The article also contained numerous erroneous statements. To mention a few, Mary Sherman never performed experimental work with monkeys or any other animals. She was an orthopedic surgeon at the Ochsner Clinic and a pathologist, not at Tulane as the book suggested. Her laboratory prepared slides from bones and their pathology, from which doctors could study. Dr. Gordon McFarland, who works at the Ochsner Clinic, was Dr. Sherman's associate and close friend. He took over her laboratory after her death and assures me that there was no animal experimentation -- ever -- in the laboratory.
The article also claims a laboratory accident with use of a linear particle accelerator at the U.S. Public Health Hospital caused the death of Dr. Sherman. The U.S. Public Health Hospital in New Orleans never had a linear particle accelerator. This can be easily documented. The author is so uninformed that he states that terms such as "carcinogenic" and "cancer causing chemicals" were not a part of the American vocabulary at that time, which is ridiculous.
During the period of time in the 1960s when the story allegedly took place, I saw my father every day. I can assure you he did no experimental work during that time. He was a man who devoted his life to helping people rid themselves of cancer by surgical means. My father wrote three books on the prevention of cancer and the hazards of smoking. And, for decades, he stood alone in the medical profession teaching this theory, which is universally adopted today.
Haslam admits in the article that he is only "one man with a word processor." It is a shame how such reckless and needless damage can be caused by someone who admits he is no investigator, and yet he takes liberties to condemn innocent people like my father.
It saddens me to think Gambit Weekly would publish unauthoritative material and deprecate the name of a man who had done so much for this city, country and the world. The fact that you knew my father, his devotion and kindness to mankind is even more disappointing.
John Ochsner, M.D.
EDITOR'S NOTE -- Gambit Weekly does indeed know of the many contributions of the late Dr. Alton Ochsner. It was never our intention to besmirch his reputation. We sincerely apologize to the Ochsner family for any representations that reflected badly on Dr. Ochsner and his work.
Finish the Park
Scuttlebutt (Gambit Weekly, July 24) missed some key points in the Bucktown Marina story. The Bucktown Marina Park is reclaimed land owned by the state and leased to Jefferson Parish. The lease agreement specifically spells out that the land will be used for marina and park purposes only. Mr. Eirich, Councilman Giambelluca, and others put together a highly commercial development proposal for the park that never c