Abstract & Summary

Table of Contents
ROP description
Eugenics against oxygen
Slandering oxygen
Oxygen study frauds  
Alleged study results
Later deaths
Futility and harm
Fluorescent ROP lamps
Damaging irradiance
Preemie vulnerabilities
Studies of light and ROP
Frauds in LIGHT-ROP
Cover-up stonewalling


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Baby-blinding lights
Macular degeneration
Preemie Pain
Parent Concerns

 Skeptics' Test

 Help for Victims?


Bioethics LIGHT-ROP

Bioethics SUPPORT

Bioethics own violations

Bioethics Consent

Bioethics 1955 Oxygen

Unethical Bioethics 1

Unethical Bioethics 2

Unethical Bioethics 3

Unethical Bioethics 4

Hypocritical Nature
False Medical Denials

Pre-Nuremberg Bioethics

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Avaaz Petition to WHO

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Knowingly Harmful Medical Research Abuses
Peter Aleff, September 9, 2013 



Knowingly harmful medical research abuses
continue despite ritual “never again” rhetoric
by Peter Aleff

On August 28, 2013, the U.S. Office for Human Research Protection held a Public Hearing to question the need for parental consent to medical experiments on their children and to ask which risks associated with clinical research should be disclosed to the subjects of that research or their representatives.  The individual presentations are posted at

The trigger for this hearing was a recent fatal suffocation experiment, with the deceptive acronym SUPPORT, that intentionally restricted the oxygen breathing help for premature babies in its high-risk low-oxygen group. The researchers had anticipated death and/or severe brain damage for four percent of the babies enrolled in that group. They had expressed concern for the safety of these children but conducted that foreseeably lethal research anyway on 1,316 preemies in 22 U.S. hospitals from 2005 to 2009. Yet, they omitted to mention any of these well-known risks to the parents of the children they used so casually as their disposable guinea pigs. When the initial results were in, they reported that 23 “extra” children had died in the asphyxiation group, close to their expectation and with a probability of 96 percent that their deaths were correlated with the intentional restricting of the life-saving gas.

This pattern of systematic child abuse and premeditated killing appears to meet the definition of first degree murder under Title 18 of the U.S. Code §1111.  

The numbers and severity of the permanent brain damage that also resulted from this predictably harmful regimen have not been published. However, one pair of pained parents came to the Hearing with their now six-year-old cerebral-palsy-afflicted daughter who had also needed eye surgery for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and will therefore have life-long vision problems. They asked in anguish whether her conditions had been caused by the research to which she had been subjected behind their backs, despite their doctors’ guarantees that her participation in the “risk-free” and merely “information gathering” SUPPORT study would not hurt her in any way.

An examination of how this deceptive baby-killing and -maiming SUPPORT experiment without parental consent could be conducted reveals that every one of the alleged safeguards against such cruel Pre-Nuremberg-Code research abuses failed at each of the successive levels of the U.S. medical system that are supposed to prevent them. It also shows that all the solemn “never again” vows about the inhumane Human Radiation Experiments or the equally infamous syphilis studies in Tuskegee and Guatemala were and are just window dressing.

Willful ignorance of the SUPPORT researchers

The chain of events begins with the medical researchers who conceived this grotesque SUPPORT project. Besides conspiring to conceal its well-known risks from the parents, they also ignored their obligation to base their research on a thorough knowledge of the scientific background and a careful assessment of the risks and benefits, as required by the Nuremberg Code and the Helsinki Declarations of Medical Ethics for Human Experimentation. Their stated goal was to prevent or reduce the blinding of the infants from ROP which they gullibly assumed, against historical evidence, to be caused by excess oxygen. See

