retinopathy of prematurity.org
The influential 1955 study of withholding oxygen from preemies
was rigged to eliminate the preemies most at risk for
The lingering lethal legacy of a rigged multi-hospital trial
doctrine of quietly asphyxiating premature babies to save them
from having to grow up blind has been entrenched among
neonatologists and pediatric ophthalmologists ever since the
alleged results of the
Study of Retrolental Fibroplasia and the Use of Oxygen”
condemned oxygen as the most probable cause of
This was the other unethical study of blinding premature babies that I mentioned at the beginning of this letter. It triggered the above-mentioned wholesale carnage of baby-killing by oxygen-withholding -- an estimated 16 dead for every case of blindness prevented, and 150,000 or more “extra” preemies killed in the first 20 years. A slightly less severe form of that radical oxygen withholding continues routinely today in intensive care nurseries around the world as a legacy of this never replicated Cooperative Study, and the influence of that study is also still reflected in such “better dead than blind” oxygen-withholding research as the baby-asphyxiating SUPPORT trial.
The reasoning behind the oxygen-withholding idea
trumped-up indictment against oxygen as alleged cause of
Abstract of Discussion was written by a Dr. Brittain F.
Payne who, like Reese, hailed also from
Here is how Payne concluded his rendering of that discussion, as edited and published by Reese who was then the editor of the American Medical Association’s “Archives of Ophthalmology” where he printed his paper as the lead article followed by that “Abstract of Discussion” in the May 1949 issue:
“Just why the fibrotic changes occur as the embryo develops and become exaggerated after birth is not known. Among the causes given are avitaminosis and intercurrent infections in the mother, but it is also thought that defective germ plasm plays an important role.
The problem of retrolental fibrosis has at least three aspects: 1. Prevention by selection of parents without ocular defects of this type. Let “fate” settle the problem of existence of these defective persons. Obstetricians and pediatricians should not be so zealous in preserving defective persons, of which the world has a sufficient quantity already. 2. Medical and surgical treatment. Therapy has not been successful, but there is hope that more progress will be made as time goes on. 3. The adjustment of the defective child and its family to the unpleasant situation of blindness and dementia. This may be the most important phase.
It is a great privilege to have been asked to discuss this excellent paper on a disease of the eye so little understood and about which so little can be done. The essayist has given us new insight.” [emphasis added]
Payne's now shocking recommendation against preserving potential “defectives” as well as his suggestion to prevent the disease “by selection of parents” reveal that he and his audience of mostly ophthalmologists continued to believe in the pseudo-science of eugenics which had been fashionable during their study years. His unwarranted association of the blindness with the entirely unrelated dementia is another telltale sign for the survival of that belief since it had been a favorite tactic of the earlier eugenics crusaders to label anyone they deemed undesirable as “feebleminded” or "demented".
You will find at retinopathyofprematurity.org/20oxygeneugenics.htm a description of the American eugenics movement, its attitude of eliminating “weaklings” such as premature babies, and its particular emphasis on trying to eradicate blindness which has influenced many ophthalmologists to this day.
The only means available to doctors at that time for “zealously preserving” newborn preemies gasping for breath was to give them generous breathing help with supplemental oxygen, to compensate at least in part for the immaturity of their lungs and their inability to absorb enough of that life-saving gas from its usual concentration of only 20 per cent in normal room air. Dr. Payne’s recommendation to “not be so zealous in preserving defective persons” amounted therefore to a recommendation to withhold that life-saving gas from preemies so that they would not survive as blind persons, and to blame their deaths not on the intentionally lethal oxygen-throttling by their doctors but instead on “fate” where the original quote marks indicate that this was meant as a subterfuge.
The first step towards “not preserving the
That “Abstract of Discussion” was published in May, 1949.
