by Liam Scheff
In 1998, Edmond McNack, a Missouri Sheriff’s Deputy, was bitten by a prisoner he was transporting. Both he and the prisoner were given HIV tests; both tested negative. It was determined that for safety’s sake, Edmond should take a “prophylactic” course of AIDS drugs (AZT plus 3TC). He did so, and lost 40 pounds in eight weeks. A nurse intervened and told him that he had to quit the drugs to save his life. Listen to his testimony on the Robert Scott Bell show.
He quit the drugs and his healthy improved, though he has suffered debilitating effects, including sarcoidosis, ever since. He had to quit his job and survive on disability. He has been on predisone to suppress the sarcoidosis; he has had two hip replacements. Prior to taking AIDS drugs, Edmond was an athlete and body-builder.
Edmond sought financial remuneration for the damage done to him by AIDS drugs. An AIDS expert in Colorado, Dr. Yasmine Wasfi (an instructor with National Jewish Hospital in Denver), was called upon to judge the merit of his claim. She decided that he couldn’t have been made sick by the drugs, because he was not HIV positive, thus there are no studies of the effects of these drugs in HIV negative people which could corroborate Edmond’s claim.
Final Award Denying Compensation:
“Dr. Friedlander admitted that the etiology of sarcoidosis is unknown; the manner of contraction of sarcoidosis is unknown; the causes of flare-ups of sarcoidosis are unknown; the HAART-sarcoidosis causal link is a gray area; and there are no known cases of HAART-induced sarcoidosis in an HIV-negative individual. When viewed in light of his testimony as a whole, Dr. Friedlander’s opinion that the HAART medications are the probable cause of the development of employee’s sarcoidosis symptoms is based upon speculation, guesswork, and surmise.” [LINK] [emphasis added]
One of three presiding judges dissented from the ruling:
Commissioner Hickey strongly dissented in Edmond McNack v. Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Inj. No.98-034419, in which the Commission affirmed Administrative Law Judge McKeon’s award and provided a supplemental opinion to express its rationale. In this case, the employee was bit by a prisoner, requiring him to undergo HIV prophylaxis. He subsequently developed sarcoidosis, the compensability of which was at issue here. The Commission weighed the testimony of two medical experts and found that the most credible and convincing evidence showed that there is not support for the proposition that the administration of HAART medications leads to the development of sarcoidosis in HIV-negative individuals. Commissioner Hickey’s dissent found that the testimony of the medical experts combined with other corroborating evidence made it reasonably probable that the employee’s sarcoidosis was caused by HAART medications. [LINK] [emphasis added]
Listen to his testimony on the Robert Scott Bell show. Click to Listen.