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The administration's writ of certiorari complaint in the case of John F. Kerry, Secretary of State, et al., Petitioners, v. Fauzia Din, illustrates the government's unwarranted obsession with secrecy in visa determinations.

The trigger for the certiorari writ was the Ninth Circuit's ruling that American citizens are entitled to know why spousal visas are denied. The case under consideration concerns Fauzia Din, an American citizen and her husband Kanishka Berashk, an Afghan national.

Shortly after her marriage to Mr. Berashk in 2006 Ms Din filed an immigrant visa petition on behalf of her husband. The petition was approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS].

Mr. Berashk then visited the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad to apply for his visa. Generally visa applications are granted or denied in a six-week period. Mr. Berashk was not notified by the U.S. Embassy until June 2009 that his visa request was denied due the belief that he had engaged in terrorist activities. The government notified Mr. Berashk that its decision was final and not subject to appeal.

With all avenues closed Ms. Din decided to challenge the consulate's decision by asking for judicial review. The district court hearing Ms. Din's complaint elected to dismiss the case based on the doctrine of consular nonreviewability. This rule prohibits the judiciary from questioning visa decisions.

The next court assessing the Din complaint was the Ninth Circuit. They ruled that an American citizen has the right to know why her husband was denied a visa. Being that the case involves national security the court suggested an in camera hearing so a judge could evaluate the worth of the government's allegation. This suggestion was rejected by the administration because in its opinion federal judges cannot be trusted with national security matters.

Because the government has refused to provide any documentation regarding Mr. Berashk's persona non grata status the Ninth Circuit said the government's terrorist claim is not valid. In other words without evidence there is no facially legitimate and bona fide reason for denying the Berashk visa.

If the administration wins its writ of certiorari petition pending before the Supreme Court neither Mr. Berashk, his wife nor the public will ever know if there is any merit to the terrorist claim. Several groups have filed amicus briefs on Ms. Din's behalf. Most notably is the one filed by Former Consular Officers. In their brief the group said present day visa evaluations are not based on consular input but rather on often faulty data drawn from suspect sources. In the officers' opinion:

Judicial review is a necessary safety valve
for visa denials relying on databases
and watchlists that are compiled
with variable reliability by multiple
agencies, several of which have no authority
over visa decisions.
Executive and congressional decisions often violate constitutional boundaries. Judicial review keeps these parties on notice that there is another group reviewing their activities.

Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 10:42 AM PST

Children and Lobotomy Drugs

by Lynne Vogel

Lobotomies, surgical interventions for depression, psychosis and homosexuality disorders were performed on 40,000 Americans from 1936 to the early 70s. Generally these surgeries were performed without patients' consent.

The Wall Street Journal 's Lobotomy Files informs that 2,000 WW II veterans received psychosurgery while under Veterans Administration care. Patients surviving the procedure were narcotized for life.

The American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality a mental aberration until 1973.

Public concern regarding lobotomies and other novel experiments conducted on the mentally infirm caused President Carter to set up a National Commission  to examine the issue. Members of the Commission determined that Nuremberg protections were not applicable to this vulnerable group because:

....some research involving the mentally infirm cannot be undertaken with any other group, and since this research may yield significant knowledge about the causes and treatment of mental disabilities, it is necessary to consider the consequences of prohibiting such research. Some argue that prohibiting such research might harm the class of mentally infirm persons as a whole by depriving them of benefits they could have received if the research had proceeded.
Psychosurgery, rarely performed in the U.S today, has been replaced with mind-altering drugs which are another form of lobotomy.

Adults were the first population to receive antipsychotic medication. Now these products are commonly used by pediatricians and psychiatrists to control recalcitrant children. There is limited evidence, other than prescription practices, to validate the use of these medications in children. Diagnosing mental disorders in children is a subjective exercise and there are numerous indications that PhRMA and physicians have abused their licenses. Adults choose their treatment regimens; children have no say in their health care.

A 2013 Consumer Reports investigation found that the use of anti-psychotics in children has nearly tripled in the past decade and that many of these prescriptions were written off label i.e. without testing and FDA approval. Consumer Union calls the practice of prescribing anti-psychotic drugs to children an unregulated experiment. Suspect physician practices include concomitant use of five or more anti-psychotics and application  of these drugs in children under the age of three.