Shortly after that, Dr. Leroy Hoeck, director of the
intensive care nursery at the
Despite the long history of oxygen as a non-blinding life
saver and its perfect alibi in the case of
“... weak in scientific merit and with extreme concern by the pediatric referees that ‘... these guys are going to kill a lot of babies by anoxia to test a wild idea.’ Patz and Hoeck satisfied the objections of the referees by stating ‘to avoid having deaths from lack of oxygen, every baby in the low oxygen group would be maintained at a healthy pink color’. The $4000 was granted.
The nursery trial proved to be difficult for the investigators. Patz found that ‘the nurses were convinced that we were going to kill the babies in the low oxygen group, and indeed, at night some of the older nurses would turn the oxygen on for a baby who was not receiving oxygen, then turn it off when they would go off duty in the morning.’”
Patz and Hoeck claimed to have significantly reduced the
Smearing the reputation of life-saving oxygen breathing help
The reservations of reviewers and nurses against oxygen withholding, and the inability of the trial designers to prove the safety of their radical departure from the routine life-saving oxygen supplementation, showed that the until then unblemished reputation of oxygen as a safe and effective life saver had to be changed first before the idea of blaming it for the blinding could become acceptable.
Accordingly, some proponents of oxygen withholding began an international smear campaign against that until then so beneficial gas, and we can observe in the medical literature of the time how that campaign unfolded. The discrediting of oxygen appears to have been driven by comments from a few individual doctors who shared the same eugenicist ideology, and who were all connected directly or indirectly to Reese. They all read and heard the same views and interpretations in their journals and meetings, and their small group of medical opinion leaders had the willing ears of their receptive colleagues. The internal echoes of that group’s buzz about oxygen appear to have reinforced their mutual convictions and to have won over, or at least silenced, the doubting ones.
One of the most profuse among those early oxygen-accusers
was Dr. Philip Jameson Evans, a prominent ophthalmologist in
"Prior to 1930
[sic - please note that
In July of that same year, Dr. Kate Campbell, a
A year later, Evans and Dr. Mary Crosse, his like-minded colleague in Birmingham, continued the slander against oxygen, this time in the respected American journal Archives of Ophthalmology, as edited by Reese:
"Prior to the modern technique of oxygen administration, the premature infant fought out its struggle for oxygenation. (...) It seems that, as in domestic and national policies, a prolonged subsidy paralyzes the ability to struggle which would otherwise have had the opportunity to develop, and that the disease has, in fact, been artificially induced by a well-intentioned, but misguided, change in the management of such cases. That a return to a less indulgent care of the premature infant prevents the disease should be appreciated as soon as possible, and cannot be too quickly undertaken."
This labeling of oxygen as a subsidy made it ideologically
intolerable to the many doctors who still shared the eugenics
movement’s “survival-of-the-fittest” aversion against any help
for the struggling. Add to this that during those
McCarthy-era communist-hunting years in
Psychology textbooks describe a condition called projective identification and action discharge of disturbing internal stimuli. This condition is common in political debate where people who feel threatened mistake the symbol for the real thing it represents. Obediently following those textbooks, the American community of nursery doctors reacted to the red-painting of oxygen “subsidies” like a bull to red cloth.
The American Medical Association had just spent $1.5 million in 1949 and $2.25 million in 1950 to defeat President Truman's National Health Insurance proposal, in what was back then the most expensive lobbying effort in American history. With twists that look eerily familiar to any follower of the recent US debates about health insurance reform, the doctors’ advertisements back then had linked British-style National Health Insurance with socialism and even with fabricated Lenin quotes, and the political fever inflamed by this type of slander continued to run high for years later.
For instance, the Guest of
Honor at the 1953 Annual Session of the American Academy of
Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology declared that socialized
medicine was "a terrible blow to the art of practice" and a
"serious threat". This emotional and
political context made it easy for the American pediatric
leaders to continue linking that socialist threat with the
oxygen that Evans and some of his colleagues had already
connected to the dreadful evil of “subsidies” dispensed by a
loathed socialist system.
