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Letter From PETA to MO Attorney General Re St. Louis Children's Hospital

Letter From PETA to MO Attorney General Re St. Louis Children's Hospital

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Published by samtlevin
- 5-13-13
- 5-13-13

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Published by: samtlevin on May 13, 2013
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 {00129767}May 13, 2013The Honorable Chris Koster Attorney GeneralMissouri Attorney General's OfficeSupreme Court Building207 W. High St.P.O. Box 899Jefferson City, MO 65102Via e-mail: attorney.general@ago.mo.gov  Fax: 573-751-0774Dear Attorney General Koster,Thank you in advance for your time. I am writing on behalf of People for theEthical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members
and supporters to file a complaint against St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH),
a business located at One Children's Place, St. Louis, MO 63110. Werespectfully request that you take all necessary action to ensure that SLCHimmediately halts and removes all deceptive and misleading advertisementsfrom its Web site that are used to promote the sale of the training coursedescribed below that are in alleged violation of Missouri consumer protectionlaws including theMerchandising
Act,Mo. Ann. Stat. § 407.020
et  seq
Missouri Law Prohibits Using Deception, Misrepresentation in Advertising
)in order to advertise and promote enrollment in its PediatricAdvanced Life Support (PALS) training course, which is offered in conjunctionwith Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) School of Medicine. Nurses, paramedics and physicians-in-training are charged $300.00 and physicians are
charged $400.00 to attend SLCH’s PALS
 As detailed below,
Web site contains a number of misleading andfraudulent claims about the superiority of its PALS course over other PALScourses based on its use of live cats for training exercises. We believe thestatements outlined below are deceptive, misleading, and in possible violationof Mo. Ann. Stat. § 407.020(1), which states:
St. Louis Children’s Hospital, “Education: PALS Class Registration – 
August 1-
2,” 2013,
The act, use or employment by any person of any deception,
fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation,
unfair practice
or the concealment,suppression, or omission of any material fact in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise in trade or commerce or the solicitation of anyfunds for any charitable purpose, as defined in section 407.453, in or from thestate of Missouri, is declared to be an unlawful practice.
In addition, Missouri law is clear “A seller shall not make a representation or statement of fact in anadvertisement that is false or has the capacity to mislead prospective purchasers.” Mo. Co
de Regs. Ann.tit. 15, § 60-7.020(1).
is defined as “the attempt by publication, dissemination, solicitation, circulation, or any
other means to induce, directly or indirectly, any person to enter into any obligation or acquire any titleor 
interest in any merchandise.” Mo. Ann. Stat. § 407.010(1).
is defined as “any objects, wares, goods, commodities, intangibles, real estate or services.”
§ 407.010(4).
is defined as “any
sale, lease, offer for sale or lease, or attempt to sell or lease merchandise for 
cash or on credit.”
§ 407.010(6).
is defined as “the advertising, offering for sale, sale, or distribution, or any
combination thereof, of any services and any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal, or mixed,
and any other article, commodity, or thing of value wherever situated. The terms “trade” and“commerce” include any trade or commerce directly or indirectly affecting the people of this state.”
. §407.010(7).
Alleged Misrepresentations and Deceptive Statements
On its Web site, SLCH advertises it training program by saying
: “
The people best qualified to practiceadvanced life-
saving techniques on small children and infants are those who’ve had a well
-rounded and
comprehensive training course, where they’re exposed to multiple forms of instruction including the useof mannequins and live animals. Ultimately, our goal is to do what’s right for kids, and that means
giving our physicians and caregivers every possib
le learning tool so they’re best prepared to save these
tiny young lives.
It goes on to state,
“Using mannequins isn’t as effective as using mannequins
alive animal.This is why the adjunct program is offered.
(Emphasis in original.) SLCH further 
“Deception is any method, act, use, practice, advertisement or solicitation that has the tendency or capacity to mislead, deceive or cheat, or that tends to create a false impression.” Mo. Code Regs. Ann.
tit. 15, § 60-9.020.
“A misrepresentation is an assertion that is not in accord with the facts.” Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 15,
§ 60-9.070.
An unfair practice is, in part,
any practice which “
[i]s unethical, oppressive or unscrupulous
” and“[p]resents a risk of, or causes, substantial injury to consumers.” Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 15, § 60
St. Louis Children’s Hospital, “Education: PALS Class Overview,” 2013, retrieved 29 Apr. 2013.
advertises its PALS training on its Web site by telling its consumers that,
“[T]he USDA conducted a
thorough assessment of the airway intubation program and facilities, and gave its full approval and
support of the [SLCH PALS] program.”
 These claims are not only unfounded, but are also unfair, deceptive, and misleading to the general public, the people of Missouri, other institutions offering PALS training, and the consumers of suchtrainings.
Evaluation of SLCH’s
Advertising Statements
Alleged Deceptive and Misleading Claims About Efficacy of Using Cats to Teach Human Intubation 
On its Web site advertising its PALS course, SLCH claims that those 
exposed to multiple forms of instruction including the use of mannequins and live animals
“best qualified
to practice advancedlife-saving techniques on small children and infants
Further, it states, “
Using mannequins [for intubation training]
isn’t as effective as using mannequins
a live animal
 These marketing statements about the educational benefits of intubating cats are baseless, and arecontrary to medical best practices and the scientific evidence available on the subject. SLCH
advertising statements listed above leads consumers to believe they will be less qualified to perform procedures on infants if they do not participate in the training exercises on cats. Contrary to the falseimpression created by SLCH, the available scientific evidence demonstrates exactly the opposite.To begin with, the American Heart Association (AHA)
which developed and sponsors the course inquestion at SLCH
has clearly stated,
“We do not endorse or require the use of animals during the
AHA-PALS training because of advances and availability of simulation mannequins. These mannequins provide the opportunity to practice all the necessary skills required for successful completion of an AHA
PALS course.”
It has also previously written
, “The AHA does not endorse the use of live animals for 
PALS training. The use of lifel
ike training manikins for PALS courses is the standard accepted norm. …
[T]he AHA recommends that any hands-on intubation training for the AHA PALS course be performed
on lifelike human manikins.”
The AHA’s position against animal use is based on the sci
entific evidence that using animals does notimprove the intubation skills of trainees.A study published in the scientific journal
 Pediatric Emergency Care
compared the pediatric intubationskills of medical care providers who had completed an initial training program on mannequins and thenhad either undergone additional training using mannequins or cats.
The study found that those who didthe additional mannequin training
instead of using animals were “
significantly more successful on thefirst attem
 pt at intubation and overall,” and the study’s authors concluded that “
training on mannequinsallows for greater concentration by the trainee on technique. Without the urgency to place the tube,which is felt when practicing on animals or humans, the trainee is much more open to suggestions and
American Heart Association, E-mail to PETA, 18 Mar. 2013.
American Heart Association, Letter to PETA, 3 Feb. 2009.
K. Adams
et al 
., “
Comparison of Intubation Skills Between Interfacility Transport Team Members,
 Pediatric EmergencyCare
(2000) 16: 5-8.

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