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Mr. BRYANT. Mr. Steger.
STATEMENT OF JOSEPH STEGER, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF
CINCINNATI, ACCOMPANIED BY STANLEY M. CHESLEY Mr. STEGER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I am Joseph A. Steger, president, University of Cincinnati. Stan Chesley has joined the University as an adviser, not really assistant, and he is former chairman of our board, and more than willing to help in this instance.
I appreciate the opportunity to have a chance to present the actions taken by the University of Cincinnati relative to the whole body radiation studies conducted at the then General Hospital some 20 to 30 years ago.
There have been some seven independent investigations of these studies mostly 20 to 30 years ago, when the current University was asked by the press and the families to supply documents or records, we began voluntarily to compile immediately all of the records we had relative to the study. It was a very complicated task. The records were not in one place. The records were in written forms, some were written, some were microfiche. And much of it, in order to copy it, we had to send to the State of Washington, to a special company that then took the microfiche and turned it into printed documents.
Although we did this, we still had in our archives or we found some 11,233 pages of documents all of which we have made public. We have made them public in terms of the press, in terms of inquiries, in terms of Government officials; and we will continue to make anything we find public.
The patient records, however, we have not made public. They are being, however, given to the families. I apologize if it has taken a long time. Most of them are on microfiche, and it took us several months to get the microfiche into print.
With the help of Senator Glenn and Congressman Mann, we secured the original DOD contract, which we did not have.
At the same time that we were undertaking to locate and reproduce documents, we began-again, voluntarily—to search for the patients' families, some 88 families. As of this date, we have located 38 surviving relatives, and we are still trying to locate 50 other patients' close relatives. We will continue to do so until we have exhausted different search techniques to find these families.
We have also established a hot line so that people could check to see if they or a relative had participated in the studies. We have handled over 2,857 calls and cross-checks with the records to ascertain if any of the inquirers or their relatives had been in the study. Obviously, few had.
We also feel a societal obligation to the surviving relatives. Although we are no longer the same entity under which the studies were conducted, we have offered social work support and/or pastoral counseling, should the families wish.
As a public entity, we shall continue to cooperate in any way we can to provide information, should we uncover any additional documents. At this time, we are fairly certain, in the sense of 90 to 100 percent, that we do not have any other documents that have not been reported, because we have contacted the departments in the studies, we have gone through all our archives, we have contacted every individual associated with the studies, and as far as we are concerned, we cannot find any other documents.
Thank you for allowing my testimony. I shall be glad to answer any of your questions. We will continue to cooperate in any way we can. Mr. BRYANT. Thank you. [The prepared statement of Mr. Steger follows:)
COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ADMINISTRATIVE
LAW AND GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS
APRIL 11, 1994
MR. CHAIR, MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE, I AM JOSEPH
A. STEGER, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI.
I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A CHANCE TO
PRESENT THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE UNIVERSITY OF
CINCINNATI RELATIVE TO THE WHOLE BODY RADIOTHERAPY
STUDIES CONDUCTED, AT THE THEN GENERAL HOSPITAL,
SOME TWENTY TO THIRTY YEARS AGO.
THERE HAVING BEEN SOME SEVEN INDEPENDENT
INVESTIGATIONS OF THESE STUDIES MOSTLY 20 TO 30
YEARS AGO, WHEN THE CURRENT UNIVERSITY WAS ASKED BY
THE PRESS AND THE FAMILIES TO SUPPLY DOCUMENTS OR
RECORDS, WE BEGAN TO COMPILE IMMEDIATELY ALL THE
RECORDS WE HAD RELATIVE TO THE STUDY.
MUCH TO OUR
SURPRISE, ALTHOUGH IT WAS A COMPLICATED TASK, WE
STILL HAD IN OUR ARCHIVES OR WE FOUND SOME 8, 200
PAGE OF DOCUMENTS--ALL OF WHICH WE HAVE MADE PUBLIC.
AND WITH THE HELP OF SENATOR GLENN AND CONGRESSMAN
MANN, WE SECURED THE ORIGINAL D.O.D. CONTRACT.
AT THE SAME TIME THAT WE WERE UNDERTAKING TO
LOCATE AND REPRODUCE DOCUMENTS, WE BEGAN A SEARCH
FOR THE PATIENTS' FAMILIES (SOME 88 FAMILIES).
OF THIS DATE, WE HAVE LOCATED 38 SURVIVING RELATIVES
AND WE ARE STILL TRYING TO LOCATE 50 OTHER PATIENTS'
WE ALSO ESTABLISHED A HOT LINE SO THAT PEOPLE
COULD CHECK TO SEE IF THEY OR A RELATIVE HAD
PARTICIPATED IN THE STUDIES. WE HAVE HANDLED OVER
1,000 CALLS AND CROSS CHECKS TO ASCERTAIN BY PATIENT
RECORDS (OF THESE 1, 000 SOME CALLS) IF ANY OF THE
INQUIRERS OR THEIR RELATIVES HAD BEEN IN THE STUDY-.
OBVIOUSLY FEW HAD.
WE ALSO FEEL A SOCIETAL OBLIGATION TO THE
SURVIVING RELATIVES. ALTHOUGH WE ARE NO LONGER THE
SAME ENTITY UNDER WHICH THE STUDIES WERE CONDUCTED,
WE HAVE OFFERED SOCIAL WORK SUPPORT AND/OR PASTORAL
COUNSELING SHOULD THEY WISH.
WE AS A PUBLIC ENTITY SHALL CONTINUE TO COOPERATE
IN ANY WAY WE CAN TO PROVIDE INFORMATION SHOULD WE
UNCOVER ANY ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS. AT THIS TIME, WE
ARE 90% CERTAIN THAT WE DO NOT HAVE ANY OTHER
DOCUMENTS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN REPORTED.
THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING MY TESTIMONY.
I SHALL BE
GLAD TO ANSWER ANY OF YOUR QUESTIONS.