The beleaguered Cleveland Clinic has spent months extricating itself from the deep doo-doo of physician and institutional conflicts of interest, but now its really stepped in it: Dog lovers are hot on its trail.
During a demonstration of a new medical device to sales representatives of the maker, San Jose, Calif.-based Micrus Endovascular Corp., a large mixed-breed dog died. The death occurred after a brain aneurism was induced in the previously healthy dog by an unnamed clinic surgeon. The device, an aneurysm coil, is supposed to stop brain damage from an aneurysm. After the procedure, the dog was euthanized.
The incident earlier this month drew investigators from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and howls of protest from animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA says it learned of the demonstration on the day of the procedure and called leaders at the clinic and Micrus to offer an alternative method of demonstrating the device that wouldnt involve animals, says Shalin Gala, a PETA research associate. Gala says the clinic and Micrus didnt respond.
Micrus Vice President and General Counsel Carolyn Bruguera says, to her knowledge, Micrus officials were unaware of any nonanimal alternative to the demonstration procedure. The clinic, in a statement, says, As an academic medical center, Cleveland Clinic does not allow procedures with animals for the sole purpose of sales training. It reported the incident to the feds and launched an internal probe.