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Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio Implicated in Controversal AIDS Research Program

April 6, 2007 08:52 AM

Well!  Here's something to chew on this Good Friday morning.  The Cincinnati Beacon, which is itself a somewhat controversal publication here in Cincinnati, has published a story implicating the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio in an extraordinarily controversal AIDS treatment program in Africa.

I do not have time this morning to get in to all the details, but the gist is this.  Non-locals may not realize this, but in recent years, Cincinnati medical hero Dr. Henry Heimlich has turned his attention away from rescuing chocking victims, and has instead focused on curing AIDs.  As I understand it, his research has not passed bio-ethical muster here in the U.S., so he's had to turn to sources overseas.  In layman's terms, his medical theory is this: AIDs can be cured by "frying" the virus at extremely high temperatures.  The malaria causes the immune system to go into overdrive, and attack not just the malaria, but HIV.  To achieve these temperatures, Dr. Heimlich introduces malaria to Third World AIDs victims, and allows their body temperature to soar to extraordinarly high levels.  The results are not pretty.

The World Health Organization has described this research as a modern medical monstrosity.  The FDA and the CDC are strongly opposed to it.  I, frankly, think it could be worth it if an AIDs cure can be found.  But it is hard not to have extremely serious reservations about performing this kind of medical research on humans.

Apparently, our late Bishop, Herbert Thompson, did not share those reservations.  It appears he was actively involved in soliciting patients for Heimlich Institute malariotherapy research.  Those patients came from Anglican parishes in Africa.


Malariotherapy certainly sounds nutty on the surface, but this speaks to a much greater issue. The cost of human clinical trials for new medications in the U.S. is exorbitant. It is a shame that there is an ethical taint to performing late stage clinical trials in the populations that most need the medications such as African AIDs victims. Even after animal tests have suggested a compound's safety, insufficient funding prevents many potential compounds from even being tested in humans. The cost of providing medical care and three meals a day to desperate patients overseas is less than the cost of a full-scale clinical trial and has the potential to save lives. Should there be an ethical stigma associated with clinical trials in the patients who most desire a cure?

Just Wondering   ·  April 6, 2007 10:40 PM

You're changing the subject. This is about providing protection for vulnerable human subjects who are easily exploited by unscrupulous researchers. The best response to such concerns is an Institutional Review Board. Heimlich's experiments are exploitative and wouldn't pass muster by a legitimate IRB so he conducts them clandestinely. Read the Beacon article. The experiments are being conducted by a car rental agent.

'Nuff said?

Just Answering   ·  April 7, 2007 08:53 PM