Wednesday, May 4

Never Again???

by justmy2 @ 5/04/2005 11:41:00 PM

Many people love to use those two words when they think about atrocities committed by governments over the years. Unfortunately, there are many times that these are no more than words.

The 21st Century Tuskegee Experiment

Government tested AIDS drugs on foster kids
Children not provided with basic legal protection, review finds

...The research funded by the National Institutes of Health spanned the country. It was most widespread in the 1990s as foster care agencies sought treatments for their HIV-infected children that weren't yet available in the marketplace.

The practice ensured that foster children, mostly poor or minority, received care from world-class researchers at government expense, slowing their rate of death and extending their lives. But it also exposed a vulnerable population to the risks of medical research and drugs that were known to have serious side effects in adults and for which the safety for children was unknown.

...In one study, researchers reported a "disturbing" higher death rate among children who took higher doses of a drug. That study was unable to determine a safe and effective dosage.

...However, researchers and foster agencies told AP that foster children in AIDS drug trials often weren’t given such advocates even though research institutions many times promised to do so to gain access to the children.

Illinois officials believe none of their nearly 200 foster children in AIDS studies got independent monitors even though researchers signed a document guaranteeing “the appointment of an advocate for each individual ward participating in the respective medical research.”

Please click on the link and read the entire article. The article states lives were extended in some cases, but then states a disturbingly high death rate occured in others. Does the ends justify the means?

Let me be clear. I have no problem with experimental medical care for those who are willing and able to accept the risks. I also think it is important to attempt to provide the best treatment available to all of those in need, including the most needy among us.

However, it is simply unacceptable in my view to experiment on children without oversight and then attempt to hide it from authorities. If this was on the up and up, why were advocates not assigned to these children who could take care of their best interests. We have seen this story before in Tuskegee. Rules were set up to ensure the same thing did not happen again. These rules were systematically subverted in this case. These are not mice. These are human beings who were guinea pigs for experimental treatments and may not have been aware of the consequences.

I simply ask you these two questions.

Have you heard about this? Why not?

I tend to believe this is at least worthy of a national discussion. Some people may believe doctors should experiment on kids if they think the treatments can help. I just happen to believe history has shown that someone independent should be involved in thes decisions, because of the potential conflicts of interest for the researchers.

The media of this country would prefer to talk about a bride who got cold feet than talk about experimentation on the most vulnerable among us. Have they no shame? By the way, the BBC reported this back in November, but the US media didn't find it important enough to discuss.

Remaining silent on this is simply not an option in my opinion. I implore you to email this story to anyone you believe would be interested.

Write your congressman or congresswoman and ask why they allowed this to happen and what they are going to do to never let it happen again. They can pass laws in one day to attempt to save the life of one person in Florida, but yet children are being experimented on like animals and nothing is done.

Write a letter to your editor or other local media asking why this is not more important than Michael Jackson and runaway brides.

Here are tips for writing letters to the media.

The madness must stop. Your silence is deadly. Literally.


And in case you didn't know, another African genocide is underway, but those lives do not seem to be important either. Thousands die each day and the world remains silent. What does "culture of life" really mean, and whose lives does it refer to? Silence is indeed deadly.


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