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Subject: Please forward to Peter Keepnews -- inquiry re: my father's obit

From: "Peter M. Heimlich" <>

Date: 1/9/2017 9:12 AM
CC: "NYTimes, Senioreditor" <>, Seth Abramovitch

Good morning Peter,

Re: Bob McFadden's 12/17/16 obituary about my father:

On 12/19, I was contacted by Bob who told me that you'd steered him to me as a result of my
12/18/16 e-mail (copied below my signature). Bob and I had a good phone call which I followed up
with an e-mail. I haven't heard back from him -- no doubt he's got other distractions -- so may I
pick this up with you?

FYI, recently I had a helpful somewhat-related correspondence with Greg Brock so I thought I'd
loop him in.

Before jumping in, as I told Bob, I thought he did a very good job overall, however, I caught some
factual and reportorial concerns/questions which I've listed below. The bold sentences are from his

1) (The Heimlich maneuver) It is also the stuff of breathless, brink-of-death tales, told
over the years by Ronald Reagan, Edward I. Koch, Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn,
Cher, Walter Matthau, Halle Berry...

Via How Dr. Heimlich Maneuvered Hollywood Into Backing His Dangerous AIDS "Cure" by Seth
Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, August 14, 2014:

...(In his memoir, Heimlich's Maneuvers: My Seventy Years of Livesaving Innovation,

published earlier this year, he includes those of Cher, Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry
among them. Berry has denied being saved by the maneuver...)

Incidentally, I'm please to report that Seth's article (based on research by my wife Karen M.
Shulman and me) won an LA Press Club Award:

2) Dr. Heimlich developed and held patents on a score of medical innovations and

I asked Bob to provide me with his source for that number. Could you look into that, please, and let
me know the results?

3) (Heimlich's choking rescue claims, first) published in (1974 in) The Journal of
Emergency Medicine in an informal article headlined Pop Goes the Cafe Coronary,
were met with skepticism.

As Bob's article noted, my father's namesake maneuver was incorporated into American Red Cross
and American Heart Association guidelines in 1976, only two years after he introduced it. How
many medical procedures get approved that quickly? Therefore what's the basis for Bob's statement
that it was "met with skepticism?

4) Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, the thoracic surgeon and medical maverick who developed
and crusaded for the antichoking technique that has been credited with saving an
estimated 100,000 lives...A 2009 Op-Ed article in The New York Times estimated that
100,000 people had been rescued from choking.

IMO there's an attribution concern re: the 100,000 number.

I presume this is the 2009 Times Op-Ed which was written by cookbook author Joan Nathan which claimed:

Since 1974, when Henry J. Heimlich, a thoracic surgeon, introduced his abdominal-
thrust technique, an estimated 100,000 people have been rescued from choking.

Ms. Nathan's column doesn't identify her source for the number, so I think it's questionable for Bob
to have cited it.

So where did the 100K number originate? To my knowledge it came from the Heimlich Institute
but I'm unaware of any supporting data. (IMO it's pulled out of thin air.)

I'll leave it to you to sort that out, but here's one reason why the subject is interesting -- via

5) The American Medical Association...gave it the name Heimlich maneuver...

Although my father repeatedly made that claim, it was unequivocally denied by longtime JAMA
archivist Jann Ingmire in this 9/18/02 e-mail to me: (I corresponded
with her using a pseudonym.) If you wish to verify with Ms. Ingmire, here's her LinkedIn:
6) Karen was my equal partner in our efforts that helped to expose my father as a dangerous
charlatan, and her contributions have been reported in a number of media stories (including Seth's
THR article):

Therefore, this is to respectfully request that Bob's article be appended to credit Karen.

7) In blogs, interviews with newspapers, television networks and other forums, Peter
Heimlich alleged that his fathers institute had conducted abusive medical
experiments on AIDS, cancer and Lyme disease patients in the United States and
third-world countries, and endangered people with maneuvers to rescue choking and
drowning victims.

