outlets choke on Heimlich obituaries by Erik Wemple, Washington
Post, January 31, 2017:
(Peter Heimlich obtained) at least seven
corrections/amendments (to published obituaries about his father) from some of
the biggest names in the news business, over a single news topic.
...On Jan. 9, (Heimlich) emailed the newspaper with correction
requests over the Berry thing as well as a contention regarding
the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The New York
Times later informed him that it wouldn’t be responding.
Peter Heimlich turned to the Erik Wemple Blog, a bastion of accountability in
relation to medical history. He CC’d us in an appeal to Spayd that included
this elbow: “Needless to say, for the paper of record not to correct factual
errors is a slippery and troubling slope...." We have asked (Public Editor
Liz) Spayd for a further explanation; she referred us to (senior standards
editor Greg) Brock; Brock says that a correction is in the
the New York Times:
Who Saved Otto Klug? Investigating a 75-year-old
mystery by Peter M. Heimlich, Kent Historical Society Newsletter,
February 2017. According to two 1941 articles in the New York Times and my
father's 2014 memoir, he saved the life of a man named Otto Klug in a massive,
high-profile train wreck in Litchfield County, Connecticut. But all local
newspaper reports credit an local man named Jack Bartovic for saving Klug. Was
this my father's first media scam?N.J.
school agency's implosion leaves questions, South Jersey Times
Editorial Board, March 17, 2017:
Wonder where your kid's teachers
go when his or her school district has "in-service days" when staff is
supposed to work, but students have no classes?
If it's not to the
mall, the casino or on a journey of spiritual improvement, chances are
that, in New Jersey, they're at a program given or authorized by the
Educational Information & Resource Center (EIRC). EIRC, once one of
several similar agencies around the state, supplies curriculum development
tools and serves as a clearinghouse for anti-bullying, tolerance and other
Now, EIRC is going away after losing a staggering $3.7
million in the past three years. That's on an annual budget no larger than $18
million over the period. Incredible.
...EIRC's website was operating a few days
ago, but went off-line about the time the Times' first report about the
monetary troubles appeared. Also, the agency was involved in a recent Open
Public Records Act tussle that played out at the shore. According to the
Cape May Herald, ERIC had a judge block an OPRA request from a
Georgia-based "investigative blogger." The judge ruled that agencies didn't
have to supply records when requests came from outside New Jersey.
Fortunately, Superior Court Assignment Judge Georgia Cuiro reversed the
decision, and rejected an EIRC motion to reconsider it.
We have no clue
why Peter Heimlich of Atlanta sought EIRC records, but the agency took
considerable steps to keep them secret. Some follow-up is in order. Let's find
out if this is another textbook case -- pun intended -- of a New Jersey
independent agency operating with insufficient internal or external
of famed New Rochelle doctor asks for Walk of Fame reconsideration
by Lisa Reyes, Local12 (Westchester, NY), May 8, 2017 -- click
here for a copy my letter:
The son of a New Rochelle
doctor credited with creating the Heimlich maneuver says inducting his father
into the New Rochelle Walk of Fame would be a mistake.
Dr. Henry Heimlich,
part of the New Rochelle High School class of 1937, is world-famous for
developing the anti-choking method that bears his name. This year, the city is
honoring him by inducting him into its Walk of Fame.
son, Peter, sent a letter to the city urging officials to reconsider the
"My father was involved most of his career promoting a
bunch of crackpot medical ideas that resulted in a significant loss of life,"
surprising reason why the Heimlich maneuver is no longer called 'the
Heimlich' by Gene Kim and Jessica Orwig, Business Insider, June 6,
2017What's the right way to save a choking
victim's life? It turns out, the Heimlich maneuver is not the only
approach – and it may not even be the best one.
Repeated blows to the
back could be equally useful in a dangerous situation. You might be thinking
that back blows will only lodge the food deeper into a person's trachea. But
this is a myth perpetuated by Dr. Henry Heimlich.
According to reports
from Dr. Heimlich's youngest son, Peter Heimlich, the founder of the Heimlich
maneuver spent years trying to discredit back blows, publicly denouncing them
as "death blows."
