Thursday, May 5, 2005

HIV/AIDS Drug Testing on Foster Children - Not Just In New York

Drug tests over past two decades exposed foster children to side effects

By JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press
First published: Thursday, May 5, 2005


WASHINGTON -- Government-funded researchers tested AIDS drugs on hundreds of foster children over the past two decades, often without providing them a basic protection afforded in federal law and required by some states, an Associated Press review has found.

The research was conducted in New York and at least six other states -- Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Colorado and Texas -- and involved more than four dozen different studies. The foster children ranged from infants to late teens, according to interviews and government records.

The government provided special protections for young wards in 1983. They required researchers and their oversight boards to appoint independent advocates for any foster child enrolled in a narrow class of studies that involved greater than minimal risk and lacked the promise of direct benefit. Some foster agencies required the protection regardless of risks and benefits.

However, researchers and foster agencies told AP that foster children in AIDS drug trials often weren't given such advocates even though research institutions many times promised to do so to gain access to the children.

Illinois officials believe none of their nearly 200 foster children in AIDS studies got independent monitors even though researchers signed a document guaranteeing "the appointment of an advocate for each individual ward participating in the respective medical research."

New York City could find records showing 142 -- less than a third -- of the 465 foster children in AIDS drug trials got such monitors even though city policy required them. The city has asked an outside firm to investigate.

Likewise, research facilities including Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore said they concluded they didn't provide advocates for foster kids.

Just another day in Fosterincarceration Land.

Until Next Time...

1 comment:

Ali Massoud said...

So Sharon, is there any intervention by the state you would approve of?