical (Anil Potti, MD; chemo with osteomyelitis; etc)?

Can cancer patients ever truly trust the once awe inspiring Duke University Medical?  

Actually can any patient?

I ask these questions with seriousness, respect and sadness.

My dad (Robert W. Handy, PhD) was a medicinal scientist at the Research Triangle Institute (RTP, NC) during its infancy when Dr. Monroe Wall set a standard for ethics in scientific research.  

At one point in his career, my dad was assigned (in addition to his research) the duty of evaluating potential internal RTI scientific ethics violations.  Dad never pushed those allegations under the rug; nor did my dad ever make excuses for wayward colleagues.

My dad considered the scientific field of research to be sacred.  RTI has always had a stellar reputation.  When my dad was with RTI, the Institute had (and continues to maintain) contracts with federal government agencies.  

During my dad's tenure, RTI performed research on cancer, lead poisoning, real life and death issues.

My dad respected the integrity of Duke University Medical.  Despite the fact that he was virtually ignored by his Duke oncologists and left to die scared and in pain by Duke Infectious Disease and Orthopaedics, my dad respected the integrity of the research work performed at Duke.  I did my best to deal with the Duke physicians and keep dad from the very ugly truth that Duke University Medical did not care about him as a patient.

I never told dad that Duke Medical dropped dad from all federally funded cancer studies after oncologists ignored dad and he contracted pneumonia.  I did, however, ask Duke why dad was dropped from the studies and how that fact was being explained in the research results.  

I was told by the Duke cancer researchers that there is no record of dad being in any studies.  Odd.  I have the signed documents regarding the federally funded studies.  Dad was so proud to be apart of the research studies.  Dad had recently retired and he was actually honored to help Duke cancer research while he struggled with his illness.  Dad considered it his duty as a fellow research scientist.

I would hate to see my dad's disappointed blue eyes right now.  The once awe inspiring Duke University Medical has changed.  Perhaps forever.  What we as patients thought was solid 24 karat gold has revealed itself to be a cheap gold colored veneer. 

So, back to my question - how can patients ever trust Duke Medical?  Duke Medical lies, deceives and mocks patients who have life threatening conditions.

1.  Duke University ignores all cancer patients (such as myself) with respect to Dr. Anil Potti specific work on breast, cancer, lung and any other cancers.  None of use know whether our health is affected.   

The only way to find out if you as a cancer patient at Duke Medical were affected by the tremendous fraud of Dr. Anil Potti and Duke University is to hire an attorney.

2.  Duke University ignores patients' pain when reasonable clinicians understand that pain is a valid and important symptom.  Duke University refused to remove the hardware from my December 2004 osteomyelitis (hydraulic elevator oil cleaned surgical equipment for Duke during that time frame) and that hardware remained in my body during the period 2006-2007 when Duke provided me chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.  

The hardware was ultimately removed in July 2010 and I have osteomyelitis from the osteotomy surgery.  That means that I probably had osteomyelitis during the period of time that Duke Medical treated me with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  The painful hardware should have come out when the tibia healed.  

There is concern about the effects of chemotherapy on the immune compromised body of a patent with active osteomyelitis.  Duke knew about two things: the likelihood that I had a bone infection and that chemotherapy could effect the bone infection (or vice versa).

As my oncologist Dr. Gretchen Kimmick told me on the last day of chemotherapy "Lets just forego the final chemo treatment and ablate your ovaries.  We don't even know if the chemotherapy works.  If you were in Europe, you would not have even received the chemotherapy."

3.  By all evidence, Duke Medical is continuing to use the surgical equipment that was contaminated in late 2004 by hydraulic elevator oil.  The screws and plates might be someone's body.  But, clamps and other reusable equipment is simply washed again.  However, according to independent studies at RTI, despite Duke's re-washing of the equipment, contaminates remained.  

The surgical equipment is being used on all patients: cancer, heart, transplant.  It is inconceivable that Duke University Medical as an institution can allow this unethical conduct to happen every day.  

It is nauseating that a human being that purports to dedicate his life to healing those who suffer (eg. pick any Duke physician) would allow contaminated surgical equipment to be used at Duke.

Duke University and Duke University Hospital has not protected its patients with respect to any of these issues.  Duke just remains silent.  We are trained as Duke patients to be "good." "compliant," "non-resistant."

Who precisely is protecting the patients?

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