In this post we show one of several amazing photographs taken by Michael Clancy of Samuel Armas being operated upon successfully as a 21-week-old unborn fetus (he's now turning 6 years old) to correct his spina bifida (which, by the way, John Cougar Mellencamp was born with, had successful operations for, and went on to record 20 albums, sell a few million of them and win a Grammy).
In Michael's reply allowing us permission to post the photo, he shared some disturbing news that both of us believe is important to make known:
Thank you so much for your email. I've spent the last several hours perusing your blog and some of the links. You certainly may use the picture of Samuel reaching from his mother's womb and I have attached a copy.If you haven't read the story of how Samuel reacted to the brush of the surgeon's finger by grabbing it in his fist and when the surgeon tried to jostle Samuel's little hand, the little guy sort of "finger-wrestled" with the doc, then you ought to.
In case you weren't aware, all the fetal surgery programs to correct spina bifida [a.k.a., myelomeningocele) in the US now fall under the jurisdiction of the National Institute of Health. They are involved in the MOM's Clinical Research Trials. One of the first things the NIH did was to institute a gag order on all medical personnel involved in these in utero procedures. No photos of the procedure or interviews about the procedure are allowed. What purpose could this gag order serve but to prevent the public from being informed?
Samuel proved to me that at twenty one weeks in utero the child is a reactive human being.
I'd also be honored for you to link to my web site. I average 2000 to 2500 visitors daily. Please let me know if I may be of service in the future.
******* UPDATE APRIL 4, 2007: Major TV Medical Drama Imitates Life: "HOUSE" reenacts Baby Samuel's hand grasp of his surgeon's finger. *******