Radio Broadcast - 01/06/15 - Controversy over Shannon Farmer's involvement in Blood Management

by OrphanCrow 14 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • OrphanCrow

    Mr. Shannon Farmer, the JW who is currently working with Axel Hoffman to implement blood management programs in Europe, is the subject of a radio show in Australia that aired on June 1, 2015.

    Controversy over blood management and blood transfusions
    Governments manage potential conflicts of interest all the time, but they seldom concern the very stuff running through our veins.
    The National Blood Authority's expert panel on blood transfusions includes one member who doesn't believe in blood transfusions at all.
    Moreover, Shannon Farmer has a commercial interest in alternatives to blood transfusions. NewsRadio's Clive Hunton reports from Canberra.
  • menrov

    Will listen later. From the link to the announcement I picked up this interesting statement (bold/underscore is mine)

    Moreover, Shannon Farmer has a commercial interest in alternatives to blood transfusions

  • OrphanCrow
    menrov: Shannon Farmer has a commercial interest in alternatives to blood transfusions

    Yes, at the time that Farmer and Hoffman (another JW - born in Germany) were in charge of restricting blood products in the Australian Health Care system, they were both receiving payments from pharma companies who sold alternatives to blood transfusions, in addition to the contract they had for PBM,

    From an earlier article:

    During the term of the M&E contract, it is also apparent that Mr Hofmann and Mr Farmer received payments as consultants or guest lecturers from the pharmaceutical companies that make the often expensive drugs used as substitutes for blood transfusions.
    Mr Hofmann has declared payments or travel support for consulting or lecturing from at least 14 pharmaceutical companies. Mr Farmer has declared that he received lecturing or consulting payments or travel support from at least six pharmaceutical or related companies.

    Mr. Farmer and Mr. Hoffman were hired by the Australian government to oversee a program whose goal was to restrict and reduce the blood used by patients. Farmer was hired as a "consumer representative".

    I have a hard accepting that Mr. Farmer represented all "consumers" of blood with an impartial view. His decisions and input into blood management protocol would be influenced by his personal beliefs as well as by the interests of the companies that were paying him. Both those factors make Farmer (and Hoffman) poor candidates for determining the best strategy for patient care. They do not represent the best interests of the Australian consumer/patient who needs blood. They represented their own need to promote the pharma companies that gave them payouts.

    The PBM program in Australia is less concerned about patient outcomes than they are in saving money. The success of the PBM in Australia is based on financial outcome, not patient outcome.

  • OrphanCrow

    2011 disclosures:

    Disclosures: Axel Hofmann: Consultant/advisory role: Western Australia Department of Health, Australian Red Cross Services, Vifor Pharma AG, BBraun Melsungen AG, Ethicon Biosurgery Inc., Hospira UK Ltd.; Shannon Farmer:Consultant/advisory role: Western Australia Department of Health; Honoraria:Vifor Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, ETHICON Biosurgery, National Blood Authority (Australia); Aryeh Shander: Honoraria: Johnson & Johnson.

  • Londo111
    I look forward to listening to this later.
  • millie210

    Thank you O.C. for the tremendous amount of research you are doing on this topic.

    I believe this to be as pivotal in many ways as the pedophilia scandal as well as the U,N, debacle.

    Definitely it has harmed more lives due to if nothing else its long standing restrictions on the lives of so many ill people.

  • umbertoecho

    This came out last year in our local newspaper. Two weeks running. The fact that these men have affected how much blood is to be given, regardless of religious belief is the thing that concerned the editor of the paper. The fact that they made a few million for their knowledge, a knowledge that does not include any true medical a source of out rage to some. Because these men were so able to argue against blood and promote an unproven alternative, has caused many to wonder how safe this is.

    At the very least, these men should have owned up to their religious affiliation. They did not. Now we have a limit on transfusions here in the West. And these guys are getting rich ..................makes me very angry.

  • OrphanCrow
    Millie: I believe this to be as pivotal in many ways as the pedophilia scandal as well as the U,N, debacle.
    Definitely it has harmed more lives due to if nothing else its long standing restrictions on the lives of so many ill people

    The pedophilia scandal is horrible - many peoples' lives have been ruined and the pain and suffering is immeasurable. But I don't think that there are people who make money from the victims - there are lawyers involved, but I doubt that someone is raking in money from the sidelines while it happens. However, the child abuse cases sure keep the public from looking elsewhere at WTS' operations - intentionally or not, the child abuse court cases create a pretty thick smoke screen around the Tower.

    The UN scandal is an entirely different matter - the only JWs who got harmed over that are the people whose feelings were hurt that they had been lied to. That is all - just hurt feelings. In fact, the UN association helps JWs in foreign countries. The WTS should belong to the UN - it is the smart thing to do. Another little perk about belonging to the UN is that it facilitates the transfer of money between foreign countries.There were no victims involved in the UN scandal unless you count the JWs who had their intelligence insulted..

    But, here is where the UN affiliation is beneficial to the blood management ideology - just think....the UN supports the right of refusal for medical treatment.The UN is the vehicle whereby the blood management societies can promote their products and ideology globally - the UN legitimizes the noblood doctrine and the JWs who work in and profit from blood management take full advantage of that.

