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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3224.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 12:50 PM

Abstract #106908

Bringing bad things to life: The unholy alliance between General Electric Medical Systems and New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Martin T. Donohoe, MD, FACP, Portland State University, Old Town Clinic, 3718 Rivers Edge Drive, Lake Oswego, OR 97034, 503-819-6979, martin.donohoe@verizon.net

New York-Presbyterian Hospital recently signed a 10 year exclusive purchasing agreement with General Electric (GE) Medical Systems, a subsidiary of General Electric (GE), the world's largest company by market share. In addition to creating conflicts of interest and the risk for profits trumping scientific judgment, this partnership links the medical center with the subsidiary of a company possessing an abysmal record of harming the public's health, including: • Conducting unethical human irradiation experiments in the mid-20th Century. • Being America's largest corporate polluter, with 75 Superfund sites nationwide (13 in NY). • Polluting the Hudson River with carcinogenic PCBs, then trying to block a court-ordered cleanup. • Contributing heavily to corporate front groups, with anti- (and pseudo-) scientific agendas, which conduct media disinformation campaigns to weaken health and environmental standards. • Outsourcing jobs, under-funding its pension plan, and increasing workers' health care contributions despite massive profits. • Citations by Human Rights Watch and OSHA for “systematic workers' rights violations” in the U.S. and abroad. • Topping the 2002 Project on Government Oversight's list of repeat offenders for defrauding US taxpayers. • Funding “The Patient Channel,” an advertising vehicle for drug companies.

Given GE's shameful legacy of corporate malfeasance, New York-Presbyterian should renounce the partnership agreement. Medical and ethical organizations should condemn the venture, particularly since it involves an academic institution where the next generation of healers learns how to protect the public's health.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to

    Keywords: Social Justice, Environmental Justice

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Critical Perspectives on Pharmaceutical Corporations

    The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA