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Children Drugged by Force
August 28, 2005 permalink
The article Inside Incarnation gives more on the New York foster children used for drug experiments. Children who refused to take the pills were given sugical implants to make drugging easier. Justifiable for life-saving medicines, but dubious to get experimental data.
Addendum: Commentary by oncologist Dr Dolores A Sicheri:
I sat for 5 years on a University Ethics Committee. Children are a "protected group." Ethics committees frown on clinical research in "protected groups." There has to be good reasons and possible benefits. There has to be a responsible person weighing benefits vs. risks and giving informed consent. This person also has the responsibility to withdraw consent if the study drug proves too onerous or too toxic for the child. The service providers in this particular case failed to fulfil this obligation. This is the reason for the media uproar. Putting feeding tubes into these children to administer the drugs is simply outrageous.
This case will go on to become part of the NCI's repertoire of things not to do. All medical professionals doing research are obligated to take a course in medical ethics.
This case is analogous to the Meadowbrook Long Island case of the 1970's. There parents were coerced into enrolling their disabled children into a study of the natural history of hepatitis B in an institution. The only access into residential services for these parents was to allow their child to be given the live hepatitis B virus. They were allowed to bypass the wait list for their consent.