Cost-effective inhumanity

At a rally in Washington organized by the Presidential Commission on Bioethics, American officials have admitted that in the last century had dozens of cruel experiments on humans without their consent. The Associated Press news agency has conducted a large-scale analysis of the oldest publications in the medical and popular periodicals and revealed details of more than 40 Inhuman research conducted by American scientists in the XX century.

The reason for the rally was surfaced in fall 2010 story on the deliberate infection of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), Guatemalans, which was carried out on the instructions of the U.S. government. The records of these experiments made by former fellow U.S. Public Health Service John Cutler (John Cutler), found in the archives of the University of Pittsburgh historian from Wellesley College in Massachusetts Susan Reverby (Susan Reverby).

As evident from these records, from 1946 to 1948, researchers from the United States under test recently discovered penicillin deliberately and secretly infected Guatemalan prisoners STI, soldiers and mental patients. In this case, not all of the 696 test subjects managed to recover.

After the publication of this story, U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Minister of Health Kathleen Sebelius apologized for the government's actions in the past. In addition, the Institute of Medicine commissioned to investigate the details of the incident.

On a meeting dedicated to the issue, officials have mentioned that similar experiments were carried out dozens. In the course of AP investigative journalism were revealed details of more than 40 of them.

Some of these works are never reported in the media, notes about the other focused on the prospects for an experimental treatment with no mention of techniques for conducting experiments.

Subjects mentally ill

In the first place, have attracted the attention of AP investigation on the insane. For example, in 1942, residents of a shelter at Michigan Ypsilanti injected experimental flu vaccine and then infected with a virus. However, many test subjects could not only understand what they are doing, but also to describe their symptoms. In this work, by the way, "lit up" the future of the polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk (Jonas Salk).

In the same 1940 World Health Organization expert Paul Havens Jr. (Paul Havens Jr.) Conducted a series of experiments on mental patients infected with viral hepatitis. Because of this, he became one of the first scientists to study the causes and types of these infections, but infected by this has not become easier.

Laboratory prisoners

As it turned out, one of the "favorite" to unimaginable contingents from the point of view of research ethics of modern times were, not surprisingly, the prisoners. In 1915 he was recognized epidemiologist Joseph Goldberger (Joseph Goldberger) put the prisoners from the state of Mississippi on a lean diet to prove that a serious disease pellagra developed on the basis of a lack of vitamin B3 in the diet. The prisoners later apologized without any financial compensation, and Goldberger for their efforts in pellagra was nominated five times for the Nobel Prize.

In the next few decades, the number of such experiments have plummeted, but the essence of some of them, to say the least, impressive. For example, in 1920 a California physician San Quentin L.L.Stenli (LLStanley) conducted a series of experiments on the recovery of "vital forces" of older prisoners by transplanting them to the sex glands of cattle and executed criminals.

During the Second World War, interest in research on prisoners resumed, because they needed an army. For example, in three of Illinois prisons they were infected with malaria to test potential cure for the infection required the soldiers fighting in the Pacific.

By studying the transmission of enteric infections in the 1940s, experimenters have gone even further, forcing the prisoners from the detention camp in the New York City Coxsackie drink unfiltered stool suspension was sick, and breathe it in a spray form.

With the development of the pharmaceutical industry in the 1950s and 60s the government and corporate research on the convicts were, in fact, put on stream, in spite of several fresh in the memory of the trials of Nazi experimenters. By the 1960s, at least half of the American states, such studies are allowed.

Some of these experiments have been made public and caused a wave of criticism from the media and the general public. In one of them employees of the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital in Brooklyn, New York introduced the cancer cells 19 elderly persons with disabilities, of course, without their consent. Head of the agency, said that the agreement in this case is not required, because the cells are considered safe. However, the forces of attorney William Hyman (William Hyman), this practice has been discontinued.

Ground for another resonance imaging has become Uilloubrukskaya state school for mentally retarded children. From 1963 to 1966, students of this school were infected with hepatitis to test the developed antibodies.

The last straw was in the 1972 leak of information about the study of syphilis in Tuskegee Alabama. As it became known, in the 1932 U.S. Public Health Service has decided to explore the development of this disease in blacks. To do this, 399 people have been identified with the initial manifestations of the disease, after which it was established for them under medical surveillance. Since the purpose of the exercise was to examine all stages of syphilis, attempts to cure the participants in the experiment had been taken even after the penicillin in the treatment regimen of the infection in 1947. Moreover, guinea specifically restrict access to information about treatment.

Tuskegee study many believe naipozorneyshim medical research in U.S. history. It marked the beginning of a lengthy hearing in Congress, where representatives of the pharmaceutical industry have admitted that the prisoners for experiments "cheaper than chimpanzees." The proceedings resulted in the fact that in the mid-1970s, drug companies have ceased to indulge in prison.

Not his — not sorry

Having lost the opportunity to experiment on prisoners, researchers have shifted their experiments abroad, where they can be done with less cost and restrictions. One of these studies was infected Guatemalans with syphilis. However, it was not the last.

At least two drug tests over the past 15 years found no relevant ethical principles. One was in a passive observation of pregnant women infected with HIV in Uganda to assess the risk of transmitting the virus to the child. In this case, the researchers were well aware that the appointment of widespread antiviral drug AZT reduces this risk.

In the other — an antibiotic from Pfizer appointed Nigerian children with meningitis, although its efficacy in this disease has not been confirmed. According to prosecutors, this has led to 11 deaths and multiple disabilities. The Company has paid the court $ 75 million compensation, but did not acknowledge their wrong actions.

It follows from the last year's report, Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare United States, in 2008, from 40 to 65 percent of clinical trials of medicines subject to federal regulation, were held outside the country. U.S. supervisory authorities have been able to verify that less than one percent of the foreign studies.

Work on the bugs

After receiving information about the Guatemalan case, Obama has instructed the committee which organized the rally on Bioethics in detail to investigate the incident involving both full-time and part-time experts. In addition, due to the current state of affairs with foreign studies American president has set the task of the Commission to further assess the conduct of these studies.

Commission response to both questions must be submitted by September 2011. According to some experts, such as the director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, Arthur Caplan (Arthur Caplan), such a short time is unlikely to allow experts on ethics to collect a significant amount of data and make them important lessons.

However, even on the basis of available historical and current data it is safe to say that the desire to save money on costly research will still be making them not particularly discerning customers and providers to seek detours ethical standards.

As rightly said Kaplan, regardless of age, goals, methods and results of these experiments together one: a violation of the fundamental principle of medicine "do no harm."


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