He even funded a study in the '80s that showed back
blows could do more harm to a choking victim than good. But in truth,
there is no valid scientific evidence to prove that back blows are any better,
or worse, than the Heimlich maneuver.Media
player column by John Burns, The Sunday Times (UK), June 18 2017
(free signup for two articles/month):
(Peter Heimlich), a
63-year-old retired businessman living in Atlanta, thinks his father was a
humbug who lied to journalists and saw many of his preposterous claims printed
verbatim. “As a result,” Peter Heimlich says, “when he died last December,
virtually all of his obituaries included factual errors.” So he set about
having them corrected. Within a month he had secured published corrections in
seven news outlets, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and The
Wall Street Journal. “Since then, that tally has more than doubled,” he
The Sunday Independent published an obituary of Heimlich on
December 25. Unbylined, it was “riddled” with errors, according to Peter. He
emailed the Sindo a number of times, but received only auto-replies. In
mid-January this year, he contacted the Office of the Press Ombudsman, and got
a same-day response supplying the contact details of INM’s group managing
editor. He explained to Heimlich that the Sindo obituary had come from The
Daily Telegraph, with which it has a syndication agreement.
then turned his sights on to the Telegraph, and within days it had posted
online a revised version of the obituary, correcting seven errors. Heimlich
emailed this to the INM editor, and by February 8 the original Sindo obit had
been replaced with the revised and corrected one.
But the saga was not
over; now the headline was wrong...Further emails to the Indo went unanswered,
however, so once more he turned to the Office of the Press Ombudsman. Again,
bingo! The headline on the Indo’s website was promptly fixed.
decade ago, Peter Heimlich would have got no satisfaction. Back then, Irish
newspapers were bad at admitting and correcting errors...What changed? The
industry’s own decision to appoint and fund a press ombudsman...Newspapers do
not like having to deal with formal complaints lodged by the public with the
ombudsman, and loathe having to publish negative decisions....
public deserves an effective independent press oversight organisation like the
Office of the Press Ombudsman,” Peter Heimlich concludes. “It’s unfortunate we
don’t have one here in the US, but perhaps some days we’ll catch up with
Garner saves son from choking on bacon by Newshub staff, June 12,
2017, Newshub New Zealand:
Duncan Garner has recounted the
"dreadful experience" of his young son choking on food and not knowing how to
The AM Show host said both he and six-year-old son Buster
knew how bad things could have got after the boy ate a piece of bacon without
first cutting it.
...Newshub was sent an email by the son of Henry
Heimlich, who invented the technique, saying his dad's manoeuvre wasn't the
right way to help someone who is choking.
"First of all would you
please convey to Mr Garner that I'm delighted that he and his lad got the
better of that bacon?
"Second, Mr Garner may wish to learn that my
father's namesake anti-choking treatment ("the Heimlich" aka abdominal
thrusts) is not recommended by the New Zealand Resuscitation Council
or by St John Ambulance New Zealand," he wrote.
thrusts are now the recommended method and more effective than abdominal
to save choking victims by Fred Cicetti, September 1, 2017,
International Falls (MN) Journal:
A few months ago, I wrote a column
on the Heimlich maneuver, a well-known method to save choking victims. After
the column appeared, I received an email from Peter Heimlich, the son of the
late Henry Heimlich, who invented the procedure.
Peter Heimlich said that two
of the methods recommended by the Heimlich Institute — the source for my
column — are “problematic.” These are the methods for treating unconscious
victims and infants. He recommended that I contact the American Heart
Association and the American Red Cross and ask them for their guidelines. I
felt obliged to follow-up on my column.
researcher’s ratings service discontinued by Amy Xiong, Yale Daily
News, November 3, 2017:
NuVal LLC, a nutrition ratings service
criticized for its potential conflicts of interest — and established by
Director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center David Katz SPH ’93 —
has been discontinued nationally.
The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System
is currently being removed from grocery shelves, according to a USA Today
article published on Oct. 25. Created in 2008, the NuVal system works by
assigning a score from 1–100 based on the nutritional characteristics of any
given food. Katz is now founding a new company called DQPN — which stands for
Diet Quality Photo Navigation — to evaluate dietary nutrition.
was criticized for giving high ratings to sugary foods. That may have just
been a coincidence, or it may have had to do with who funds Katz,” said
science journalist and longtime Katz critic Nina Teicholz ’87, who has written
about the food industry’s influence on nutrition science. “It’s a murky
Online and Evening Standard pull 'completely untrue' stories about Ed Byrne
saving audience member's life with Heimlich manoeuvre by
John Reynolds, Press Gazette
(UK), January 4, 2017:
Online and London Evening Standard have pulled stories claiming that comedian
Ed Byrne performed a life-saving manoeuvre on an audience member, after the
stories were refuted by the comedian and the theatre where it was purported to
It was reported in Mail Online and
on the London Evening Standard website that after seeing a member of the
audience in anguish while choking on food, the comedian jumped from the stage
and performed the Heimlich manoeuvre during his set.