Launching the big bogus study of oxygen withholding
In the early 1950s, as the first large cohort of children blinded in American nurseries reached the age to go to school, the nursery doctors came under pressure to end the intensive care nursery epidemic which the overwhelmed providers of services to blind people had begun to perceive as an urgent national problem. Ending the stream of blinded survivors by throttling their oxygen “subsidies” was still the convenient solution for a profession which had just demonstrated how little the public interest meant to its members.
Although the initial trial by Patz and Hoeck had shown less blinding in the low-oxygen group, it was useless for convincing the skeptics because, as mentioned above, the study authors had conspicuously omitted to report the respective mortality rates in the routine versus low oxygen groups, and some readers may have wondered why they had not mentioned this important outcome.
A new and more authoritative study was needed, and here is Silverman’s eyewitness account about the relevant meeting in which he took part:
"... a small number of pediatricians and ophthalmologists met at the height of the retrolental fibroplasia epidemic in 1952. (...) The conferees began to argue vociferously about whether supplemental oxygen was or was not the cause of the RLF epidemic. At the height of the debates, Franklin Foote, Director of the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, got up and reminded everyone that the blindness epidemic was an urgent national problem. 'We are not going to make any progress,' he said, 'if we continue to argue in this futile way. We need to think about what constructive action needs to be taken to hasten the end of this epidemic that has completely overwhelmed this country's facilities for the care of blind children.' From that point on, the meeting took off in a very different direction. After very little discussion, the participants agreed on the urgent need for a definitive test of the burning question about the role of supplemental oxygen." 
To be fair, not all of those in the meeting joined the bandwagon. Silverman noted also in that same account that
"One splinter group felt that limiting oxygen would require infants to undertake an unjustified risk of death and brain damage."
However, the result of this meeting illustrates how easily political pressure can lead to the omission of all ordinary scientific precautions. The outcome of this little discussed agreement was a plan to reduce the number of children growing up blind, and the means to pull this off was going to be the 18-hospital Cooperative Study of Retrolental Fibroplasia and the Use of Oxygen. Its designers made no provisions to check in the aftermath of their hit-and-run trial for the mortality their oxygen withholding was bound to create, or for the less immediately visible damage which they knew would afflict the brains of those whom they had deprived of oxygen. They simply wanted to eliminate the “defective persons” whose “defective germ plasm” predisposed them to become blind, and who would flood the facilities for the blind if they were allowed to survive.
To achieve this goal of not preserving “defectives”, as recorded from their meeting in June, 1948, they rigged that study as a blatant scientific fraud.
The scientific fraud in the bogus oxygen withholding study
The designers of that Cooperative Study of Retrolental
Fibroplasia and the Use of Oxygen rigged the study
procedures to hide and falsely deny the fatal danger of oxygen
withholding. They knew that the preemies most at risk for
These authors were further fully aware that babies with immature lungs who need help with breathing need this help right away, particularly during the first 12 to 24 hours, or else they will succumb quickly to their respiratory problems. This is evident from pediatric textbooks of their time, again as quoted in detail at retinopathyofprematurity.org/23oxygenstudyfrauds.htm.
Knowing all this, the trial designers delayed the enrollment and the beginning of most oxygen administration until the babies were 48 hours old. By that time, 634 had died, and 786 survived to be enrolled. Only 52 of these survivors had received any supplementary oxygen at all during their first two days, presumably from nurses like those at the Gallinger hospital cited above who had preferred helping the babies instead of blindly obeying doctors’ orders.
The 45% of the babies who had died in those two days included, predictably, most of those who would otherwise have survived to grow up blind. For comparison, the death rate among the 437 preemies born at less than 2000 gram in one of the participating hospitals during the immediately preceding years 1950 and 1951 had been 32% within the first seven days. If that 32% rate of deaths had been maintained during the Cooperative Study, its death toll would have been about 454 babies, but its designers deliberately killed 180 more with their intentional oxygen withholding.
