BASSETERRE, ST KITTS – Douglas Wattley, the Chairman of the co-ruling Peoples Labour Party of which Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris is Political Leader, has openly accused the Prime Minister and his Team Unity Government attempting to destroy the reputation of former Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Martin over the JN France Hospital Stem Cell scandal.
Dr. Martin shut down the unauthorised project which was taking place in the hospital’s private ward on June 13th.
Wattley upped his criticism of the Team Unity Government following an attack on the former CMO by Prime Minister Harris during a press conference last Wednesday.
“There is an orchestrated, deliberate effort to destroy the good doctor, as evidenced by the personal attacks levied at him by Government Officials and many of its surrogates. And it is wrong! Mark this episode as the unfavourable turning point for the Team Unity Government,” Wattley declared.
Wattley reiterated that the Project, which the Government said was not a Stem Cell Project, is indeed, a Stem Cell Project and this is no longer in dispute.
He pointed out that notwithstanding the claim by the Junior Minister of Health, Hon. Wendy Phipps, “there is yet to be any objectively verifiable evidence that the Project has received FDA approval (go to clinical trials.gov and search for Human Umbilical Cord Blood Plasma Phase 1, Advanced Institute of Regenerative Medicine, St. Kitts).”
“The Brazilian doctor, attached to the project, was not registered to work in St. Kitts and Nevis. The CMO has indicated that she was dressed to work, complete with stethoscope and gloves – tools of her trade. Plus she was the only declared specialist in the field of study, at the site of the study when the research was carried out,” said Wattley.
He noted that the CMO, Dr. Patrick Martin, exercised his power under the Public Health Act and the Medical Act, as he understood it, as necessary to protect the reputation of the Government and quite possibly the people of the Federation.
“There is no evidence that the research project had the required ethics clearance. The Office of the CMO is the responsible authority in this regard. It is also not clear how the plasma used in the experiment entered the Country. At a minimum, there should have been a Customs Declaration. But I doubt there would be one since nobody picked up on the fact that one of the guys who undoubtedly came in with the plasma was carrying a gun,” Wattley posted.
He asked: “Would you normally put a general practitioner to surgically remove a gallbladder? Would you normally put a GP to perform eye surgery? Why then would the JNF put the young doctor to perform a procedure in which he was not trained? Or was he trained? If there were a complication, heaven forbid – who would have stepped in to handle it? My guess is the Brazilian doctor – unregistered or not. Simple scenario analysis suggests that she should have been registered. But they never counted on anyone calling the CMO to come check out what was going on at the Hospital,” said Wattley.
He said: “It is reported (to be re-confirmed) that one of the persons receiving the stem cell therapy at the JNF was a person called Peter Nygard. Is he the same person who is supposedly financially invested in the project? If he is, and if he was one who received the therapy on that day, is it ethical for a person, who is financially vested in a research project to also be a research subject in the same project? I did my research. It is not ethical. It would represent a conflict of interest and negate the value of the research.”
Wattley noted that the CMO was sent on pre-retirement leave 3 days after the fiasco at the JNF over the Stem Cell Research Project and asked whether it was a payback for his pushback on Government or not.
“You be the judge. But 58 years of age is young compared to some persons working in this “Geriatric” Team Unity Government,” he pointed out.