UPDATE: Missouri senators strip funding for Ellis Fischel Cancer Center

Thursday, April 29, 2010 | 4:36 p.m. CDT; updated 5:21 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 29, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri Senate committee removed funding Thursday for the construction of a new Ellis Fischel Cancer Center in Columbia.

The committee voted 10-1 to strip out $31 million for the project. The money would have come from the federal recovery package designed to reimburse the state for highway construction. Missouri might have had to repay federal money used for the cancer center instead of roads.

The Missouri Department of Transportation has raised concerns that the agency would not have received more federal money until the funds used for the cancer center had been repaid.

Lawmakers for several years have tried to fund the building of a new cancer center, which is part of the UM Health System. But the money has never come through.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, said the state needs to decide whether cancer treatment or roads are a bigger priority. "There is no higher project then the people's cancer hospital at the University of Missouri," Schaefer said.

Last year, the legislature approved money for the cancer center project. But Gov. Jay Nixon prevented that money from being spent. The cancer center was included this year on a list of state projects that already have been approved by lawmakers but not yet completed.

Committee members said there are construction projects across the state they would like completed.

"It would be unfair to the rest of the state to single out one project that is relatively new to the list and fund it," said Sen. Joan Bray, D-St. Louis.

Senators also voiced concern that spending federal recovery money to fund the cancer center would spur lawmakers to use it for other local projects.

"It's going to be a complete feeding frenzy if we do it this way," said Sen. Chuck Purgason, R-Caulfield. Purgason said projects in his legislative district are just as important as the cancer center.


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Robert C. Smeby May 1, 2010 | 3:16 p.m.

Not knowing the full story at this point, I would probably have to join the people that say,"Oh, so&so isn't as important as that big hole in the road by Jon's place!" But I would like to add some remarks of my own.

After collecting yearly donations for cancer 60 - 70 years ago and seeing more cancer patients dying yearly after chemotherepy, radiation, prostate and/or breast removal, etc. and still dying, "Why?"

It appears through the years that treatment and possible cures have been blacklisted! Other doctors have been harrassed, or worse, for claiming treatments. "Why?"

A doctor claiming success for a certain type of cancer has been jailed, and forbidden to talk to, or help people UNTIL the major medical establishment has given up and left them to die! HE HAS DONE THAT SUCCESSFULLY! No outroar (or whisper) from the people, medical profession, AMA, government. or??? "Why?"

Don't ask me to donate to cancer, or many other well known
diseases with a similar track record.

Thank you!

Robert C. Smeby

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 1, 2010 | 8:30 p.m.

Robert C. Smeby wrote:

"A doctor claiming success for a certain type of cancer has been jailed, and forbidden to talk to, or help people UNTIL the major medical establishment has given up and left them to die!"

The "major medical establishment" has nothing to fear from alternative treatments. Pharmaceutical companies are quick to explore new drugs - one of the benefits of the profit motive. Physicians don't succeed by killing their patients.

Patients have everything to fear from quacks that claim to have a treatment for a disease that mainstream medicine can't cure, or doesn't satisfy them for some reason. A patient with a terminal disease is very vulnerable. Some examples of this are noted at .

Cancer treatment has a lot of legitimate issues. The actual treatment is not a big one. Treatments are not being suppressed by some conspiracy.


(Report Comment)

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