However, that protocol of killing the patients most at risk for blindness before their deaths would be counted concealed the sharp rise in mortality which the perpetrators of this grotesque experiment knew their cure worse than the disease would produce. This deceptive trick allowed the kangaroo-court of show-trial judges to announce its knowingly false verdict that the oxygen withholding had virtually ended the blinding but had not affected the mortality rate.
Other signs that this study had been planned as a deliberate fraud are numerous. For instance, long before any data from the study came in, Reese had expressed his hope that oxygen would be “successfully incriminated”, a bias in favor of this outcome that ruled out any objectivity in his evaluation. And when the preliminary results did arrive, he led the meeting in September 1954 where he introduced as well as closed the prolonged presentation of the pre-arranged outcome from that study that oxygen was the culprit.
Yet, Reese's own writings on
“We find the typical pathology of retrolental fibroplasia in two sets of eyes obtained from infants who died at or shortly after birth. We can say, therefore, that the disease can be prenatal. This is supported further by the rare occurrence of typical retrolental fibroplasia being seen clinically at birth. If it can be assumed that skin hemangiomas have a common cause with retrolental fibroplasia, then we know that approximately 20 percent are seen at birth. In the large majority of the cases of retrolental fibroplasia, however, there is no demonstrable clinical or histologic evidence of the disease at birth.” 
Although Reese’s “if it can be assumed ... then we know” style of thinking may have allowed him to bypass some rules of conventional logic, he still could not honestly have blamed postnatal oxygen administration for a condition he so firmly believed to exist often already at birth and to have prenatal causes.
Moreover, Reese and his like-minded colleagues knew quite
well that preemies had received ample oxygen for many decades
without ever suffering a single case of
The scientific flaws in that trial included also
statistical slight-of-hand that alleged to separate the babies'
need for oxygen from their immaturity, although one is clearly a
function of the other. A correlation between the pulmonary
immaturity which makes the babies need oxygen and the ocular
immaturity which predisposes them to
"If factor A [the baby's immaturity] influences both
factor B [the need for oxygen] and disease C [
Proclaimed results of the bogus oxygen withholding study
Despite the frauds in the enrollment timing, the thumb on the risk-weighing scale, the contrived statistics, and the other examples of bias in that study, the compiled data still did not really condemn oxygen. They specifically exonerated variations in the concentration of the gas because these had exerted no influence on either the incidence or the severity of the disease. They also showed that the severity of the damage was unrelated to the length of exposure to supplemental oxygen.
The entire blame against oxygen was based on an alleged correlation between that length of exposure and the incidence of the disease, as asserted in the "Comment" and "Summary" sections of the report. However, buried in the middle of the 48-page paper you find the qualification that even this unsurprising correlation was “statistically significant” only for the first one and a half to three days after the enrollment in the study at the age of two days .
In clinical terms, all this bogus multi-hospital trial had
achieved was to rediscover again what many other observers had
previously noted and what no one had ever doubted: that the more
immature preemies are more likely to suffer from
The mountains had labored mightily to bring forth a minuscule mouse, so the trial designers inflated that mouse to look like a lion. This lethal, unscientific, and answer-less bogus study received much praise as a medical breakthrough, a splendid success for the then relatively new conceptual tool of double-blind controlled clinical trials.
Indeed, that bogus study was highly successful in that it led to exactly the merciless large-scale euthanasia program against preemies which its designers had meant it to produce -- it bears repeating that their current emulators from the SUPPORT and NeOProM studies cited an estimated 16 deaths per case of blindness prevented, and 150,000 babies killed in the first 20 years of that program. This spectacular success in radically reducing the number of preemies surviving with blindness is said to have been one of the major reasons for the large expansion of Congressional appropriations to medical research which began in the late 1950s.
