UC-Davis bans surgeons from performing human experimentation
Two prominent neurosurgeons of University of California have been banned from performing medical research on humans after they were accused of experimenting on the brains of terminally-ill cancer patients without University's permission, reports Sacramento Bee, Sunday.
Dr. J. Paul Muizelaar who is also the chairman of the university's department of neurological surgery since 1997, was ordered last fall to "immediately cease and desist" from any research involving human subjects as per the documents obtained by the Bee.
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Dr.Rudolph J. Schrot, an assistant professor and a neurosurgeon who has worked under Muizelaar for the last 13 years was also held responsible and has been banned for the same.
The University has reportedly admitted to federal government that the surgeons' actions amounted to what the school termed as "serious and continuing noncompliance" with federal regulations.
According to the documents, the surgeons obtained the consent of three dying patients with malignant brain tumours to introduce bacteria into their open head wounds, under the theoretical assumption that this post-operative infection might prolong their lives. But, two of the patients developed sepsis and died.
Many bioethicists have expressed their shock and dismay at the actions of the two neurosurgeons.
Research on both animals and the human is strictly regulated in the nation and, according to the federal regulations and university policy, must undergo a rigorous approval of process to ensure that subjects are protected.
Any alleged violations regarding experimental devices or drugs will allow the FDA to issue 'for-cause audit'. Among possible enforcement actions, the agency can issue warning letters and publicize them or disqualify researchers from further clinical studies. The FDA has not notified UC Davis what, if any, action might be taken.
Despite the disciplinary action imposed, Muizelaar was honored with an additional academic role at UC Davis this spring. He was named the first holder of the Julian R. Youmans endowed chair in the department of neurological surgery, according to an April 19 news release from the university's medical school.