National Post: The report, which was broadcast on TV and remains online, claimed eight infants had died in a little over three years at St. Mary’s Medical Center under Michael Black’s care.
CNN and its star presenter Anderson Cooper are trying to force two Canadian universities and a Toronto hospital to hand over private files on a heart surgeon whose high-flying career was allegedly destroyed by a CNN report about newborn babies dying after his operations.
The surgeon has filed a massive defamation lawsuit, so any records — even from the distant past — that might undermine his claim to be “impeccably credentialed” would be useful for CNN’s defence.
Michael Black was educated and trained in Ontario, where he developed a reputation as a “miracle worker” at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children in the late 1990s. He pioneered a kind of minimally invasive heart surgery for infants, attracting newborn patients in dire condition from around the world, but he left for a leadership post at Stanford University in 1999 after a dispute with Sick Kids about ownership of surgical tools he invented.
Years later, in 2011, Black was recruited to run a new pediatric cardiac surgery program at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., which tried to compete with larger Florida hospitals in the rarefied world of neonatal heart surgery, in which Black had become a superstar.
That all came crashing down in 2015 after the publication of ‘Secret Deaths: CNN Finds High Surgical Death Rate for Children at a Florida Hospital.’ Within months, the hospital’s CEO had resigned, the surgical program was shuttered, and Black’s career was “effectively ended,” he claims in legal documents. He also claims his family has been subjected as a result to “numerous violent threats.” read more