Reese received a shower of medals and prizes, many of them
presumably for his leadership against the epidemic of
baby-blinding, as well as honorary memberships in the
ophthalmological societies of Greece, Cuba, Mexico, Australia,
Chile, Panama, France, and New Zealand.
Continuity of the preemie-disdaining medical mindset
The eugenicists’ frame of mind expressed by Reese continues among some of his later colleagues. As an anecdotal but maybe typical illustration of how this view of preemies as undesirable and disposable still taints the view of some stubbornly diehard doctors today, let me quote this 2010 email comment from a recently retired professor of ophthalmology in a southern US state who tried to justify the euthanasia routinely practiced against preemies back when this was the openly accepted fashion in his profession, and even now when it is applied less openly but no less lethally. The context suggests that he means euthanasia when he says eugenics, and his placing the depression into the early 1900s matches his general confusion:
“Eugenics was considered by many learned
men in the early 1900s, primarily because there was no
government support system in place to care for these handicapped
infants; remember this was the time of the depression and many
even healthy babies were abandoned by their parents. This
abandonment to a lesser extent continues today.”
This usually unacknowledged and almost subconscious persistence of the once dominant eugenics-inspired and now still widespread “better-dead-than-blind” medical approach to preemies and blinding is what many medical students absorbed as part of their indoctrination, and what led the SUPPORT authors to lump death and blindness together into the same category of severity. Many honest but doctrine-believing doctors may well be convinced that they do a favor to the baby and and his or her family if they prevent a newborn from growing up blind or with some other impairment and so from passing on the “defective genes”.
The persistence of the oxygen restrictions, despite the lack of any evidence for their effectiveness as prevention against the blinding, and despite the clear evidence for the increases in mortality associated with them, shows that the misguided eugenicist prejudice against blindness that led to this throttling of the life-saving gas is equally persistent.
Meanwhile, the oxygen-blaming and light-ignoring doctrine based on the above research fraud from over half a century ago continues to cause daily much suffering to many children and their families around the world, as the SUPPORT study illustrates. That suffering may even be getting worse because the medical fashion is now returning to openly blame the old standby of "defective germ plasm" which it renamed "genetic factors" to suit modern tastes.
ROPARD.org, the official medical fundraising organization for
more research about “
offers no more evidence for this alleged genetic link, or for
any reason to pursue the genetic research about
“factored in the potential effects of unidentified
factors (...) (i.e., [a list of five suspected] variables not
available from our data set) (...) in addition to unknown
unidentified factors. By modeling the effects of these
non-genetic components, we were able to determine that 70.1% of
the variance in liability to
ultra-precise-appearing number of 70.1% is entirely fictitious.
Like many of its predecessors in the notoriously fraud-ridden
history of eugenic twin studies, it rests on arbitrary ad-hoc
estimates fitted to unwarranted assumptions, such as treating
the outcomes from twin pairs as correlated events although the
study was meant to find out whether these outcomes were related
to the genetic similarity of twins. This circular reasoning
highlights again the futility of the alleged peer review process
for medical papers because the authors' own words reveal their
fallacy to any attentive reader. Moreover, their "known"
factors, such as the co-variates of gestational age and duration
of supplemental oxygen use, are statistically inseparable from
each other as well as from the incidence or severity of
Most absurdly, the authors claim to have controlled their results for several named unknown plus any “unknown unidentified nongenetic factors”. Any such claim owes more to magic, the ancient but forever futile attempt to wield power over the unknown, than to statistical mathematics which requires a more rational attitude. By definition, if one wants to control statistically for a factor then this factor and its effects must be known to be so quantified. Anyone who pretends to control for unknown and/or unidentified factors matches ipso facto Webster’s definition of a quack: “one who pretends to skill or knowledge which he does not possess.”
study has the scientific value of a horoscope because its
authors dress up their hunches and predetermined conclusions with
elaborate-sounding but mostly hidden computations the way astrologers do. Yet, this
self-evident neo-eugenic nonsense was prominently published in
the flagship journal of the American pediatric profession and
then gullibly echoed in medical news releases around the world.