Medicaid-insured children including state wards are far more likely to receive anti-psychotics than those in the general population. Foster children are targeted because they are routinely used in government-sponsored clinical trials.

Health Canada reported in 2013 that anti-psychotic medication had killed 17 children and harmed 73 others.

The FDA requires drug manufacturers to place black box warnings on most psychotropic medications, an acknowledgement that these products pose grave risks to patients.

American children have died and suffered injury as a result of their psychotropic drug treatments. The question of whether these medications are worth the risks is unknown because the FDA has not released casualty reports.


James Keen, a former scientist/veterinarian at the U. S. Meat Animal Research Center notified the New York Times a year ago that the Nebraska site's cows, pigs, and sheep were subjected to painful, unnecessary experiments that caused crippling ailments and death.

The center, operating under Agriculture Department purview, is exempt from the Animal Welfare Act which means that the center's personnel may conduct any manner of experiments on its test animals without regard to their suffering.

Freedom of Information documents obtained by the Times verified Dr. Keen's complaints regarding animal mistreatment at the U. S. Meat Animal Research Center. Examples of cruelty cited by the newspaper: animals undergoing surgery without anesthesia, pigs and cows placed in steam chambers, newborn lambs left in deadly environments and pigs held in claustrophobic quarters. Animals who do not survive the experiments are disposed of in the facility's death pit.

The Times exposé may affect change for these hapless animals.


Thu Jan 29, 2015 at 02:49 PM PST

Foster Children in Harm's Way

by Lynne Vogel

In 2005 the Associated Press reported that foster children had been denied required protections when state agencies enrolled their wards in federally-sponsored AIDS clinical trials in the 80s and 90s.

This explosive news prompted a congressional hearing on whether foster children should be engaged in research projects and if they are selected, are their interests being meaningfully protected?

Post investigation, the government conceded that foster children's rights had been violated but said that the group would remain in experimental enterprises.

Federal policy—the taking of foster children for experimental purposes—was detailed by Dr. Donald Young, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2005 in his testimony before the Subcommittee on Human Resources.

Dr. Young explained that the use of foster children in clinical research was necessary for scientific purposes. The inclusion of foster children in research was initiated by HHS Secretary Bowen in 1989. Secretary Bowen said:

State and local child welfare agencies should create systems to manage the participation of children in foster care in special medical treatment and experimental trials.
(HHS/ASPE, 1989, p. 60).

The Department of HHS provides limited data on foster children and none on how many of these state-protected individuals have been placed in clinical trials. When asked how many state wards were engaged in federal research Dr. Young told the subcommittee that:

We know that across the National Institutes of Health (NIH) there are a number of clinical trials ongoing and children participating, but I do not have numbers of children in foster care that might be in that group.
It is implausible that Dr. Young did not have that information— he was testifying on the matter of foster children in clinical trials.

When 7-year old foster child Gabriel Myers committed suicide in 2009 the state of Florida asked the FDA to confirm or deny whether the child had been enrolled in Dr. Sohail Punjwani drug trials. The FDA refused to answer and Florida responded that henceforth no Florida foster child would be used in pharmaceutical research. For additional information on the death of Gabriel Myers please see ABC's "Doctors Put Foster Children at Risk With Mind-Altering Drugs."

Parents generally do not volunteer their children for research projects that involve risk and provide no benefit. The FDA may not be forthcoming regarding foster children in clinical trials but much can be learned from the information that is available.

The following are examples of children in vaccine and infant formula research that provide no favorable outcome to the participants. These children were likely selected from state welfare rolls.

