Amy Reed, a doctor who fought to end the dangerous use of a medical device, passed away on Wednesday due to complications from cancer. Reed and her husband Hooman Noorchashm’s unyielding activism raised awareness about the harms of power morcellators, encouraging other affected patients to speak up and prompting the FDA to issue a warning for the device.
Reed began speaking out against the power morcellator, a tissue-cutting device to remove fibroids, after the use of a morcellator during her own hysterectomy in 2013 caused undiagnosed cancer to spread throughout her body. The device was commonly used in hysterectomies, despite research showing that the risk of cancer was much higher than morcellator manufacturers claimed. It was not until Reed and her husband began their campaign against morcellators – writing letters, creating an online petition, and filing a lawsuit against the device manufacturer – that the FDA took notice.
“Amy Reed and Hooman showed extraordinary courage in the face of tragedy,” said Shannon Brownlee, senior vice president of the Lown Institute. “Her story helps shine a bright light on our failure to effectively regulate medical devices.”