Foster Children Used as AIDS Drug Testers for Two Decades

Merry - posted on 12/12/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Source: via MSNBC

Here's a breaking story that makes us even more worried about kids in the foster care system: The Associated Press reports that for the last two decades, HIV-positive children in the foster care system in seven states have participated in risky AIDS drug trials without anyone advocating for them legally. By law, researchers are obligated to appoint advocates for children in government care who participate in medical research, but most of these kids were not given that protection.

As MSNBC reports, some are saying that the drug trials gave the children access to the best treatment and care available, and that as a result their lives were prolonged and improved. Others point to a "'disturbing' higher death rate" among the kids who were given higher doses of a particular experimental drug.

Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, commented that “When you have the most vulnerable subjects imaginable — kids without parents — you really do have to come in with someone independent, who doesn’t have a dog in this fight."

Read more at MSNBC

Is drug testing on foster kids their best hope for treatment, or an abuse?





 

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Becky - posted on 12/13/2011

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I'm curious about the details of this. I know the system is different in the US, but these must be kids in permanent foster care? Here, if they were only in temporary care, their parents would need to consent to anything like that. And if not, then our Children's Advocate would need to be involved and I think it would be quite an involved decision-making process, going up to the highest levels of management, to get approval for something like this. In some cases, maybe it could be their best hope for treatment, but they should never be used as guinea pigs for potentially dangerous treatments just because they have no one to stand up for them. That is horrible! There needs to be a team looking at each individual case from all angles and deciding what is best for each individual child.
At any rate, it sounds to me like a massive lawsuit in the making when these children get older (or if their families find out!)

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Merry - posted on 12/14/2011

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I remember a few instances of realizing my mom as a foster mom had no real rights to the babies, one, all our boy babies got circumcised, two, even after we agreed to adopt one baby we still had to give him all the immunizations and medications as per the state regulations, so his epilepsy treatment wasn't something my parents could decide on, they had to do as the dr said and they preferred not to immunize him while he was still having seizures but the state said so and so it was done. Also my mom was not allowed to leave a foster baby with my aunt, or withone of us older kids even for a short while because she or my dad had to be present at all times for the baby.
So yeah, foster parents have no rights to make choices for the kids, school, or medical, nothing.

Sherri - posted on 12/14/2011

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Legally nope they have to do what the state says in regards to the kids. As the state is legally still the guardian until such time they are officially adopted.

Stifler's - posted on 12/13/2011

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that's fucked up. in other words there is no way for a foster parent to protect their foster kids.

Sherri - posted on 12/13/2011

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Foster parents Emma have zero rights the states have guardianship for this kids and hold all the cards. They live in a foster parents home but the foster parents don't even technically have the legal right to sign a field trip permission slip.

[deleted account]

This is not news. I read about this at least 4-5 years ago. The state becomes the guardian and that guardian decides to allow human testing. Yes it is sad. The proponents say that these children otherwise would not have access to the medication but i say, human experimentation on children is wrong, especially when there is no actual parent in place.

Stifler's - posted on 12/12/2011

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Who is giving consent for this are they just going around to foster homes and going... these kids need to participate in this trial? What do the foster parents say about this because isn't that their job? To advocate for kids with incompetent parents?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/12/2011

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System just proved to be even more broken. How very sad. I don't know if it is the best chance for treatment, but they should atleast have someone speaking on behalf of their best interest instead of using them like guinea pigs.

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