Nursery doctors had administered this breathing help to preemies routinely and generously for many decades before the first babies ever developed this kind of eye damage. Any real scientist would therefore have questioned this naïve assumption about oxygen, particularly since the 1950s multi-hospital Cooperative Study that claimed to have established a connection of ROP with oxygen had been a flagrant research fraud. Its designers achieved their reduction of the blinding incidence only by deliberately asphyxiating the babies with the most vulnerable lungs who also happened to have the least developed eyes and were most susceptible to the blinding. They withheld the oxygen from virtually all babies for the first two days and then only enrolled the survivors of this brutal weeding in their study. By that time, 45 percent of the babies had died, as compared with 32 percent of similar babies who had died in the first seven days in one of the study hospitals during the immediately preceding two years. For documentation, see

However, the designers of this Cooperative Study concealed this better-dead-than-blind carnage and deceptively claimed that they had practically wiped out the blinding without affecting the survival rate. In reality, they had killed the babies who would otherwise have grown up blind, but their authoritative lie led nursery doctors around the world to severely restrict the breathing help for all preemies, thereby killing in the U.S. alone an estimated 150,000 of them during the first two decades of this Draconian suffocation policy. The lack of oxygen also inflicted severe brain damage, such as cerebral palsy, on many of the survivors. Still, no one has ever held the medical community accountable for this sustained massacre which is too large to be explained away as due to mere error or ignorance.

The SUPPORT researchers were aware of this massive toll in death and morbidity and cited it in their papers. However, although many experimenters in the intervening half century had tried in vain to verify the falsely alleged connection of the blinding with excess oxygen, the SUPPORT designers decided doggedly to try again barking up that wrong tree. They wanted to find the elusive sweet spot of oxygen saturation that would balance the risk of blinding against those of death and brain damage, as if these were on the same level.

Besides forbidding any experiment that might expose the subject to the risk of death or disabling injury, the Nuremberg Code specifies that “the degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment”, or, as the Chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues reaffirmed more recently this well-known principle, “researchers [should] not inflict harms disproportionate to prospective benefits”. Blindness is a non-fatal condition, so trying to avoid it does in no way justify any risk of death.

These bedrock principles alone should have stopped the planning for the experiment before it even started. They should also have prevented its approval, but neither the SUPPORT researchers nor the officials at the National Institutes of Health who funded them appeared to be aware of or care about this clearly illegal aspect.

Some cynics may point out that the death of an asphyxiated baby is much less likely to result in a malpractice suit than his or her survival with a major disability and lifelong financial burden, and that this distortion of risk may bias some doctors towards preferring to see a vulnerable baby die than to survive with blindness.

The role of nursery lighting in the baby-blinding

The SUPPORT researchers’ willful failure to familiarize themselves with the relevant science allowed them also to ignore the rather obvious connection of the blinding with the excessively bright fluorescent lighting which the American Academy of Pediatrics had long specified for intensive care nurseries. The first babies ever to suffer from ROP were born in Boston in 1940, the year after the commercial introduction of fluorescent lamps, and from then on the mass blinding took off. The same parallel repeated itself again after World War 2 in other industrial countries where the ROP epidemic started suddenly as soon as these lamps became available there.

Several doctors tried in the 1950s to determine the influence of light on the blinding but they designed their studies in a typically slipshod way, patching the eyes of the babies with semi-transparent gauze and only up to 24 hours after birth which is much too late to make any difference. Eye damage from staring at the sun accumulates in a matter of a few seconds to destructive levels, and irradiations of lesser intensities take only slightly longer to produce similar effects in a continuum of intensity versus exposure time, just as on photographic film. There is a mountain of scientific literature, built up by industrial researchers over several decades of experiments on animals and observations of accidents to humans from unprotected welding and other overexposures, that has established precise relationships between exposure times, wavelengths, and latency times for eye damage from the blue-light-hazard to the retina. As it turns out, fluorescent lamps emit an intense radiation spike right in the middle of the blue-violet wavelength region that causes the most retinal damage to all unprotected mammalian retinae.