A spokesman for the Alhambra theatre
in Bradford, said it had “no record” that anything like this occurred at
Byrne’s show on 9 December,2017.
Byrne also said the story was
untrue. He tweeted: “This is a great story, only partially ruined by the fact
that’s it’s completely untrue.”...Blogger Peter Heimlich exposed
the two titles pulling the story.
On his blog – The Sidebar – he
explains that his father is the doctor credited with inventing the famous
Byrne is a choke at media’s expense by John Burns, Sunday
of Ireland, January 7,
2018:Heard the one about the
Irish comedian who saved the life of an audience member by performing the
Heimlich manoeuvre?The Daily
Mail and Evening Standard reported last week that Ed Byrne saw a woman choking
during a performance in December, jumped from the stage mid-joke, and saved
Byrne says it is a great story but
only wishes it were true.
They quoted Morgan Wilson, 29, as saying: “I was laughing too much
while I was eating M&Ms during his hysterical act, and looking back it
wasn’t the best idea for a comedy gig as I started choking. If it weren’t for
Ed, I believe I would have choked to death. I’m still in disbelief that he
saved me.”Not as much
disbelief as Byrne was in when he heard about the claim. “This is a great
story, only partially ruined by the fact that it’s completely untrue,” the
Dubliner tweeted. The “fake news” pieces promptly disappeared from the Mail
and Standard websites.A news
editor on the Irish Sun revealed this was a deliberate attempt to hoax
newspapers. Told by the Sun that Byrne was denying the story, the woman
replied: “He’s probably being modest.”
didn’t save choking fan, 2 UK sites delete stories by Sydney Smith,
IMediaEthics, January 10, 2018:
Blogger Peter Heimlich, whose father is the same Dr. Henry J.
Heimlich associated with the aforementioned maneuver, has caches and
screenshots of the errors on his website.
In an e-mail to iMediaEthics, Heimlich, who noted he has raised questions
about previous reports on people allegedly being saved by the Heimlich
maneuver, explained he spotted the Mail Online article and then
tweeted Byrne to ask for more information. The next day, he noticed the
article had been removed and kept digging.
Byrne tweeted about the Evening Standard‘s story,
“This is a great story, only partially ruined by the fact that it’s completely
untrue.” A spokesperson for the theatre, Liz Hall, told iMediaEthics,
“We have no record that anything like this occurred” and pointed to Byrne’s
iMediaEthics has contacted both the Standard and
Mail to ask how they learned about the story, how they attempted to
fact check and if they are or have published corrections.
choking fan (Interview
with Peter by Carol Off), As It
January 10, 2018:
CO: What was it about the articles that rang alarm bells in
PH: Well, I didn't initially have an alarm bell.
What concerned me about the reporting, and I didn't know if the stories were
bogus or whether it was just reported not at the highest level of journalism.
The first story, which was published on January 2nd; that was a Tuesday,
appears to have originated solely from one source. A woman who was identified
as Morgan Wilson, and the photo identified her as Morgan Wilson. As I don't
need to tell you, Carol, a basic rule of journalism is to confirm facts with
two or more sources. But the Mail article didn't quote anyone else. Nothing
from Ed Byrne, the comic and alleged rescuer, or from representatives of the
theatre where the incident reportedly occurred, or from any medical personnel
who were reportedly on the scene, and there were no eyewitnesses who were
quoted in the story.
son questions Dechoker products in A-L schools by Kate Day Sager,
Olean (NY) Times Herald, November 1, 2018:
The son of the founder of the Heimlich maneuver has questioned the
effectiveness and safety of the Dechoker device currently available at a local
school district and other public locations in the area.
But Peter Heimlich, son of Dr. Henry Heimlich, who in 1974
was credited with developing the abdominal thrust meant to clear a person’s
airway from an object causing choking, questions the Dechoker’s effectiveness
and safety, stating it hasn’t been tested.
the school district and the sheriff's office thought this was a good idea is a
mystery,” Heimlich said in an email to the Times Herald. “There are no
research studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals testing the
device's effectiveness and safety — let alone on children — and it isn't
recommended by any first aid organizations.”
