Tag Archives: medical research

Wards of the state: lab rats?

Lab rat. Why do we treat wards of the state like this?

In the past two years, the child-protective service agencies of three states have each tried to turn one or two children, having rare genetic disorders, into wards of the state. In every case, new doctors took over the children’s care and did not treat them appropriately. As shocking as these episodes are, this has happened before. Ten years ago a scandal broke involving other experiments on wards of the state. The case included a foster-care agency in New York City, fifty children in their care, and thirteen phase-one trials of drugs to treat HIV-AIDS. Several child advocates and professors of ethics thought they’d stopped the practice. They haven’t. The experimenters learned from that case and changed tactics. Until more child advocates connect such cases, such abuses will happen again. And again, and again, and again.