History or Hoax

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My life changed August 19,1999. The day I captured, on film, a little boy reach from his mother's womb during fetal surgery to correct spina bifida at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. It was an absolute miracle. The four frames I was able to capture documented the interaction between an unborn child (21 weeks) and his surgeon.

That miracle became tarnished when Dr. Joseph P. Bruner claimed he took the hand out and posed the picture for the photographer, (Me). Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Director of News & Communications, and Director of Media Relations, John Howser, lied when he told Dennis Ferrier (channel 4 News, Nashville) in a 2006 interview that, "Someone asked how big is the hand, the doctor pulled the hand out and the photographer took the picture."

Dr. Noel Tulipan was quoted in the Tennessean Newspaper Feb. 10, 2011, in reference to my picture.

The article: "Spina Bifida Study Vindicates Vanderbilt", by Tom Wilemon. "But it was a photograph that caused a public controversy. Michael Clancy, a freelance photographer on assignment for USA TODAY, was photographing surgery on a 21-week-old fetus in 1999 when the baby's arm emerged from the womb. The shot was a powerful image one that abortion opponents embraced".

"I hadn't really anticipated that was going to happen when it happened," Tulipan said. "I tried to stay on the sidelines as far as that goes. That's obviously yet another controversial issue. We never really got into that debate here at Vanderbilt. We really tried to sidestep that."

Dear Dr. Tulipan, You invited a photographer into your surgical suite and a miraculous moment was captured on film. This is a miracle picture and you all played a part in history being made. It's time you all shared in the miracle.

Please help expose the truth by clicking the "My Blog" link below and contact the gentlemen listed on my "History or Hoax" Blog post. Just ask, "Is the picture history or is it a hoax?"

Michael Clancy

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