  • Clinical trial to assess the safety, tolerance and immunogenic response to Gardasil (human papilloma virus (HPV)) and rLP2086 vaccine in male and female test subjects, ages 11-17. There were 2,499 participants.
  • Evaluation of the safety of FluMist in children and adults. There were 63,061 enrollees.
  • The standard care for children with UTIs is a ten day regime of antibiotics. This study shortened the treatment period to five days.
  • Study to determine the efficacy and safety of CAIV-T compared to TIV. This exercise utilized 8,500 children.
  • The Swine flu vaccine safety test involved 1,357 children.
  • Investigational study to determine the safety of MenACWY Conjugate Vaccine when given to healthy children; 2,907 children participated in the study.
  • GlaxoSmithKline study of two doses of live attenuated HRV vaccines in 529 healthy infants.
  • A study to determine the safety of a new measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. The product was tested on 1,100, twelve to eighteen month old, children.
  • A trial to gauge the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of MCV4, Tdap vaccine and Bivalent rLP2086 vaccine when administered concomitantly to children ages 10-13. There were 2,677 children in the study.
  • An evaluation of the safety and immunogenicity of different combinations of A/H1N1 S-OIV (swine flu) vaccine in 784 healthy children.
  • A trial to determine if an experimental infant formula provides normal growth. Mead Johnson Nutrition expects to enroll 315 infants.
  • A study to evaluate the gastrointestinal tolerance of six experimental milk protein-based powered infant formulas in 270 newborns.
  • New Starter Formulas and controls were tested on 297 infants.
  • Hydrolysate Formulas and control products were fed to 195 infants.
  • Amino Acid Infant Formulas and control products were fed to 225 infants
  • Control and experimental formulas were fed to 424 newborns.
  • Investigational formulas given to 168 infants.

There were 402,378 children under state custody as of September 30, 2013.

Foster children die and are harmed as a result of their involuntary participation in the government's experiments.

Where is the outrage?


The entities involved in gene research state that their resultant products are safe but that is a supposition not a fact.

With scant due diligence, a National Academy of Sciences task force determined in 1987 that gene splicing posed no "unique risk." In the professionals' viewpoint there was no evidence of "hazards peculiar" to the technology. This optimistic assessment did not hold—gene manipulation carries serious risks.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a unit of the USDA, is responsible for ensuring that experimental, genetically-altered, organisms do not escape their test sites and that they are destroyed post examination.

According to the Inspector General's '05 audit, APHIS's oversight over the past several decades has been perfunctory. Prior to 2006 the government had approved over 10,000 applications for more than 49,000 field sites of GM plants. The OIG found that:

weaknesses in APHIS’ regulations and internal management controls increase the risk that regulated GM organisms will inadvertently enter the environment before the agency considers them sufficiently harmless to merit unregulated status.
The agency considers certain GM crops to pose a high risk, such as plants engineered to produce pharmaceutical and industrial compounds, or plants engineered with human genes.
The debate is complex and presently there is no consensus as to the safety of GMO science but it should be considered that the government and their corporate overlords were silent while conducting GMO trials during the 70s. Gene research went into overdrive in 1976 when patents were granted for these creations.

American consumers became the first genetically-altered food test subjects in 1994 when Flavr Savr tomatoes were introduced. Today 88% of corn and 93% of soybean crops have been genetically modified and most of this product is unlabeled and flows into processed foods.

In 1989 consumers learned that their pharmaceuticals were subject to genetic
engineering following the L-trypophan tragedy. In this extensively investigated case researchers found that the L-trypophan product manufactured by the Showa Denko company in Japan had been genetically modified with B. amyloliquefaciens Strain V, which likely caused the death of 37 Americans and permanent disability for 1,500 others. For further information please read "An Investigation of the Cause of the Eosinophilia–Myalgia Syndrome Associated with Tryptophan Use " by the New England Journal of Medicine.

It is understood that genetically modified organisms will continue to impact food, drugs and soon animals. This month the NYTs reported that some biotech companies hope to escape regulation by using  gene guns rather than bacterium to achieve results.

In December 2013 Jim Hagedorn, Scotts chief executive, told analysts:

If you take genetic material from a plant and it’s not considered a pest, and you don’t use a transformation technology that would sort of violate the rules, there’s a bunch of stuff you can do that at least technically is unregulated. The company has created a stunning array of products that are not regulated
We nor they know the consequences of these GMO clinical trials but we do have the right to know that our consumables have been genetically redefined.

Consumers conduct business in a global marketplace but, unlike most world citizens, Americans outside the state of Maine do not have the right to import pharmaceutical products for medical necessities. Although the government rarely prosecutes those purchasing from foreign suppliers, the policy restricts choice and is a form of intimidation. The government's rationale for banning out-of-country manufactured drugs is safety.

The patient protection claim is absurd for more than 80% of the active ingredients in U.S. drugs have been formulated in foreign, primarily Indian/Chinese, venues. Often these businesses are owned by American pharmaceutical companies who have found significant savings by using foreign labor. Most products, food/clothing etc. imported into the U.S. indicate country of origin. Pharmaceuticals products do not provide this advice.

