24 January 2013

Effective against hypothermia

This lovely blanket, knitted by Dr Harriet Hall, is being auctioned to support cancer research (read about it on the Science-Based Medicine blog). Bidding takes place here, and at time of writing is up to $510.

The story behind this auction is interesting. A "cancer researcher" named Dr Stanislaw Burzynski charges patients to enter his "cancer drug trials" - which a group called Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients says is nothing more than peddling unproven treatments to desperate patients. In any case, this practice of charging patients to be part of trials is unethical - and scientifically wrong, as it introduces a big bias in the trial population.

The auction site says:

In honor of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski’s 70th birthday on January 23rd, 2013, the Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients are fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Our goal is to raise at least $30,000 by Burzynski’s birthday, the approximate cost of entering one of his clinical trials of antineoplaston therapy. On his birthday, we will deliver a present to the Clinic, a challenge to Dr. Burzynski to match the total sum donated by skeptics, science advocates, and others who value good research into devastating forms of childhood cancer. The more you give, the more we ask of Burzynski.

All auction items, including shipping, have been donated to the cause.

If you don't wish to purchase:
Please visit http://www.crowdrise.com/fightchildhoodcancer/ and donate to St. Jude, a fantastic organization that does not turn away patients who cannot pay.

Read the outcome (and the back story) here .

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