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Sign a petiton to stop Johns Hopkins from taking money from coal companies & denying workers black lung claims

Phyllis Wade

ABC World news conducted an investigation into Dr. Paul Saurel Wheeler, M.D. of the prestigious Johns Hopkins Medical Center. "Coal companies have paid millions of dollars to Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions over the last decade for medical opinions that have been used to deny hundreds of ailing mine workers meager black lung benefits, a year long investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity found.The head of the Hopkins unit that interprets X-rays in black lung cases, Dr. Paul Wheeler, found not a single case of severe black lung in the more than 1,500 cases decided since 2000 in which he offered an opinion, a review by ABC News and the Center found. In recent court testimony, Wheeler said the last time he recalled finding a case of severe black lung, a finding that would automatically qualify a miner for benefits under a special federal program, was in "the 1970's or the early 80's."

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  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    Hi Phyllis- curious to know what drew you to write this position? Do you have a personal story tied to this?

    • Phyllis Wade

      I know it's weird. I sign petitions, donate, volunteer for causes all the time but I have never started a petition. I watched this ABC World News tonight story on this case and for me it was the straw that broke the camels back of rich companies using their money and power to deny sick and dying coal workers a measly 1,000 a month benefit. Yet they can donate millions to this hospital and Dr. Wheeler with a straight face said it was his opinion that these were not severe cases of black lung disease when you have other doctors saying it is, and you have coal miners in graveyards and on oxygen and it did not seem to bother him at all. Greed by a corporation I could understand, but a doctor willingly disregarding the oath he took for money I became enraged. I am sure I am not the best person for this type of endeavor but I am taking it on anyway and seeing it to the end.

      • Alessandra Rizzotti

        I don't think it's weird at all. More power to you. Let us know how we can help you out beyond signing the petition.