According to the General Accounting Office, global pharmaceutical production sites are rarely, if ever, checked by U.S. regulators:

FDA’s foreign inspection program continues to be driven by new drug applications and the agency acknowledges that it may never inspect most foreign manufacturers exporting pharmaceutical products to the United States. (GAO 1998 Report: "FDA: Improvements Needed in Foreign Drug Inspection Program" pg. 33)
In 2011 the GOA found the same FDA inspection deficiencies.

The government knew or should have known that these infrequent inspection regimens would be the cause of nightmarish patient outcomes. Two notable examples are the contaminated heparin drug imported by Baxter in 2008 and the other is the 2012 New England Compounding polluted methylprednisolone acetate product.

In both instances deviant manufacturing practices and perfunctory regulations caused death and injury to hundreds of patients. As noted by the General Accounting Office Congress's failure to allocate adequate funding for regular inspections poses needless risks to consumers. To ensure product safety, foreign and domestic facilities should receive annual unannounced visits by the FDA and no pharmaceutical product should enter the US market without said inspection.

As long as pharmaceutical prices were reasonable, most Americans did not question the legitimacy of the federal foreign drug prohibition but the costs of drugs, especially generics has risen inexplicably in the last two years. In some cases over 500% report congressional researchers. For information on savings from foreign distributors please visit

Last year, in violation of federal law, the Maine legislature decided to provide state residents with an option—Mainers can legally purchase pharmaceuticals from Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. The Maine Drug Importation Law provides consumers with choice and savings. The state of Maine is being sued by PhRMA and other interested parties who claim unfair business practices among other issues.

In early December Bloomberg News published a timely article on foreign drug imports. It is titled "Drug Batch Tainted? Just Hit Delete and Ship It to the U.S."

Contrary to the FDA's opinion, it makes little difference where Americans purchase their prescriptions.


Gabriel Myers, a heavily-medicated seven-year old foster child, committed suicide in 2009. Gabriel's autopsy report indicated that he was taking psychotropic drugs known to trigger suicidal actions.

Gabriel's psychiatrist,  Dr. Sohail Punjwan, had prescribed Vyvanse 50 mg, Symbyax 3/25 mg and Lexapro 10 mg. Symbyax is a combination drug product consisting of olanzapine, an antipsychotic and fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

Gabriel was under state custody from June 29 2008 to April 16, 2009, the time of his death. Gabriel Myers' case history is available here.

Florida officials suspected that Dr. Punjwan had placed Gabriel in his psychotropic drug trial and asked the FDA to verify whether Gabriel and other state-protected children were involved in Dr. Punjwan's pharmaceutical research. This is a telling piece of information for it means that protection agencies are not apprised of foster children's enrollment in government-sponsored testing regimens.

Because the FDA refused to provide said information George Shelton, secretary of the department of Children and Families told the agency that Florida was banning the employment of wards of state in drug trials. The FDA's response: the benefits can outweigh the risks.

In early 2010 the FDA advised Dr.Punjwan via letter that he had neglected to:

adhere to the applicable statutory requirements and FDA regulations governing the conduct of clinical investigations.
Your failure to conduct the requisite safety measures contributed to the unnecessary exposure of pediatric subjects to significant overdoses, which jeopardized the subjects' rights, safety and welfare.
Children seized by state protection agencies have routinely been subjected to federally-financed experimentation since 1989. This practice was approved by Congress at the suggestion of HHS Secretary Otis R. Bowen who said:
State and local child welfare agencies should create systems to manage the participation of children in foster care in special medical treatment and experimental trials. (HHS/ASPE, 1989, p. 60).
It is not known what the legislators were thinking when they adopted Secretary Bowen's proposal but their action clearly violated Article IV of the Bill of Rights which states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized
Children are generally taken by juvenile courts to protect them from abuse and neglect. For the federal government to authorize state use of this population for experimental purposes is illegal under the law for it permits unreasonable searches.

Since 1989 an unknown number of foster children have been forced to test pharmaceutical compounds for the benefit of the medical complex. Since this captive group has no voice in their medical servitude the U.S. is also breaching the Nuremberg Code mandate of informed consent.

To understand the plight of these state-controlled children one should consider the standard practices in clinical studies. The American Medical Association reports the following common procedures: blood draws, MRI's, allergy skin testing, electromyography, pharmacokinetic studies, testing of drugs believed to be safe in 500 adults and lumbar punctures with and without sedations. Upon occasion, researchers have surgeons fit children with gastronomy tubes to ensure drug delivery. Risks of harm to trial participants is high for more than 70% of the trials fail to meet safety/efficacy expectations.