Heimlich said that one doesn’t “have to be an expert to
realize that using an unproven, unapproved medical device in what may be a
life or death emergency raises serious questions. For example, were parents of
students given the opportunity to provide informed consent for the use of the
device on their kids? Was a risk manager consulted to evaluate potential
As for the abdominal thrusts, Heimlich said that procedure
has been the topic of a “spirited debate” in the medical community about how
best to respond to a choking emergency.
“For example, some experts have suggested that chest thrusts
are safer and more effective than the Heimlich maneuver,” he said. “In fact,
first aid authorities in Australia and New Zealand recommend chest thrusts,
not ‘the Heimlich.’ Are they ahead of the curve? I don't know, but that's one
of the beauties of science — it keeps evolving.”
asks press regulator to consider sanctions against online publishers that pull
articles without explanation by staff reporter Charlotte Tobitt, Press
Gazette (UK), February 11, 2019:
A US blogger
is pushing for a change to the Editors’ Code of Practice – the standards to
which most UK newspapers are held – which would see publications sanctioned
for pulling articles without explanation.
Peter Heimlich has asked the Editors’ Code of
Practice Committee to consider “plugging” a hole in the code which allows
publishers to delete online news articles “with impunity.”
told Press Gazette: “’Here today, gone tomorrow’ reporting is not only junk
journalism, it’s a thumb in the eye to readers: ‘If we get something wrong,
we’ll just bury it and you don’t deserve an explanation.’"
...In a letter to Code Committee secretary Jonathan Grun, Heimlich
wrote: “For instance, if an article includes false information, rather than
exercising editorial responsibility to correct errors, a publication may
simply eliminate the entire story.
shield reporters and editors from embarrassment (or worse), but in my opinion
the Orwellian ‘disappearing’ of published news reports is a disservice to
readers and to the record.
“It’s also a slippery
ethical slope. For example, if an advertiser doesn’t like critical information
in a story, could a word in the ear of a person with authority at the
newspaper lead to the offending article being sent down the memory
AIDS therapy involving parasite injections was discredited. China is reviving
it — for cancer by Jane Qiu, Stat news, March 18,
American surgeon Henry
Heimlich is best known for inventing a way to rescue choking victims, but
a quarter-century ago, he was vilified for promoting a fringe treatment for
AIDS and Lyme disease. Called malarial therapy, it involved injecting patients
with the malaria-causing parasite, supposedly to stimulate their immune
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention issued a report saying the procedure “cannot be justified,” and another critic
compared its use to the discredited practice of bleeding patients with
leeches. Despite the criticism, Heimlich launched trials of the therapy in HIV
patients in Mexico and China in the 1990s. Now, the scientist who led the
Chinese study is using malarial therapy again — this time to treat cancer
patients. And the still-unproven intervention is being hailed in China as a
Experts warn malaria for cancer treatment "scientifically unsound," risky for
patients by Tan
Jingjing, Xinhua News, March 18, 2018
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Peter Heimlich, son of
Henry J. Heimlich, said his father claimed he could cure cancer by infecting
patients with malaria in the early 1980s.
In the late 1980s, the Heimlich Institute conducted
clandestine experiments in Mexico which were eventually shut down by the
The Heimlich Institute also oversaw experiments on U.S. Lyme
Disease patients in Mexico City and Panama City, before the project was shut
down in 1992 after an investigation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) because returning patients infected with malaria were
bringing the disease into the United States, according to Peter
Henry Heimlich's "malariotherapy" raised great controversy.
Many U.S. medical experts said the theory does not make any scientific
In a phone interview with Xinhua, Robert S. Baratz, assistant
clinical professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, said
that what the Chinese research team has been working on is no different from
Henry Heimlich's "malariotherapy" experiments.
"It (the therapy) has no logic nor scientific basis," said
Baratz, who was former executive director of the U.S. National Council Against
Health Fraud, adding Henry Heimlich had no background or training in
"Dr. Heimlich was no expert in malaria, HIV, Lyme, nor
infectious diseases," he said.
"In my own opinion, the 'malariatherapy' endorsed by Dr.
