So where is the FBI?
Due to an interest in the news from the University of California, I seem to have developed a theme on this blog, one which I didn't intend. However, now that the theme has developed, people tell me about events that fit that theme. A few days ago, for example, I got a call to tell me about this story. (addendum: the previous is a dead link. A live link to another version of the story is here).
To me the interesting part are the implications that the University of California is essentially selling residency spots in a federally funded training program. Put that together with the knowledge developed by the "unauthorized compensation" scandal of 2005, and what you have is the likelihood that University of California officials were using a federally funded program as a private piggy bank.
Once again, I have to wonder, "where is the FBI in all this?" Where were they when UC Irvine, in conjunction with UC San Diego personnel, claimed to have a liver transplant program that didn't actually have a full time surgeon, transplant-certified anesthesiologists, or other factors that were nominally required to have a transplant program?
I'm not going to belabor this point. I don't know where federal law enforcement officers were during these scandals. I do, however, know where at least one, very powerful and highly placed federal legal official was during the Neuchterlin-Gitlin experiments1, and during the UCI infertility scandal2. That federal official was in a (very nice) private room getting extremely large injections of euphorogenic drugs as a treatment for "backache.” To be more specific: this high ranking federal legal official would routinely come to UCLA for back pain that seemed to have no radicular component, was not postoperative, and seemed to cause no objective findings consistent with actual pain. He was treated with very large amounts of Demerol, a narcotic which is particularly well known for being a painkiller of relatively low analgesic potency, but high euphorogenic potency. Note that I was an anesthesia resident at UCLA at the time, and I, and other residents, all thought that the doses of narcotics this person was getting were at least unusually large. I believe that anesthesia personnel have a high barrier to the characterization of narcotic doses as "unusually large." Make of that what you will.
In any case, the clinical setting, and doses, and choice, of meds were weird to say the least. In fact, it might be, in my opinion, reasonable to rephrase what I just described as: “a high level federal legal official routinely came to UCLA to get drugs which are often used to get people high.”
Due to HIPPA rules, I can't name this official, or even name his position (gee, I wonder if such considerations might be part of the impetus behind HIPPA in the first place?), but it does answer the question as to what at least one high level federal legal official was doing while the University of California was arguably violating the law with impunity.
1In the Nuechterlein-Gitlin experiments, young people were apparently subjected to induced psychosis without their knowledge. This was run from UCLA until Tony Lamadrid, one of the apparently unwitting research subjects, apparently in an induced psychotic state, killed himself in approximately 1994. The program was then shut down at UCLA, and moved to the Westwood VA, which is run by UCLA.
2In the UCI infertility scandal, UC Irvine apparently ran a reproductive endocrinology clinic that stole embryos, sold them for research, fertilized women who'd come for reproductive help with the sperm of the clinic heads rather than the women's husbands or chosen mates, and, as of 2006, was still trying to hide from the biological parents the identities of at least 20 children who'd been born from stolen embryos.