It has thereby shown again, as during the first and meanwhile
discredited attempt to sell eugenics as a science, that
so-called medical “experts” need no evidence to proclaim
whatever suits their agenda. They get away with
practicing proof by assertion.
They get away with
practicing proof by assertion.
Potemkin agencies for false reassurance
medical community does not appear to have any functioning
safeguards against such agenda-driven patient abuses and glaring defects
in its purported science. Theoretically, there are three layers
of protection in the
According to a description from the
website of Gallaudet University in
IRB members are supposed to have enough experience, expertise,
and diversity to make an informed decision on whether the
research is ethical, informed consent is sufficient, and
appropriate safeguards have been put in place. That may be the
theory, but compare this with the minutes of the IRB meetings at
the Buffalo study site of the LIGHT-
Any “review” conducted in such haste is
obviously insufficient, and the unanimous approvals a few years
later of the clearly patient-abusing and safeguard-lacking
SUPPORT trial suggest that those IRBs did not devote much
attention to that study either. This first line of defense for
the protection of patients from medical research abuses is thus
only a dangerous illusion, and it would be more honest to just
abolish such IRBs instead of pretending that they protect
Office for Human
(OHRP) regulates and oversees the IRBs and “provides
leadership in the protection of the rights, welfare, and
wellbeing of subjects involved in research conducted or
supported by the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services (
After almost a year
and repeated interventions by US Congressman Frank A.
LoBiondo who represents my district, that
Office released in
March, 1998, a stack of paperwork about its “investigation”
which showed that it did not even pretend to look seriously into
my charges of patient abuses and warnings about the nursery
lights. Already the first
memo that started the sham internal probe included in
parentheses a "talking-point"-style suggestion that revealed the
OPRR's predetermined conclusion: "it is just a given that there
will be bright lights." The
results of that probe reflected this initial pre-judged coaching
and found nothing wrong with the gross ethics violations in the
“With so many issues and countries to consider, we will likely not have time to consider individual cases in detail. Our main goal for this conference is to find ways for countries to harmonize policies and communicate concerns. I will keep your concerns in mind as we plan the program for the conference.”
This Laputan indifference to well documented actual US research frauds which kept severely injuring thousands of premature babies in just about all the countries involved in that World Conference was apparently not a fluke. I re-submitted the documentation of those research frauds on the website of that misleadingly named Office of Research Integrity but received no reply at all.
lack of interest in research integrity was not limited to
the material I had submitted but was documented more generally
last November in the
Journal of Medical Ethics in an analysis of
all PubMed clinical papers retracted between 2000 and
2010 compared with those for fraud.
This study found that when
the proportion of fraud to all retractions was considered, the
This dismal overall performance of the
Since medical doctors have strong incentives to protect the reputation of their guild against all perceptions of fraud, it is imprudent to expect from them much zeal in searching for and exposing clinical research frauds that could diminish the public’s trust in their profession. As with the Office for Humans Research Protections, the sensible choices are to either close that Office for Research Integrity, or else to replace its medical personnel with non-medical people who don’t have to worry about stepping on some cheating researchers’ toes.
To end the current blinding and other
abuses of premature babies and to protect these from future
transgressions by their intensive care nursery doctors, I submit
the following suggestions:
prevent the eyes of all babies, particularly the premature ones,
from being exposed for even very short times to irradiation from
the eye-damaging blue-violet energy spike of the fluorescent
lamps now common in delivery rooms and intensive care nurseries.
The eye damage from these lamps has mostly been limited to
preemies, but occasionally even a term baby was said to have
been diagnosed with
Better yet, establish an independent
fact-check organization for all new medical research and
established doctrine, as you and your panel recently did for new
synthetic life experiments. While some of that latter work at
the mostly microscopic level may have to be treated as
confidential to protect intellectual property rights, any
medical experiment on living people should be fully transparent.