Children believed to be suffering from somatoform [induced by parents] disorders are also often taken by the state and are then isolated in psychiatric facilities. Cases in point are Justina Pelletier and the other children who entered Boston Children's Hospital with difficult to define medical issues.

Course of action on the part of BCH staff: dispute the admitting diagnosis, claim parental medical child abuse [Dr. Alice Newton], have a judge agree [Joseph F. Johnston] and then take the child into experimental chambers. Researchers posit that isolation is beneficial to those believed to be suffering from somatoform disorders.

Dosing children's bodies with all manner of untested chemicals to market new drugs and incarcerating others in psychiatric wards to evaluate somatoform disorders is not acceptable.

U.S. policy—foster children as test vessels—abrogates provisions of the Bill of Rights, the Nuremberg Code and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The International Criminal Court defines non consensual human experimentation as a crime against humanity.


Brittany Maynard's reflections on why she was ending her life:

I made my decisions based on my wishes, clinical research, choices, discussions with physicians, and logic.  I am not depressed or suicidal or on a ‘slippery slope.’ I have been in charge of this choice, gaining control of a terrifying terminal disease through the application of my own humane logic.
Most religions, specifically Catholicism, condemn Ms. Maynard's action as a violation of the Fifth Commandment — "Thy Shall not Kill." Interpreters of the Bible have determined that the homicide dictate is also applicable to suicide.

When the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution in 1791 the authors recognized the likelihood that religious leaders would attempt to influence legislative matters and so Article Three affirmed that Congress "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." The founding fathers knew from past experience that religious disputes cripple governments.

Be that as it may, Congress and state legislative bodies have frequently passed Christian-inspired laws. These controlling measures violate Article Three and civil rights. Most state laws, for instance, forbid physician-assisted suicides. Some other laws based on religious belief (Canon Law) include divorce, reproduction, and sexual preference prohibitions. From the Catholic Church's perspective homosexuality, birth control/abortion, divorce and suicide are not issues of choice.

President Reagan formalized relations with the Holy See in 1984. Those serving as Vatican ambassadors, if Catholic, must agree with the church's position on life issues.

As intended Brittany Maynard provoked a fiery discussion on the right to die while under medical supervision and as expected many dispute her course of action. For instance, Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, called Oregon's Death with Dignity Law reprehensible.

The Catholic Church is a misogynistic institution with unresolved pedophilia and forced labor issues.

If Msgr. Carrasco and his employer were in charge of American affairs, women would not be eligible for political office and personal choice laws would be abolished.


Tue Nov 04, 2014 at 03:50 PM PST

MSN's "No Choice News" Homepage

by Lynne Vogel

On September 30, 2014, Microsoft terminated its "My MSN" homepage service and substituted its own selected news feeds. The consequence: MSN now controls the source of news for its patrons.

Prior to the change MSN homepagers could choose their news outlets which might include The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Fox News and Al Jazeera.  Comparing news reports on various issues was an easy endeavor.

MSN's new rolling photo format could be called the three stooges of news, lots of slapstick, little substance. Phooey!


Juvenile judges in Massachusetts and other states routinely sever parental rights on the grounds of wrongful medical treatment. Suspicions of medical child abuse are generally brought to the courts' attention by research hospitals who upon occasion have pursuits outside the well-being of the child.

When the intervenors are successful the institutions are permitted to keep the children, proceed with divergent courses of medical treatment and bill Medicaid for the cost. If the now ward of state has a condition of interest to the research facility the child may be selected for experimental therapies such as psychiatric isolation. Parents, foster children and their former physicians have no voice in these decisions.

Circumstantial evidence suggests that Boston Children's Hospital was engaged in somatoform disorder research when the psychiatric staff filed a medical child abuse complaint against Justina Pelletier's parents. Justina was not the only child targeted by the hospital. The Boston Globe reported that at least five other children over an eighteen-month period preceded the path of Justina in Boston Children's Hospital medical child abuse complaints.

A lawsuit filed in May 2014 alleges that the parents of a child who was receiving treatment at Boston Children's Hospital in June 2012 were put on the state abuse watch list and were then threatened with loss of their daughter if they did not agree to her psychiatric confinement.

