Guinea Pig Kids Triptych
The NYTimes discovers the story. And the one they tell is from the standpoint of those who administered the trials:
"In the late 1980's and early 1990's, hundreds of children in New York City were dying of AIDS. The only approved drugs were for adults; and many of the patients were foster children. So doctors obtained permission to include foster children in what they regarded as promising drug trials.
By 2000, the number of children under 20 who died of AIDS in the city that year dropped to 13 from more than 100 per year less than a decade before.
But now, just as the trials are receding into history, they are coming under intense scrutiny. A federal agency is investigating whether guidelines for including foster children in trials were violated. The city's child welfare administration has launched an independent inquiry into whether children were harmed. And when the head of the child welfare system testified about the trials at a City Council hearing in May, angry spectators shouted him down.
All this is happening despite the fact that there is little evidence that the trials were anything but a medical success. Most of the questions have arisen from a single account of abuse allegations - given by a single writer about people not identified by real names, backed up with no official documentation as supporting proof and put out on the Internet in early 2004 after the author was unable to get the story published anywhere else.
The story accused doctors of brutally experimenting on foster children, most of them black, Latino or poor. It said they had poisoned them with toxic drugs, sometimes against their parents' will and without even being certain they were sick. The charges jumped from Web site to Web site, then into The New York Post and into a documentary shown on the BBC. It alarmed black civil rights activists and City Council members, who charged racism."
In other words, the story is a non-story, except for the stink being raised by clueless troublemakers over groundless allegations.
Whether they were groundless or not is another non-story, I guess. But the background is a little more complex than even this long article by Janney Scott and Leslie Kaufmann would lead you to believe, as NIH employee Jonathan Fishbein could tell you.
See my posts from last year here, and here to learn more. They deal with much of what the writers say, but more. The entire history stands out as a classic example of brutally negligent classism, and yes, even racism. I guess it depends whose kids you're talking about.
And don't forget, they weren't fetuses, which automatically downgrades their value.