Sunday, February 26, 2017

Worse Than Tuskegee; Slate, February 26, 2017

Sushma Subramanian, Slate; 

Worse Than Tuskegee

"“Most people think we don’t conduct trials this way,” Annas said. “We always act shocked by research scandals and see them as historical anomalies that cannot be repeated. But so far, we’ve always been wrong.”

In 2011, the presidential commission for the same bioethics commission that completed the Guatemala syphilis report also published a report on international research. It recommended that the country develop a compensation system perhaps akin to the U.S. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program—which covers people harmed by certain vaccines—for people who are injured as test subjects in research. The site hosting that report,, is no longer in service: A note on the archived site says that it will stop being updated as of Jan. 15, 2017, likely in anticipation of the presidential transition.

In addition to providing compensation to victims, the advisers on the Archdiocese of Guatemala’s petition are also advocating for sharpening the teeth of laws that protect research subjects internationally. They suggest amendments to the Common Rule, the set of guidelines used by institutional review boards overseeing research involving human subjects in biomedical and behavioral research in the United States and internationally." 

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