The taking of Justina Pelletier by Judge Joseph F. Johnston on the basis of a medical child abuse allegation is an example of the unchecked power of hospitals, the Department of Children and Families and the Massachusetts juvenile court system.

Although medical child abuse was not addressed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in their ruling against the Department of Children and Families et al in March 2014 the court found that the Massachusetts child protection agency's practices were "conscience shocking" and were depriving foster children of constitutional protections.

The decision by Judge Johnston to allow the incarceration of Justina Pelletier, a fourteen-year-old foster child with no history of mental issues, meets the Supreme Court's test of  "shocks the conscience."

The following is a brief recap of the Pelletier travesty as reported by The Boston Globe. Dr. Alice Newton and Judge Joseph F. Johnston were the parties responsible for Justina's sixteen-month captivity.

Dr. Alice Newton, head of Boston Children's Hospital child protection team, notified the state Department of Children and Families in February 2013 that their newly-admitted patient, Justina Pelletier, was a victim of medical child abuse. Swayed by Dr. Newton's certainty Judge Joseph Johnston held within days that Justina Pelletier had been harmed by her parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier. The rationale for taking Justina: the parents were permitting Dr. Mark Korson of Tuft's Medical Center to treat their daughter for a mitochondrial condition.

Dr. Newton conveniently neglected to tell Judge Johnston that Boston Children's Hospital treats mitochondrial disorders and performs the highly criticized cecostomy surgery.

If Lou Pelletier had obeyed Judge Johnston's gag order, Justina may have remained a ward of the state until her eighteen birthday.

Former rulings make it clear that Judge Johnston erred when he chose to separate Justina from her parents and place her under state custody for the reasons cited by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in Sevigny’s Case, 337 Mass. 747 (1958). :

The courts are not to determine which side of a medical dispute is sound where each side is supported by reason and logic.
When Judge Johnston returned Justina to her parents on June 18, 2014 the contretemps became moot. But the question remains, was Judge Johnston conducting a kangaroo court?

The state practice of revoking parental rights based on medical child abuse [disparate medical opinions] is being legally challenged by the parents of a child who received treatment at Boston Children's Hospital in June 2012.

Nature of the Action:

The Massachusetts Department of Children & Families ("DCF") has violated and continues to violate the fundamental rights of parents under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to choose which healthcare providers will examine and treat their children. DCF has unconstitutionally expanded the concept of "medical child abuse" without sufficient and justifiable standards to intrude on sincere, vigilant and loving efforts by parents who face competing diagnoses and different views on the medical condition of their children.
This May 2014 civil complaint bears an uncanny resemblance to the case of Justina Pelletier. Both children entered Boston Children's Hospital with complex medical histories and both were reevaluated and subsequently diagnosed with undifferentiated somatoform disorders. The Boston Globe reported in December 2013 that Boston Children's Hospital has a history of alleging medical child abuse and then subjecting the taken children to psychological therapy.

Abuse allegations are self serving because when the hospital is successful in its claims, the state permits the institution to keep the children, dismiss previously established diagnoses and proceed with its own judgment. Elizabeth Wray was another child whose parents were charged with medical child abuse while their daughter was receiving care at BCH. In the cases referenced the new diagnoses are psychological in nature.

Rob Graham, Boston Children's Hospital spokesman has refuted claims that the hospital conducted research on Justina Pelletier. In a written response to the Hartford Courant, Graham said that the "allegations that research was conducted on the patient are baseless and patently false."

Undifferentiated somatoform disorders are difficult to identify and manage conditions. Research on the subject suggests that some patients may require psychiatric confinement and intensive cognitive behavioral therapy. Dr. Alice Newton, head of Boston Children's Hospital child protection team and orchestrator of the Justina Pelletier custody petition told The Boston Globe that these drastic measures were worthwhile. It is likely, but yet unproven, that Boston Children's psychiatric staff were engaged in somatoform clinical research.

According to the complaint Dr. Gary Gosselin, Boston Children's Hospital Inpatient Psychiatric Medical Director, advised the parents that their daughter would be placed under state jurisdiction if they failed to agree with the hospital's orders. With no suitable options the parents agreed to: accept the somatoform diagnosis, pursue no further second opinions and commit their daughter. The forced isolation worsened the child's condition, she was released but remained subject to DCF's supervision.

