A University of Pennsylvania researcher who worked to protect astronauts from radiation died two years ago from brain cancer.
Now Jeffrey Ware’s family alleges Penn failed to maintain equipment, provide protective gear, and track his exposure while he conducted radiation experiments on animals, according to a lawsuit they have filed.
“When we look at the documents we have so far, we see the great care taken to protect the well-being of the research animals,” said attorney Aaron Freiwald, an attorney representing the Ware family. “The tragic irony here is how poorly these researchers were protected.”
Ware’s widow, Barbara Boyer, alleges that once he was diagnosed with cancer, Penn staff enrolled him in a damaging radiation study without his informed consent.
After multiple brain surgeries, Ware wasn’t capable of making that decision, Boyer said, adding that she knew nothing about it.
“Jeff just matter-of-factly said during dinner one night that he had been enrolled in a research study. He had a little bit of information, but not much,” she said. “I reached out to the radiation oncologist and asked why they would enroll him in a research study without asking me.”
Boyer claims the university falsely responded it was just an imaging study, not a treatment one.
University of Pennsylvania Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Susan Phillips declined to comment on the suit.