The eyes of a preemie are still much more transparent than an adult’s age-yellowed eyes, and their retinal blood vessels are still developing and therefore in their most vulnerable stage. Applying the blue-light-hazard data to them shows that they receive in less than fifteen minutes the dose of damage-weighted retinal irradiance that the U.S. Industrial Safety Guidelines have established as the danger limit for much more robust adult workers during an eight-hour shift. Oxygen serves only to enhance the damage created by the light but never as its primary cause. See a summary of this evidence in my paper “Baby-blinding retinopathy of prematurity and intensive care nursery lighting”, posted at  

In late 1982, at long last, the child psychologist Dr. Penny Glass reopened the question that her medical colleagues had considered settled. She and her co-authors covered the top and back of each isolette in two Washington, D.C., nurseries with permanently mounted gray filters. Then they reported in 1985 that so reducing the light on the baby from 60 foot-candles to 25 ftc had reduced the number of ROP victims in both their nurseries. In their highest-risk group, the preemies with birth weights below 1000 grams, the ROP rate had decreased from 86% before the filters to 54% after this partial light reduction. These results were the most dramatic reduction in both incidence and severity that any of the non-rigged approaches to ROP had ever shown. For the above highest-risk group of babies, there was only one chance in a hundred that the reduction in eye damage might be a random coincidence and had nothing to do with the light reduction.  For all the babies in all the groups together, that chance was almost one in twenty.

However, for some of the heavier subgroups the mathematical correlation of 94 percent fell just slightly short of that magical 95 percent probability which doctors are taught to view uncritically as the so-called statistical significance level to be met when evaluating the efficacy of a treatment. And unfortunately, the Glass study authors had called the shading a treatment instead of what it really was: a reduction in dosage of the indiscriminate irradiation treatment that all babies had been receiving all along under the standard fluorescent ceiling lights.

In safety assessments, one does not wait for harmful effects to reach an arbitrary level of "statistical significance" to recognize them as a problem. Safety professionals take even a weak association with harm as a danger signal. And no sane parents would willingly expose their baby to those lamps if they knew there were almost 19 chances out of 20 that this light could damage her or his eyes. But their baby’s doctors don’t tell them about that danger because from their mindless medical perspective they don’t consider that risk as significant.

Another likely factor in the medical community’s refusal to accept the evidence against the doctor-specified nursery lighting was and is that admitting this responsibility for the massive blinding would have exposed many doctors to liability problems and would have changed the profitable status quo. Some doctors may denounce this as a cynical interpretation, but let them offer a better explanation for the facts. The ongoing ROP epidemic justifies the heavy emphasis on oxygen management which accounted, according to a 1990s estimate, for up to a third of the billings from intensive care nurseries which were and are among the most profitable departments of a typical hospital. It also supplies a steady stream of patients for pediatric retinal surgery and of funding for further research such as the expensive but worthless and harmful SUPPORT experiment.

The fraudulent LIGHT-ROP exoneration of nursery lighting

To deflect the mounting public criticism and help maintain this convenient status quo, two pediatric retinal surgeons proposed another experiment, called LIGHT-ROP, that they began in 1995 in three hospitals and rigged to falsely declare the innocence of the nursery lamps. The SUPPORT researchers may try to claim in their defense that this experiment had ruled out the role of light in the blinding, but such a claim would only further confirm their uncritical credulity and lack of scientific judgment because the rigging was so crude and blatant that it would not fool any real scientist.

The LIGHT-ROP designers had described the nursery lighting in their grant applications as a well-known source of eye damage in many animal tests and as a likely culprit for ROP. They also knew from many of the references they cited that the photochemical light damage they pretended to study was defined as resulting from exposures between 10 and 10,000 seconds which is less than three hours. Yet, they delayed the eye-patching in both their groups until “up to 24 hours” after birth. This means they intentionally over-exposed all the babies in both groups before those in the allegedly “protected” group got their eye patches.  

Predictably, both groups wound up with the same incidences of ROP. This knowingly wrong result, published in May, 1998, is still prominently enshrined in the National Eye Institute’s description of ROP which states in its section on “Current Research” about LIGHT-ROP that “The study determined that light reduction in hospital nurseries has no effect on the development of ROP.”

