You or someone you know may be a human test subject



Everyone knows about clinical trials. You are able to sign up for them to be test subjects for various medications or therapies. Testing on unknowing and unwilling subjects is illegal... right? Unfortunately, there is a chance you were part of a study and you didn't even know it. From something as benign as forcing a new doctor to work 28 straight hours to see if you have a worse patient outcome (pretty bad) to something as serious as testing to see if limiting oxygen to your premature baby would result in them having brain damage, without the knowledge or consent of the parents.


When you are going to be part of a study or going to be receiving the medical treatment you are required to be given informed consent. Informed consent is when you are given all possible outcomes both positive and negative of a specific procedure or medication. I don't know about you but I do not think I have ever been given informed consent about the procedures I would take part in. The test subjects in the clinical trials below certainly did not receive informed consent.


The NIH (National Institutes of Health) seems to have a pretty big consent issue. Without doing any of the proper tests or being approved by the FDA the NIH was giving grants to OBs who were prescribing dexamethasone as a "safe and effective" treatment for intersex development, lesbianism, and tomboyism (as in being a tomboy). What these soon-to-be mothers were not told is that this treatment had already been studied and shown in Sweden to cause brain damage to fetuses. The data of the pregnant individuals taking this medication was submitted to the NIH for their research purposes. (Source)


If studying pregnant women was not enough the NIH funded another study on premature babies. They wanted to see if keeping the baby's oxygen levels lower increased the chance of blindness, brain damage, or death. This was done, of course with no consent from the parents.

The parents were asked for consent to test the babies and told that their children would remain in the standard care, however, this was untrue. The babies were kept at oxygen levels of 85%.(90% or higher is recommended) The parents were also not informed that they would be testing these oxygen levels to see if their children had a higher chance of complications. (source)


We know that the NIH gave grants to doctors to do testing on unwilling pregnant women, and did testing on premature babies, they also did testing on your doctors. There were two trials done one called iCompare and the other called FIRST. In these trials, they took new young doctors and gave them a 28-hour workday instead of the 16-hour limit. They wanted to see if patients treated by new doctors working more consecutive hours had worse outcomes than others. This was funded by... you guessed it! The NIH. This is particularly egregious when you find out that there were no additional protocols put in place to mitigate hazards, and the doctors and patients were not given the opportunity to opt out or informed that they were part of a study. (source)


These are just a few examples of unethical human tests. If you would like to see more go to citizen.org. Research and pharmaceutical companies are buying doctor's lunches and then together using unknowing patients as test subjects.

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