A. The history of the Heimlich Institute's violative "malariotherapy" experiments has been widely-
chronicled in the literature and in the mainstream press, for example Seth's THR article and this
2/16/03 Cincinnati Sunday Enquirer front pager (based on research by my wife and me) which includes...

(Dr. Heimlich's) experiments - which seek to destroy HIV, the AIDS-causing virus, by
inducing high malarial fevers- have been criticized by the Centers for Disease Control
and the Food and Drug Administration and condemned by other health professionals
and human rights advocates as a medical "atrocity.''

...and this 10/30/94 LA Times front-pager which includes:

"Heimlich's life-saving maneuver for people who aspirate food doesn't qualify one as an
HIV expert," said leading AIDS researcher Dr. Anthony Fauci, who called malaria
therapy "quite dangerous and scientifically unsound."

Dr. Fauci was also interviewed by Brian Ross in the 2007 ABC 20/20 expose of my father (which
resulted from my outreach to ABC News):

"It is scientifically unsound, and I think it would be ethically questionable," said Dr.
Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who has been seeking a cure for
AIDS since it was first identified in the 1980s.

Dr. Fauci says there is no evidence, even in countries where malaria is prevalent, that
the "malariotherapy" has any effect on AIDS.

"And it does have the fundamental potential of actually killing you," Dr. Fauci says. "It
can cause organ system damage; it can elevate your temperatures to the point that it can
do tissue damage to you."

My point is that stating that I "alleged" that the Heimlich Institute had conducted the experiments
is imprecise. That is, it's a fact, not an allegation.

Also, to my knowledge, the experiments were conducted in Mexico, Panama, China, Ethiopia, and
Gabon -- never in the United States. (BTW, which of those countries is considered to be "third-
B. ...Peter Heimlich alleged that his fathers institute...endangered people with
maneuvers to rescue choking and drowning victims.

For the same reason, IMO "alleged" is a problem. Via the June 3, 2011 Washington Post (based on
research by Karen and me):

The list of experts who reject the Heimlich maneuver (for drowning rescue) is lengthy:
The American Red Cross; the United States Lifesaving Association; the American Heart
Association; the Institute of Medicine; the International Life Saving Federation and
many experienced doctors and academics have strongly inveighed against doing
abdominal thrusts for drowning victims.

IMO this sentence is more accurate -- and resolves my request re: crediting Karen:

In blogs, interviews with newspapers, television networks and other forums, Peter
Heimlich and his wife Karen Shulman criticized the Heimlich Institute's offshore
medical experiments conducted on AIDS, cancer and Lyme disease patients, as well as
Dr. Heimlich's claims that the Heimlich maneuver should be used to resuscitate
drowning victims, to stop asthma attacks, to cure cystic fibrosis, and to respond to
choking infants and unconscious choking victims.

And just an FYI for a possible smile, this one got by many reporters:

More than four decades after inventing his maneuver, Dr. Heimlich used it
himself on May 23 to save the life of an 87-year-old woman choking on a
morsel of meat at Deupree House, their senior residence in Cincinnati.

...Patty Ris, who had by chance sat at Dr. Heimlichs table in a dining hall,
began eating a hamburger. And the next thing I know, I could not breathe I
was choking so hard, she said later. Recognizing her distress, Dr. Heimlich
did his thing. A piece of meat with a little bone attached flew out of her
mouth, he recalled.

More questions about the alleged choking rescue via this lively 6/1/16 McKnight's column:

Big thanks for your continued time/attention and I'd welcome your thoughts/questions.

Cheers, Peter

Peter M. Heimlich
ph: (208)474-7283
On 12/18/2016 10:52 PM, Peter M. Heimlich wrote to

To whom it may concern:


The article contains some factual errors plus I'd like to verify the source for what may be an
inaccurate statement.

How best to proceed?

Thanks for your time/consideration and I look forward to your reply.


Peter M. Heimlich
ph: (208)474-7283

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