I suggest therefore to post the clinical study proposals and
consent forms as well as trial results online and invite the
public to help weed out unethical or incompetent proposals and
to verify the logic of the conclusions. The umpires for these
proposals and comments should be from outside the medical
This input from the public will work
best if the rest of the relevant clinical literature is equally
accessible. I suggest therefore further that you also review the
fairness of the current gatekeeping system to clinical knowledge
in which medical journals charge non-subscribers high fees for
viewing even single articles even though the studies described
in them were largely financed with taxpayer dollars and cost
nothing to reproduce.
4.) Rethink the intensive care nursery
environment to better meet the need of the preemies for quiet
and mostly uninterrupted healing sleep in a peaceful environment
without bright lights and ear-damaging noise, or even
unnecessary vibrations of their incubators from the machinery
attached to them. The intensive care nurseries I have seen
in person or on TV are mostly designed for the convenience of
doctors making their rounds and nursery staff stuck in a time
warp servicing the long rows of tightly packed incubators as if
they were boxes on a conveyor belt. That design is a cross
between a mid-20th-century assembly factory and the equally
bright and loud “Incubator Baby Side-Show” exhibitions at most
major fairgrounds 
which were in the first half of that century the public face and
pride of neonatology. This even back then unsuitable and now
long obsolete design approach has no place in a nursery for
Preemies would be much better off in
individual sound-dampening alcoves that protect them from the
unnecessarily deafening alarms on every other incubator in the
same room. Such alcoves would allow the babies to get some much
needed sleep, and they would also offer some privacy to the
parents who come to comfort their child. Modern closed-circuit
TV and other technologies now make it easy to monitor the babies
in those alcoves much better and more quietly than a nurse
running back and forth between ear-piercing beepers all along
5.) Hold rule
violators, including all those involved with the SUPPORT study,
fully accountable and enforce the current regulations, or else
publicly announce that the
Have all nursery doctors acknowledge and reject the frauds and other flaws in their oxygen-blinding doctrine so that they will not try to continue their present mistreatment of preemies with a stubborn adherence to their traditional ways. Have knowledgeable outsiders to the medical profession regularly audit the intensive care nursery procedures and patient outcomes. Provide non-medical oversight for all agencies that approve study funding or review patient protection and research integrity.
Revise medical education to make today’s
medical students less gullible and more critical about
recognizing bogus research than many of the presently practicing
nursery doctors. It is scary to entrust your child to members of
a profession who believed until recently that babies feel no
pain, and who still assert against all evidence that the still
developing eyes of the most vulnerable among all patients will
suffer no harm from doses of retinal blue-light-hazard
irradiation that exceed by far the safety limits for robust
adult workers, or that the constant and often deafening noise in
the intensive care nursery does not harm the preemies’ ears
although many of them are later diagnosed with hearing problems.
Have those students explain how this
comment from the Skeptic editor Michael Shermer about
economists applies also to the medical profession, and discuss
the dangers of certainty inherent in this trap:
them also that real medical ethics involves more than focusing
on the promotional pens and pads and other trinkets that some
doctors accept from sellers of pharmaceuticals.
I hope that
you and your panel will agree with the common sense in these
recommendations, and that you will act on them. President Obama
vowed publicly that all human medical studies conducted today in
or by the
 Kinsey EV. Cooperative Study of Retrolental Fibroplasia and the Use of Oxygen. Archives of Ophthalmology, 1956, 56: 481-543, see pages 527 and 528.
 “Abstract of Discussion” after Algernon B. Reese, M.D., New York: “Persistence and Hyperplasia of Primary Vitreous; Retrolental Fibroplasia -- Two Entities”; in Archives of Ophthalmology, Vol. 41, Nr. 5, May 1949, paper on pages 527-549, quote on page 550 top.