Intimidated by Boston Children's Hospital dictates and the institution's connection to the Department of Children and Families, the parents are asking for injunctive relief to continue to seek other medical advice without fear of losing their daughter to protective custody.


No Entity may Utilize Children in Nontherapeutic Research—Maryland Court of Appeals

Medical researchers are generally required to obtain consent before selecting subjects for experimental studies but there are two vulnerable populations not covered by the The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (Common Rule).  The first consent-waiver group is foster children, the other, trauma patients. Wards of state have been clinical trial test vessels since 1989.

The most recent example of a foster child being used in ambiguous behavioral research is Justina Pelletier. She and other minors while patients at Boston Children's Hospital were placed under state custody on the premise that the parents were medically abusing their children. Once under state jurisdiction, these children were held by the hospital and treated for their newly-diagnosed psychosomatic disorders. These novel measures, instituted by Dr. Alice Newton, were expected to demonstrate that parental influence was the cause of the children's physical complaints. The circumstances of Justina's sixteen-month confinement as reported by The Boston Globe has precipitated a law to protect children from similar mistreatment. Titled, Justina's Law, H.R. 4989 would:

prohibit the use of federal funds to conduct or support treatment or research involving a ward of the state in which the individual's health is subjected to greater than minimal risk with no or minimal prospect of direct benefit.
An example of the use of children, with parental consent, in nontherapeutic research is the Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins lead abatement clinical study conducted in the early nineties. In 2001 the Maryland Court of Appeals determined, along with other issues, that:
in Maryland a parent, appropriate relative, or other applicable surrogate, cannot consent to the participation of a child or other person under legal disability in nontherapeutic research or other studies in which there is any risk of injury or damage to the health of the subject.
The lead measurement blood study 1993-1999, deliberately exposed hundreds of children to a known toxic property on the basis of the principle of the greater good. Involved parties, outside the complaint, included the EPA and the Johns Hopkins Institutional Review Board.

Concerns expressed by the court:

The researchers and their Institutional Review Board apparently saw nothing wrong with the search protocols that anticipated the possible accumulation of lead in the blood of otherwise healthy children as a result of the experiment, or they believed that the consents of the parents of the children made the research appropriate.
Annotation: Of the more than three thousand Institutional Review Boards directing research, many have been censured for their conduct. Members of Congress and the General Accounting Office have found IRB standards lacking, but nevertheless these entities control the clinical trial environment. Janet Woodcock, director of CDER at the FDA, has reported that "the agency inspects at most 1 percent of all clinical trials."  An AMA survey conducted in 2002 found that IRB chairpersons could not agree on risk parameters for routine procedures performed on a healthy eleven-year-old child. For instance there was no consensus on whether pharmacokinetic testing was a minimal risk, minor increase over minimal risk or more than a minor increase over minimal risk procedure.
Otherwise healthy children, in our view, should not be enticed into living in, or remaining in, potentially lead-tainted housing and intentionally subjected to a research program, which contemplates the probability, or even the possibility, of lead poisoning or even the accumulation of lower levels of lead in blood, in order for the extent of the contamination of the children's blood to be used by scientific researchers to assess the success of lead paint or lead dust abatement measures. Moreover, in our view, parents, whether improperly enticed by trinkets, food stamps, money or other items, have no more right to intentionally and unnecessarily place children in potentially hazardous nontherapeutic research surroundings, than do researchers. In such cases, parental consent, no matter how informed, is insufficient.
Here, the IRB, whose primary function was to insure safety and compliance with applicable regulations, encouraged the researchers to misrepresent the purpose of the research in order to bring the study under the label of "therapeutic" and thus under a lower safety standard of regulation. The IRB's purpose was ethically wrong, and its understanding of the experiment's benefit incorrect..
Children, it should be noted, are not in our society the equivalent of rats, hamsters, monkeys, and the like.
The Nuremberg Code, cited often by the Appeals Court, was written to guard the public from scientific abuses with the "essential" informed consent rule. In the court's opinion citizens are empowered with the freedom to choose their medical course of treatment both by the Nuremberg Code and the due process Amendments..

Those who disagree with the Appeals Court Nuremberg Code ruling argue that:

the failure to conduct such research causes greater harm because it deprives disadvantaged populations of the benefits of imminent improvement in their health conditions.
The question is, whose opinion is trustworthy?
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