Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Clinical trial gone horribly wrong?

In Mobilizing Opinion, Herding Butterflies I compared trying to mobilise bloggers' opinion with herding butterflies.

While holding that the comparison remains valid, I'd like to revisit the story of the baby with one eye that Scott Carney presented at . He gave more details of the case in this post later the same evening, where he also provides a link to the original story he'd done for Wired News.

The facts, in very brief, are as follows:

It’s suspected that the child’s mother, Gomathi, was prescribed cyclopamine at a fertility clinic. (Some anticancer drugs are known to promote ovulation and have been tried for this purpose in the past.)

However, cyclopamine can cause birth defects, specifically cyclopia: the name given to the otherwise rare congenital disorder that means only one eye in the foetus.

It is irresponsible to administer this drug to a pregnant woman, much less to prescribe it for fertility problems. The question is, did this actually happen?

  1. Was the fertility clinic trying a reckless shot in the dark?
  2. Was an unapproved and unethical trial conducted, with or without Gomathi’s knowledge or consent?

Can the bloggers help unravel the truth?

If you would like to help, a good place to begin your research would be Scott's update at Finding the Birth Certificate and Cyclopamine.

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Scott Carney said...

At the moment we can't prove that Gomathi was prescribed cyclopamine. All we know is that it was listed in a report by a hospital that she could have been given it. The investigation is to verify whether or not it really happened. We do know she went to a fertility clinic, but we don't yet know what they gave her.

Nanyaar? said...

..i'll email..

Sunil Bajpai said...

Thanks, Nanyaar.

I don't know if you were able to email and to whom, but the story seems to be dead.

Few bloggers picked it up and there hasn't been any update from Scott, who was single handedly trying to probe it.

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