As reported by
 Patz A, Hoeck LE, De La Cruz E: Studies on the effect of high oxygen administration in retrolental fibroplasia, American Journal of Ophthalmology, 3:(35), January 1952, pages 1248-1253.
 Evans PJ. Retrolental Fibroplasia. Transactions of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, 1952, 71: 613-16, quotes on pages 613 bottom, 614 top, and 615 middle.
Campbell K. Intensive Oxygen Therapy as a possible cause
of Retrolental Fibroplasia: A Clinical Approach, The
Medical Journal of Australia,
 Crosse VM, Evans PJ. Prevention of Retrolental Fibroplasia. A.M.A. Archives of Ophthalmology, July 1952, 48: 83-87, quotes on pages 86 bottom and 87 bottom.
Langs R. The Listening Process, Jason Aronson,
Starr P. The Social Transformation of American
Medicine: The rise of a sovereign profession and
the making of a vast industry. Basic Books,
 Post LT. The Art of Medical Practice. Address of the Guest of Honor at the Annual Session of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology in October 1953, Transactions of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, November/December 1953, 841-47, see page 842 top left: "Socialized medicine, an actuality in some countries and a serious threat in this, is a terrible blow to the art of practice."
 Kinsey EV. Cooperative Study of Retrolental Fibroplasia and the Use of Oxygen. Archives of Ophthalmology, 1956, 56: 481-543, see Table 8A on last, unnumbered, page of Appendix.
 Algernon B. Reese: opening remarks in discussion after Norman Ashton: “Animal Experiments in Retrolental Fibroplasia”, presented in October 1953 and published in Transactions of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, January/February 1954, pages 51 to 54, quote on page 54 left, middle.
 Symposium: “Retrolental Fibroplasia”, presented at the Fifty-Ninth Annual Session of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, September 19-24, 1954, New York, published in the “Transactions” of that Academy, January-February 1955, Volume 59, No. 1, pages 7 to 41; see Reese’s remarks on pages 7 and 39.
 Algernon B. Reese, Frederick C. Blodi, and John C. Locke: “The Pathology of early Retrolental Fibroplasia”, American Journal of Ophthalmology, October 1952, Volume 35, No. 10, pages 1407 to 1426. See page 1425, right, for quote.
Weatherall DJ, Ledingham JGG, Warrell DA., eds.
Oxford Textbook of Medicine, 2nd ed. 1987,
Oxford University Press, Volume 1, page 3.15
bottom left .
 Kinsey EV. Cooperative Study of Retrolental Fibroplasia and the Use of Oxygen. Archives of Ophthalmology, 1956, 56: 481-543, see pages 527 and 528.
 Kinsey EV. Cooperative Study of Retrolental Fibroplasia and the Use of Oxygen. Archives of Ophthalmology, 1956, 56: 481-543, see page 528 top.
 Kinsey EV. Cooperative Study of Retrolental Fibroplasia and the Use of Oxygen. Archives of Ophthalmology, 1956, 56: 481-543, see page 501 middle and 502 near bottom.
Who’s Who in
Personal communication on
 Bizzarro MJ, Hussain N, Jonsson B, Feng R, Ment LR, Gruen JR, Zhang H, and Bhandari V: Genetic Susceptibility to Retinopathy of Prematurity, Pediatrics, November 2006, 118:5, pp. 1858-1863, quote on page 6 of the 12-page printout.
Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the
English Language”, The English Language
R Grant Steen: “Retractions in the scientific literature: do
authors deliberately commit research
fraud?”, Journal of Medical Ethics,
“India, US top science fraud list”, The
Telegraph, Calcutta, India,
 Michael Shermer: “Financial Flimflam: Why economic experts’ predictions fail”, Scientific American, March 2011, page 77
Contact us at retinopathyofprematurity.org
2097 Cottonwood Drive, Vineland, NJ 08361 USA
All not otherwise credited material on this site is
©1986 to 2014 H. Peter Aleff All rights reserved.