Despite not doing the proper research, using single sources without confirmation, and writing a disparaging article BEFORE interviews with CCSVI physicians had been done, The Winnipeg Free Press decided that headline grabbing sensationalism was preferential to printing a balanced and truthful front page article in the Saturday edition. It’s a matter of record that now terminated junior reporter Melissa Martin was tweeting that she had written an expose of CCSVI Clinic, before she had even interviewed the researcher involved with a study that CCSVI Clinic is co-sponsoring on safe and effective aftercare protocol for the “liberation procedure”. If the hypothesis is confirmed, this protocol could help to dramatically reduce the almost absolute rate of restenosis in MS patients who choose to obtain the procedure outside of Canada.
Instead, The Winnipeg Free Press chose to attempt to create a scandal where none exists. The premise of the article maintained that clients of CCSVI Clinic are “pressured” through harassing phone calls and “multiple” mailings. In fact only one mailing that contains the clients results of their Doppler Ultrasound is ever sent out to every client and only one phone call is made by the nurse to the client to follow up and answer any questions they may have about their results. No further calls are made except where the patient requests help with some information or for requested help in navigating the system.
Fjola Davidson, one of CCSVI Clinic’s clients who will shortly be receiving the new extended aftercare protocol following venous angioplasty surgery , said in fact said that she intends to send a “scathing letter to the Winnipeg Free Press” and that it was she “who was pressuring CCSVI Clinic to get to India, not the other way around”. Another client, Robert Prior, had been researching the best place to have the procedure and said, “ Once I read and understood your aftercare protocol, it became the only logical and realistic option as far as I was concerned. The Free Press article is disgusting.”
In a late interview for this article, Dr. Doug Broeska, President of The CliniCard stated that the Free Press article is “disingenuous” and “false”. “I am not the spokesman for CCSVI Clinic, nor did I claim to be.” says Broeska. “She interviewed me for about four minutes and misquoted everything I said. The CliniCard does fulfillment for several clients using our advanced medical record-keeping technology and I don’t presume to speak for those other clients either. Furthermore I know that Ms. Martin interviewed several other medical professionals actually involved with CCSVI Clinic and did not print what they had to say because it did not help to sensationalize her article. If the Winnipeg Free Press had printed anything close to the truth, they wouldn’t have had a story, let alone a headline, which is what the fabrication they printed was all about. I honestly don’t know how these people sleep at night. I am very glad to see that Ms. Martin has been terminated by the newspaper.”
Dr. Broeska is also the only Canadian member of the International Cellular Medicine Society (ICMS), the World Medical Association sanctioned governance organization for therapeutic stem cell research. He is currently developing the clinical trial protocol for clinics around the world to be able to follow up with patients who have had regenerative therapeutic procedures. ” Ethics, and achieving high standards of good clinical practices are my main concern in developing protocols for how ICMS accredits clinics that conduct therapeutic investigations. If any of the medical clinics we audit observed the willfully deceptive ethical standards practiced by Ms. Martin and the Winnipeg Free Press, they would be blacklisted by the medical community.”
Attempts to blog supporting comments under the article online have not been successful for everyone who’s tried. A member at CCSVI Clinic had their comment severely censored to the point it totally lost its message. In the new age of ‘managed’ news stories, it seems that the only freedom of speech that The Winnipeg Free Press supports is its own. Because you cannot read her comments anywhere else, the comments about the Free Press article are as follows:
“There is a difference between responsible reporting and what Melissa Martin chose to write about the CCSVI Clinic in this article. She was in possession of factual information and documents that put the CCSVI Clinic in a favorable light but chose to withhold the information she received from interviews with people knowledgeable about CCSVI Clinic that would have conflicted with her agenda to smear our reputation in order to sensationalize her story and grab a headline. At no time did anyone from the CCSVI Clinic pressure patients into going to India for the Liberation Procedure. She should have considered that the one single person who made that claim clearly had her own agenda because she was disheartened by the ‘borderline’ results of her Doppler ultrasound. We simply provide information to people about our lengthened hospital stay and enhanced aftercare program should a patient decide to have the procedure. You can’t pressure someone to make an important decision about their health and all of our literature clearly states that. These MS patients are more knowledgeable about the CCSVI condition and about the options for treatment than most physicians are. To suggest that they can be pressured into a decision to have the procedure done in India is ludicrous. Patients who have signed up to be part of our open-ended study on the safety and efficacy of an enhanced aftercare protocol to reduce the rate of re-stenosis versus having the procedure on an outpatient basis (which may be contributing to long term failure of the procedure) have done so to ensure that they are getting the best care possible and because they want to be part of the important work we are doing on behalf of MS patients.”