    If a person went back through UN documents that led up to the adoption of the resolution in 2000, that clearly states the right of refusal of medical treatment, I have no doubts that many JWs connected to the bloodless industry were influential in seeing that the resolution was adopted.

    The restrictions on blood transfusions, enforced and supervised by the WTS, has had untold harmful consequences, and it affects far more people than just those JWs who refuse blood. The social ripples are rarely looked at - everyone just concentrates on the JWs who are refusing on an individual basis but the effects of that refusal is multiplied many times over.

    People die from refusing blood - lots of them have - over 100,000 since the beginning of the blood ban, according to one source and that doesn't count those who live with illnesses that require blood as a treatment, or those who live with a disability caused by the refusal of a blood transfusion.

  • OrphanCrow
    Umbertoecho: The fact that they made a few million for their knowledge, a knowledge that does not include any true medical a source of out rage to some. Because these men were so able to argue against blood and promote an unproven alternative, has caused many to wonder how safe this is.

    And well they should wonder. Journalists from the Sunday Times asked the WA Health Department to provide data to back up the claims that blood management improved patient outcomes:

    The Patient Blood Management (PBM) program has resulted in improved patient outcomes such as fewer complications, reduced length of stay, fewer infections and reduced usage of red cell blood products, the WA Health Department claims.
    The Sunday Times asked the Health Department on March 28 to provide the results of patient outcomes from more than five years of PBM initiatives in WA.

    The department of health provided some data:

    More than five weeks later, the department provided four graphs on superficial (skin) infection rates and hospital length of stay.
    There was no rationale provided to show how superficial infection rates might be caused by blood transfusions.
    According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical establishments, superficial infections involve the skin only.

    The four graphs showed data from 2008/9 to 2012/13 in selected patients.

    And what did the data actually show? Was it useful data and did it support the claims of PBM that blood management improved patient outcome? And how could that data apply when there is no causation effect from blood transfusion???

    Lets' look at how the blood transfusion rate correlates to superficial infections that have nothing to do with blood transfusions:

    Two graphs showed the superficial infection rates along with red cell transfusion rates in hip and knee replacement patients.
    The graphs showed superficial infection rates generally went down as transfusion rates went down.
    But both graphs showed superficial infection rates in one year went up as the red cell transfusion rate came down. In another year, superficial infection rates in knee replacements went down as transfusion rates went up.

    And what about the length of stay on the hospital? Did that change with blood management?

    The two other graphs supplied showed changes in length of stay in hip or knee replacement and heart surgery patients.
    The graphs show that the length of stay was higher in patients who had a blood transfusion.
    There were no data to show how blood transfusions directly affect length of stay, including whether patients who had a blood transfusion had a longer length of stay because they were sicker.
    In all graphs, no actual patient numbers were given, only percentages, so it is unknown how many patients in these select groups were included in the statistics.
    The department did not produce any results for “fewer complications” apart from the superficial infection rates.

    The data provided is not useful - it has been correlated in ways that are inaccurate and misleading and the data is incomplete.

    The “reduced usage of red cell blood products” is not a patient outcome.
    The department also did not provide any data on whether patients who were refused a blood transfusion or received a restricted amount of blood under the PBM program suffered any adverse effects or were readmitted to hospital.
    The main outcome reported was that there was a decreased number of blood transfusions.
    There were no reported results on whether patients’ health benefited or was adversely affected by not being given a blood transfusion, or by being restricted to a single unit of blood at a time.
    The article’s conclusion was that the PBM program “likely improved outcomes” by reducing patient exposure to donated blood transfusions.

    Well, the claim that a patient reduces exposure to risks associated with blood transfusions is somewhat misleading. What isn't considered in that equation is the increased risks that a patient who refuses, or reduces, blood is faced with that they wouldn't have if they had simply had a blood transfusion.

    The risks of not having blood transfusions are never mentioned - what about the side effects of the drug cocktails that are given to patients to build up blood to reduce the amount of blood given; what about the risks of using blood substitutes that exceed the risks of using 'real' blood'. And never forget the biggest risk of all: death.

    It is obvious that the WA Health Department is considering the bottom line - the dollar. And the reduction in blood use is a measurable outcome that can be seen as dollar signs. However, what needs to be considered in the whole big equation, is not that the hospitals have a few days here and there that save money, but the many factors that are not addressed in the economic impact of using less blood.

    What about the cost of the alternative drug cocktails, what about the cost of all that blood management equipment and the technicians to run the equipment? Bloodless medicine, and blood management relies on technology.

    Think of it this way - with very little equipment, a blood transfusion can save a life - just a bit of tubing and a couple of hollow needles, and not much else, I can administer my own blood to somebody dying...and save their life. That was done over and over again on the battlefields before the days of blood banking. "Blood on the hoof" was cost effective. Even though it was low technology, it saved lives and the procedure still can.

    Modern bloodless surgery and blood management, however, relies on technology - without the cell savers and technicians, 'bloodless' surgery does not exist except as an old, outdated, procedure practiced by chiropractors and masseuses.

    It is the bloodless technology that transformed the notion of "bloodless surgery" being a non-invasive procedure to a procedure that is invasive to the extreme.

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