NOTE: We were scheduled to be on Al Jazeera’s The Stream Tuesday, but they just cancelled on us. I’m guessing that it has something to do with them not being able to find a medical ethicist willing to serve as the opposing viewpoint on Live TV.
Since we aren’t going to have the opportunity to finally debunk the arguments “medical ethicists” have been allowed to make without our response at the end of several of our TV segments, I want to briefly touch on the Good Morning America piece — you can watch it here if you missed it.
I appreciated the coverage and enjoyed the piece up until the final seconds. The segment closes with the following statement from Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ chief health and medical editor:
“You’d like that [Mikaela’s access to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy] to be a decision that’s made by people that are caring for her, not by the pressure put on by a social media campaign.”
Mikaela & I are committed to keeping this campaign positive, but we feel we must respond directly to this statement. This is simply poor journalism and absolute ignorance on the part of Dr. Besser; in this piece about medicine, he completely dropped the ball.
1) Dr. Besser’s underlying implication is that Mikaela and I are doing this in spite of doctor’s counsel. This implication is baseless and false: not only were we never asked by GMA if our oncologists supported our efforts, we didn’t even know about anti-PD-1 immunotherapy until one of our oncologists told us, “we need to get you anti-PD-1.”
2) The inability of “the people that are caring for her” to provide Mikaela with access to the most promising drug for her condition is the very reason why we were forced to start the #WEGOTTHIS campaign, and ABC News’ chief health editor should understand that before commenting on our story. We’d obviously MUCH rather have our doctors be able to simply prescribe this medication to us or get us into a clinical trial instead of spending valuable time on a social media campaign.
As ABC News’ chief medical reporter, Dr. Besser had an opportunity to lend deserved credence to our statements about the potential demonstrated by anti-PD-1 immunotherapies in Phase I/II clinical trials; instead, he made an unfounded and irrelevant statement that distracts from the fight for Mikaela to have a chance at living beyond 25.
#WEGOTTHIS COMMUNITY: Should we take action on this? [comment below]