Experiments on Orphans


The New York Press has a disturbing story about foster kids at Manhattan's Incarnation Children Center being used in experimental trials for various HIV drug regimens:

"At first they were little babies," [a child-care worker] told [author Liam Scheff]. "We changed their diapers and cleaned them up, and played with them. We were told they were 'special'–because of the HIV. There was a lot of shit and a lot of throwing up."…

"The nurses would lay out the drugs on the counter. Lots of pills, powders and oral syringes, all labeled for each particular child. We'd pick up the syringe and put it right into the mouth or into the tube if they had one….

"We figured it out," she said. "These were experimental treatments." Marta, another child-care worker, put it more bluntly, "This is the guinea-pig business," she said.

Whole thing here.

The ICC is at the heart of a brewing controversy and protest over the use of foster kids in medical experiments, which Scheff has written about before.

The NY Times recently ran a story dismissing all these claims (easy to do, given that a slavery reparations group is heavily involved in the protest). But regardless of the other issues raised (especially about questions regarding HIV's role in the transmission of AIDS), the Times piece is perplexing because it dismisses Scheff as a loony leftoid (easy to do because of his Indymedia connections) who turned to the Internet after an "was unable to get [an earlier version of the] story published anywhere else." Yet the Times also notes that his work inspired a BBC documentary called "The New York Experiment–Guinea Pig Kids" and then dismisses it because it was shown "only on BBC, in churches, block association meetings and private gatherings." Only on BBC? And on the most basic charge of whether the kids in question had been enrolled properly, the Times notes:

Columbia University Medical Center, which was found by federal officials to have "failed to have obtain sufficient information" in approving the participation of foster children in four trials, has acknowledged what it called a need to improve "how information is collected and decisions documented."

Better late than never. But that's no small potatoes, is it? The Times piece is online here.