Ministry of Health is officially probing the
existence of a controversial asthma study
purportedly done in Barbados and involving a
famous American physician.
amid continued external queries about whether the
research “followed legal and ethical guidelines”,
Acting Permanent Secretary Tennyson Springer said
initial investigations had found no evidence of
month Springer responded on the Ministry of Health’s
behalf and told (Peter) Heimlich that there was no
knowledge of the study which was said to have
involved 67 minors.
wish to acknowledged receipt of your
correspondence and inform you that the matter is
being investigated,” Springer said in his July 10
far, there has been no institutional memory or
documentation of this research. However, the
Ministry of Health will continue to probe into
this alleged project."
Heimlich has argued his maneuver can be
used for resuscitating drowning victims and for both
acute and preventive treatment of asthma.
Red Cross does not support using the maneuver for
drowning. (Even for someone who's choking, the
agency's first-aid procedure recommends first
doing five back slaps and then five Heimlich
abdominal thrusts.) Other experts have noted cases
where performing the Heimlich Maneuver on a drowning victim did
As for asthma,
medical experts have long questioned the
maneuver's effectiveness as a treatment. In an article
published in Modern Medicine in 1997,
doctors noted that asthma is a disease of chronic
inflammation; while the Heimlich Maneuver may help
clear mucous plugs that form in the lungs, it
won't treat the inflammation that causes an
attack. Only medication can do that.
Heimlich teamed up with local doctors to test
another one of his theories: that malaria can be
used to treat chronic Lyme disease, cancer and
HIV. Put simply, Heimlich believes purposefully injecting patients
with the deadly disease and letting it go
untreated for a few weeks will strengthen
patients' immune systems.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opposes
malarial therapy, and many medical experts have
criticized Heimlich's testing methods, including
his testing on human patients.
son, Peter Heimlich, writes a blog,
on which he has spent years trying to draw
attention to his father's "wide-ranging, unseen
history of fraud."
Calling it a
"family issue," Heimlich doesn't talk about his
son, but says there is evidence to back up all his
has disputed his father's account that JAMA named
the medical procedure after him. In response CNN
contacted JAMA, but the journal was unable to
verify or discount either Heimlich's claim.