Sherdless, yes, Shannon Farmer and Axel Hofmann (both JWs who are affiliated with the HLC) were instrumental in establishing PBM as the standard of care in Australia.
Australia's National Blood Authority (NBA), a well respected government organization that does much valuable work, appointed Shannon Farmer, a Jehovah's Witness, as the key consumer representative on a government panel developing new transfusion guidelines for Australia's hospitals. Nil inappropriate about that except Mr. Farmer didn't declare
- Formally, or otherwise it seems, that he was a Jehovah's Witness.
- His consultancy work since 2007 to an Austrian business involved in commercial tendering for patient blood management projects around the world.
- Receiving fees for consulting and lecturing from multinational pharmaceutical companies,e.g., J and J.
When informed, the NBA said it would review the details. Whether or not possible conflicting interests are of "sufficient conflict" is a moot point.
Fact is they were not declared and at the time of his appointment Farmer was described as "consumer" and "independent consumer advocate". An NBA spokesperson is quoted as saying, "The NBA believes any potential conflict of interest, real or perceived, should be declared."
So far as I can tell Shannon Farmer is not a physician nor a PhD researcher, yet:
- He's an Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Surgery, at the University of Western Australia, where he's listed as an author on multi-authored papers about blood.
- LinkedIn shows he's an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow Centre for Population Health Research, Curtin University.
- He's lectured extensively on bloodless surgery and blood conservation.
- He's apparently an expert on transfusion medicine.
Yet it's hard to discover which degrees he has, where he went to school, or any of the normal qualifications of someone who's an author, lecturer, and expert on TM, with university appointments.
And none of the above profiles even hint that he's consulted for years to Austria's 'Medicine and Economics' business involved in commercial patient blood management projects globally.
How can you not know that someone you appoint to panels developing national blood transfusion guidelines is a member of a religion that forbids transfusion and earns big bucks implementing blood management programs internationally? How can you say, when information comes to light, 'These aren't sufficient conflicts'?
Isn't this equivalent to someone being appointed to a government panel on the future of private laboratories in Alberta (Canada, UK, you name it)
- Who is a member of a political party whose policies are pro-private medicine (pro-private everything)?
- Who consults for (perhaps partially owns) a private laboratory consortium bidding for government contracts?
Sorry, the non-physician Jehovah's Witness as TM expert and global blood management consultant who advises on transfusion guidelines, didn't declare potential conflicts, makes millions off blood management, and was initially listed as a consumer and consumer advocate doesn't meet the sniff test.
Or...he's a fine fellow, does good work, and the NBA thinks it's okay that he didn't declare potential conflicts, despite their policies, because the conflicts are not serious ones?
News about Shannon Farmer has been really quiet since the Australian story broke. But, from what I can tell from the little that is out there online, he is still hanging on the coat tails of Axel Hofmann, who is actively involved in Austria's blood management program.