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Pharmaceutical Research on Foster Children is Medical Child Abuse


Department of Health and Human Services data shows that for the period 2003-2011, there were over 4 million foster children available for investigational studies. Since 1989 PhRMA has chosen foster children as test candidates because most parents decline to enroll their children in potentially harmful research projects.

The testing of pharmaceutical products and medical devices is beneficial to science but the regimen can also be deadly. For informational purposes: more than 60% of the under-study drugs fail clinical trial Phases I and II examination. Clinical trials are suspended for two reasons: safety and efficacy. Foster children are the only class of citizen subjected to non-consensual clinical trials.

Justina Pelletier, a victim of state medical child abuse practices, recently appeared in the House of Representatives to support  H. R. 4989.  Nicknamed Justina's Law, the bill would limit but not stop the standard practice of using foster children in government-financed research endeavors. The Justina Pelletier/Boston's Children's Hospital psychiatric parentectomy study lasted 16 months. Here are the present and proposed rules governing foster children experimentation policies.

Current federal foster child regulations provide the following:

Children who are Wards of the state may be included in research that presents minimal risk or greater than minimal risk with a prospect of direct benefit. Children who are Wards of the state may be included in research that presents greater than minimal risk with no prospect of direct benefit only if the IRB determines and documents that such research is related to their status as wards...
Justina's Law would:
prohibit Federal funding of any treatment or research in which a ward of the State is subjected to greater than minimal risk to the individual's health with no or minimal prospect of direct benefit.
The employment of foster children in medical research was initiated by HHS Secretary Otis R. Bowen who advised Congress that:
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).
These regulations and proposed refinements fail to recognize that wards of state have inviolable civil rights which include exemption from clinical trials, no matter the risk factor.  Members of Congress have a duty to protect foster children from harm but a correction on their part will be difficult because they formulated the policy.

Congressional dictates sometimes conflict with Constitutional protections. The fact that millions of foster children have involuntarily served as test receptacles is a matter of judicial urgency because compulsory participation in research initiatives is a form of medical child abuse.

Recently the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled [Case 3:10-cv-30073] that the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families absence of care "shocked the conscience" and deprived foster children of constitutional protections.

Although not listed in the 2010 complaint, the conscription of foster children for experimental purposes is relevant to the Appeals Court decision and deserves review. These at-risk children are not servants of the medical industry.

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