|Isaiah wants to be home Aug. 27 for his birthday!|
But it turns out that we have been using children in foster care as if they were medical lab rats in some states.
Some states such as Tennessee and Wisconsin simply don’t allow for foster children to be used in medical studies. California requires a court order. Other states allow foster children to be involved in medical studies but under varying criteria, the children are supposed to have independent advocates to protect their interests.
MSNBC reports that for the past two decades the government conducted experiments involving drugs for AIDS on foster children but without the legal protections they should have had.
“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.” (my emphasis)
The results of these experiments ranged from minor adverse side effects to “a disturbing higher rate of death among children who took higher doses of the drug.”
Most of these experiments were conducted in the 1990’s in seven states: Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Colorado and Texas.
So what happened? The simplest way to put it is the rules were broken.
In Illinois, researchers signed documents promising to provide the affected children with advocates, but it never happened. Not for a single one of the 200 children in the study.
Less than a third of the children in New York City were provided with an advocate, despite the city’s policy requiring it. The same thing happened to the children studied at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
Of course, one can point to the fact that state agencies gave consent for these children to be placed in the studies.