I just read “It’s Not the Growth Attenuation. It’s the Sterilization!” , Dr. Lantos’ commentary to the AJOB article “Ashley Revisited” by Dr. Diekema and Dr. Fost. Dr. Lantos virtually pointed out the fact that the doctors’ justification has been full of deceptions. It’s the fact that I have been documenting in my blog and I’m so glad that someone officially wrote in an academic journal about “the bizarre opaqueness” of their supposedly scientific articles. Here, I just want to point out two pieces of misinformation I found in his commentary. I think at least one of them leads us to a serious question surrounding the 2007 agreement between the hospital and WPAS.
1) Dr. Diekema was not the chairman of the special ethics committee that reviewed the Ashley case.
Because Dr. Diekema was the ethicist in charge of the case and was there at the special ethics committee meeting, it doesn’t affect the validity of Dr. Lantos’ argument that he knew what due process they were supposed to take but mysteriously failed to. But as I pointed out in my post Dr. Diekema was not chair, it was not an IRB, Ashley’s father wrote in his blog, “The committee chairman along with Doctor Diekema, ethics consultant, conveyed the committee’s decision to us“ after the meeting. So Dr. Diekema was not the chairman. But it was not Dr. Lantos’ fault. I guess there are many people who still believe that he was. Why? Because, I imagine, we were all being mislead during the initial controversy the way as I reviewed in the above linked post and also in the post How big was the special committee?
2) We don’t know what has become of the agreement between the hospital and WPAS after the May 2007 press conference.
Dr. Lantos concludes his great commentary by saying, “The hospital is taking the right approach in spite of the arguments of its bioethicists.” But are we sure that it is? I guess Dr. Lantos has made the same mistake as Dr. Quellette and Ms. Koll as I pointed out here. They all highly acknowledge the agreement between the hospital and WPAS. But agreeing to do something is not as good as actually doing it. The hospital agreed to do so much in May 2007. Only, nobody seems to have checked on what has become of the agreement after that. As far as I have found out on the internet, the safeguard policy for sterilization was implemented as had been agreed, though belatedly. But I doubt about the safeguard policy for growth attenuation as I wrote in my post Did the hospital back down on the agreement with WPAS? Has anyone checked on the current status of the 2007 agreement? Has WPAS, for example?