Lynne Vogel's blog

Justina Pelletier and the other Children Chosen for Nontherapeutic Research

No Entity may Utilize Children in Nontherapeutic Research—Maryland Court of Appeals

Medical researchers are generally required to obtain consent before selecting subjects for experimental studies but there are two vulnerable populations not covered by the The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (Common Rule). The first consent-waiver group is foster children, the other, trauma patients . Wards of state have been clinical trial test vessels since 1989.

The Foster Children in Medical Research Debate

Foster Children's Rights—Congressional Amnesia

With scant public notice Congress authorized the employment of foster children in medical research in 1989. This decision was based on HHS Secretary Bowen's recommendation that:

State and local child welfare agencies should create systems to manage the participation of children in foster care in special medical treatment and experimental trials. (HHS/ASPE, 1989, p. 60).

Foster Children: Exceptions to the Informed Consent Rule

"Unless the law winks occasionally, you have no progress in medicine."

These telling words written by Dr. John C. Cutler, a high-ranking Public Health Service employee, are memorable because Dr. Cutler was intimately involved in the Tuskegee and Guatemala syphilis experiments. Without compunction, Dr. Cutler and his team deliberately harmed unwitting and conscripted subjects by withholding curative penicillin treatments or by infecting selected individuals with various pathogens.

Justina's Law: Protecting Foster Children from Medical Child Abuse

Congress Subjects Wards of State to Medical Child Abuse

Justina Pelletier while under the care of the state of Massachusetts was confined in psychiatric facilities and treated for her alleged psychological condition. The Justina Pelletier medical experiment lasted sixteen months.

Justina was taken from her parents because Dr. Alice Newton , head of Boston Children's Hospital child protection team persuaded the juvenile court system that their just-admitted patient was a victim of parental medical child abuse. With Judge Joseph Johnston's permission , Dr. Newton sequestered Justina, initiated treatment for her claimed mental disorder and barred her former Tufts physicians from co-evaluating her newly-established diagnosis. News coverage of Justina Pelletier's Boston Children's Hospital medical mistreatment has ignited a legal challenge to the practice of using foster children in medical research.

PhRMA and Physicians Engaged in Medical Child Abuse

The medical child abuse concept, as defined by Drs. Carole Jenny and Thomas Roesler, states that parents are the sole perpetrators in these injurious pursuits. Medical child abuse is rampant in the U.S. but not by the usual suspects.

Medical Child Abuse Perpetrators

All aspects of medical treatment are controlled by physicians but inexplicably these professionals are never indicted, prosecuted or penalized when their malpractice is exposed in medical child abuse trials or custody hearings. When medical child abuse allegations are raised in criminal hearings the surgeon and the prescription provider should be facing the jury along with the child's parents or custodian. The American Medical Association has been silent on the subject of physicians preying on children.

Rebecca Riley Medical Child Abuse Case History

Reflections on Misconduct in the Justina Pelletier Affair

Justina Pelletier's civil rights were restored this week and she is home with her family. The state of Massachusetts considers the case closed. But should it be?

The two individuals responsible for Justina's sixteen-month incarceration, Judge Joseph F. Johnston and Dr. Alice Newton, have not been cited for misconduct. Here is a look back at how it came to be that a fourteen year old juvenile became a ward of the Department of Children and Families.

Judge Joseph F. Johnston's Pelletier Family Gag Order

In a rare display of contempt, Lou and Linda Pelletier Justina's parents, chose to breach Judge Johnston's gag order and publicize that their daughter Justina had been confined in Boston Children's Hospital for months. This was a perilous decision because exposure of confidential court matters may lead to prison and or fines.

Letter to Reverend Barber Regarding State Medical Child Abuse Practices

Dear Reverend Barber:

There are many abominable practices in our country but of singular import is the use of foster children in medical research.

The latest figure available from the Department of Health and Human Services indicates there were more than 400,500 minors available for pharmaceutical/medical test product studies in 2011.

NIH reports that there are 13,690 children's trials here and in other countries either completed, in progress or terminated. Many of the U.S. minors who are selected for research are under state protection but the government does not segregate this data.

Medicaid insures foster and poverty-designated children. The CDC confirmed last month that 10,000 Medicaid-covered toddlers had been placed on ADHD drugs. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights says these figures are not inclusive and state that 274,000 0-1 year olds and 370,000 toddlers are on psychotropic drug regimens .

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