UC Davis Docs Punished for Human Experiments

Doctors applied bacteria to open wounds of brain cancer patients
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2012 6:40 PM CDT
UC Davis Docs Punished for Human Experiments
Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and skull.   (Shutterstock)

UC Davis has punished an eminent neurosurgeon for experimenting on dying cancer patients without permission from the university—and possibly hastening the deaths of two of them, reports the Sacramento Bee. J. Paul Muizelaar, 65, and his colleague, Rudolph Schrot, 44, say they had permission for their work last fall, but a university investigation appeared to show otherwise. "UC Davis is a very respectable school, but even the best places have trouble," said a bioethicist. "These men have put that school in jeopardy."

Muizelaar and Schrot were pursuing evidence that certain bacteria could "attack" brain tumors and prolong lives. The FDA cautioned that an animal study was needed, but the doctors went ahead anyway with the patients' permission. The school's punishment "makes a career in academic medicine challenging, to say the least," said Schrot. To this day, Muizelaar insists they never broke any rules. "If I come down with" such a tumor, he said, "I will demand that it be done on myself." (Read more doctors stories.)

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