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Widows Sue Va -- Husbands Died In Drug Experiments

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Guest allanopie


Guest allanopie



It doesn't get any worse than this!

Veterans' medical records were forged to make it look like they would qualify for drug experiments. However, some of these veterans shouldn't have taken the experimental drug...and they died.

For some history on this abuse at the VA's Albany, New York research facility...go here... http://www.vawatchdog.org/old%20newsflashe...1-22-2005-3.htm

Today's story here... http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story...sdate=1/17/2006

Quote of note: The last of seven widows of veterans who died while enrolled in corrupted drug studies at Stratton VA Medical Center have filed lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

For many of the widows, the litigation is not about money. They say it's about getting answers to why their husbands were used like guinea pigs and making sure it doesn't happen again.

"It was terrible," said Bertha G. Merritt, 74, who was one of two widows to file a lawsuit in the case last month. "We were married 51 years, and a month and a half later he passed away."

Charles G. Merritt, a World War II Army veteran from Selkirk who died in August 1999, was one of dozens of men whose medical histories were forged or manipulated to qualify them for cancer research studies. Once Merritt began taking the drugs, he became unable to swallow, talk, eat, breathe or walk without assistance, and his death was hastened by the experiment, according to court documents. He was 74.

Another quote of note: Hospital officials have placed blame on a former research assistant, Paul H. Kornak, who was sentenced last November to nearly six years in prison for negligent homicide and falsifying medical records.

Kornak posed as a doctor at Stratton, including carrying the title "M.D." on his VA-issued business cards, even though he never finished medical school and had been convicted in Pennsylvania of trying to illegally obtain a medical license. Many of his supervisors allegedly knew about his troubled background and lack of credentials.

In all, Kornak is accused of undermining at least four major research studies involving dozens of veterans and hundreds of thousands of dollars. The hospital earned thousands of dollars for each patient enrolled in the programs, in which pharmaceutical companies tested new drugs on cancer patients to obtain approval for them from the Food and Drug Administration.

Larry Scott


Edited by allanopie
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