Heimlich has no scientific basis and should not be used on human subjects,"
said George J. Annas, a professor and director of the Center for Health Law,
Ethics and Human Rights at the Boston University School of Public Health,
School of Medicine, and School of Law.
Heimlich’s son questions effectiveness of famed maneuver by ,
Now (St. Louis), April 29, 2019:
Dr. Heimlich’s own son believes there could be more effective means of
helping choking victims. Peter Heimlich said his father was a very effective
promoter and believes that played a big role in convincing the public his
method was the best way to help choking victims.
“He was such a gifted marketer he could teach P.T. Barnum a
few tricks,” said Peter Heimlich.
Dr. Anthony Pearson, a cardiologist at St. Luke’s Hospital,
believes the abdominal thrust method of helping choking victims should be
called the Heimlich experiment instead of the Heimlich
“It seems to help some people but we don’t know how many are
helped or how many would have been improved if they had just gotten back
slaps,” he said. “That’s why I call it an experiment."
Pearson said Heimlich tried to discredit those who attempted
to promote other methods such as back slaps or chest thrusts.
“He really bullied people to not think of anything other than
his abdominal thrusts procedure which became known as the Heimlich maneuver,"
Peter Heimlich and his wife have even created a website that includes links to media
reports questioning his father’s work.
“The debate which began when my dad first introduced the
treatment in 1974 and has continued until now is whether it’s the most
effective and safest treatment,” said Peter Heimlich.
The Australia and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation
removed abdominal thrusts from its guidelines in 2010 after the agency
discovered there were 32 case reports of abdominal thrusts causing
life-threatening harm. The agency determined higher airway pressures could be
generated by using chest thrusts rather than abdominal
“There has to be a better way to go about doing something
that’s looking at trying to prevent 4,000 deaths a year,” Pearson
He said there’s no doubt the Heimlich has saved lives. The
question remains what’s the balance between the life’s saved and the potential
for serious, even deadly harm, according to Pearson.Dr.
Heimlich’s son questions whether famous anti-choking maneuver is the best or
safest treatment by Danielle Wallace, FOX News, updated May
The American Red
Cross began adopting Heimlich’s abdominal thrust maneuver in 1976. in 2005,
the ARC "downgraded" abdominal thrusts (aka the Heimlich maneuver) to a
secondary treatment response for choking emergencies. Since then, the ARC's
recommended first treatment response has been a series of back blows. Here's
an ARC poster describing the protocol which they call "the five and five." The AHA recommends to first try using
abdominal thrusts on conscious responsive adults and children aged 1 or older
to dislodge a foreign-body airway obstruction (FBAO). “If abdominal thrusts
are not effective, the rescuer may consider chest thrusts,” the website states.
...The Australia and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation removed
abdominal thrusts from its guidelines in 2010, citing 32 case reports of
abdominal thrusts causing life-threatening harm, FOX 2 reported. The agency
concluded higher airway pressures could be generated by using chest thrusts
rather than abdominal thrusts.
Rep. Jim Marshall’s infant choking bill to be amended to avoid teaching
Heimlich procedure for use on babies by J.D. Prose, Beaver County (PA)
Times, June 17, 2019
State Rep. Jim Marshall’s recent bill on infant CPR and
choking prevention will need to be amended in the Senate after he learned that
the well-known Heimlich maneuver is not recommended for babies.
the son of the late Dr. Henry Heimlich, who popularized the anti-choking
method that involves standing behind a choking victim and giving them
abdominal thrusts with interlocked arms, saw a story about the bill online and
spotted a problem.
In subsequent emails, Heimlich, who lives in Georgia, said
his father’s namesake technique is not recommended for infants. Heimlich said
medical groups, such as the American Red Cross, advise against using the procedure on
“What concerns me is that codifying that language in a
government statute may inadvertently result in harm to infants,” Heimlich
wrote in an email.
Heimlich has also written a letter to state Secretary of
Education Pedro Rivera and University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann
about concerns he has over the Heimlich Heroes program and its Heimlich
choking procedures on babies being taught to Philadelphia students through a
Penn Medicine grant.
Arizona, a County Attorney Candidate’s Past Seems To Contradict Her Pro-Reform
Stance: Julie Gunnigle, who is running in Maricopa County, says she supports
alternatives to incarceration. But a decade ago in Illinois, she prosecuted a
woman for recording phone calls and helped put her in jail for 18 months
by Meg O'Connor, The