Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Using Prison Inmates for Medical Research - Today!

My friend and WOMANTalk contributing writer, Jennifer Lahl of The Center for Bioethics and Culture wrote this recently:

"Today's New York Times has a piece on the use of prison inmates for medical research . The now famous Tuskegee studies of the 1930's (40 years of not treating black inmates who had syphilis) and then the 1970's abuses at Holmesburg prison, where inmates were paid $100s of dollars a month to test various skin products, have curtailed the use of prison inmates today for pharmeceutical research. So now we are told a panel of influential medical advisors are calling for loosening the restrictions from using prisoners in human clinical trials.

Much of this article is worrisome to me but this part is particularly scary.

'The discussion (to loosen the restrictions) comes as the biomedical industry is facing a shortage of testing subjects. In the last two years, several pain medications, including Vioxx and Bextra, have been pulled off the market because early testing did not include large enough numbers of patients to catch dangerous problems.'"

How many are paying attention to the striking similarities between this example, Peter Singer's rationale that allows for killing babies, and the like...and what was going on preceding and during Hitler's Nazi Germany?

Too far-fetched you think? Then listen to my interview with Hilmar von Campe Thursday on Rightalk.com at 1:00 Eastern. He was a soldier in Hitler's army. He was there. He's written books about it. He says he's seeing a repeat.


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