Determining prostate cancer etiology by litigation: Science vs law

Cancer Science & Therapy

ISSN: 1948-5956

Open Access

Determining prostate cancer etiology by litigation: Science vs law

International Conference on Prostate Cancer

June 22-24, 2015 Florida, USA

Cliff Goldstein and Kris Kachline

Posters-Accepted Abstracts: J Cancer Sci Ther

Abstract :

At least 25 states have now been declared as a matter of law that prostate cancer is the result of firefighting. Momentum is building to draft ??cancer presumption? legislation in several states to replace the difficulty of establishing causation with the certainty of specified ??causes? for an ever increasing list of cancer. Litigators around the country are convincing judges that the traditional risk factors for prostate cancer of age, race and family history are outweighed by specified and unspecified occupational exposures. Gaps in knowledge about prostate cancer etiology are being filled by legislation, including rebuttable and irrebuttable presumptions that prostate cancer is an occupationally related disease. Scientists often do not foresee how their work will be manipulated by lobbyists, unions, industry and others to support or oppose political or social initiatives. In this paper, we explore the experience in Pennsylvania where millions of dollars have been paid out to firefighters for cancers that were presumed to be work-related as a matter of law based on distortion and exaggeration of published medical research. Nationally, billions of dollars may be misspent due to unintended reliance on skewed extracts from published research. The scientific community should learn more about how its work can be mangled by the legal system. We explore the use of the published literature on prostate cancer etiology by medical experts retained for litigation and by lawyers to demonstrate through citation to recorded testimony, how unintended consequences may flow when the legal system equates association with causation.

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