You may think that illegal and harmful medical experimentation on unconsenting research subjects may have been limited to DoD transgressions against prisoners in a specially manufactured legal limbo. However, compare the abuses Jeff Kaye describes in his FDL article “NRC on Research on “War on Terror” Detainees: A Contemporary Problem?” with the SUPPORT trial of premature babies run by the National Institutes of Health that treated its captive American preemies even worse than those prisoners, or than the unconsenting subjects in the past syphilis studies in Guatemala and Tuskegee, in that this recent preemie study casually and preventably killed many of them.
This trial was conducted in the US from 2005 to 2009 and published in the May 16, 2010, online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. Its “eminent” US medical researchers had restricted the life-saving breathing help of supplemental oxygen to a low level which they knew to increase the risk of death for the preemies. Indeed, they predictably killed an “extra” 23 preemies in their low-oxygen group, with a probability of 96% that this was not a random fluke.
The NIH researchers committed this pre-meditated medical mass infanticide because they wanted to see if the combined total of death and blindness would get lower with less oxygen. They equated the severity of blindness with that of death and ignored all the rules, from the Nuremberg Code on, that insist the degree of risk imposed on the research subject should never exceed the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment. Please note that even intact eyes are of no use to a dead patient.
This SUPPORT trial killing spree was approved by all the grant givers and institutional review boards, and four similar trials are currently going on in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. For details about this intentional and officially accepted preemie-killing trial run by the NIH, see my open letter to the National Bioethics Commission at http://retinopathyofprematurity.org/BioethicsSUPPORT.htm
Respectfully submitted, Peter Aleff