The fraudulent LIGHT-ROP experiment on premature babies was still going on in 1997, right while President Clinton offered his widely publicized apologies for the Tuskegee Study and for the equally infamous Human Radiation Experiments in which the researchers had also callously exposed unsuspecting victims to harmful radiation.  

The do-nothing Office of Research Integrity

The LIGHT-ROP experiment further highlights the failure of the government agency supposed to prevent exactly this kind of research frauds. I wrote in September, 2006, to the Office of Research Integrity to alert its Co-Chair for the then upcoming World Conference on Research Integrity, Dr. Nick Steneck, about the frauds in the Cooperative Study of oxygen withholding and in the LIGHT-ROP study. I described the harm these bogus studies continued to inflict daily on many preemies around the world and asked him to help correct these festering falsehoods in past research and to restore the integrity of the medical doctrine. Dr. Steneck thanked me for bringing this case to his attention but continued

“With so many issues and countries to consider, we will likely not have time to consider individual cases in detail. Our main goal for this conference is to find ways for countries to harmonize policies and communicate concerns.  I will keep your concerns in mind as we plan the program for the conference.”

As strange as it may seem, this Laputan indifference to well documented actual US research frauds which kept severely injuring thousands of premature babies in just about all the countries involved in that World Conference was not a fluke. I re-submitted the documentation of those research frauds on the website of that misleadingly named Office of Research Integrity but received no reply at all. Also, this Office has not reacted to the poorly designed SUPPORT protocol that exposed many human babies to unnecessary risks of death and brain damage without providing any useable information.

Since medical doctors have strong incentives to protect the reputation of their guild against all perceptions of fraud, it may be imprudent to expect from them much zeal in searching for and exposing clinical research frauds that could diminish the public’s trust in their profession.

The ORI’s lack of interest in research integrity was not limited to the alert I had submitted but was documented more generally in November 2010 in the Journal of Medical Ethics. It published an analysis of all PubMed clinical papers retracted between 2000 and 2010 compared with those retracted for fraud. This study found that when the proportion of fraud to all retractions was considered, the US came in a close second to India, with almost identical proportions of 0.32 versus 0.34, despite the telling difference that India does not have any equivalent to the US Office of Research Integrity. An article in The Telegraph of Calcutta explained:

“The US has had a government mechanism, now called the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), to promote integrity in biomedical and behavioural research and to handle cases of research misconduct for more than 20 years. Although the US has this mechanism, this study provides no evidence that the ORI’s existence has led to a lower scale of misconduct.”

This dismal overall performance of the ORI matches my anecdotal experience with its lack of interest in exposing or correcting the research frauds to which I had tried to alert it. It also matches the fact that it does not even keep track of retractions for flawed research or fraud but leaves this vital task to the initiative of private individuals such as the owners of The apathy of the ORI raises the question what function, if any, it performs other than acting as a Potemkin façade, providing a false impression to the public that it monitors the integrity of medical research.

IRBs and the lack of informed consent in the SUPPORT experiment

Despite their legal and ethical obligation to inform themselves with due diligence about the history and most likely causes of ROP, the SUPPORT researchers willfully ignored all this well documented evidence about retinal damage from excess light and about the historical safety of oxygen supplementation. They insisted instead on their dangerous and ignorant tinkering with the life-saving breathing help. However, they knew that they would not be able to obtain the consent of any parents if they honestly explained the lopsided risks which they wanted to weigh: death and brain damage from too little oxygen versus a perceived increase in the risk of blindness from too much. They argued therefore in a 2003 paper in Pediatrics that their project should not be burdened with “defensive documentation” that would reduce the enrollment numbers or even prevent their “life-saving research” from being conducted at all. They also complained about the costs and logistics problems of obtaining informed consent which they called a hindrance to life-saving research, so they decided to skip this cornerstone of all medical research ethics.

This turned out to be easy. Although the U.S. Federal Regulations prescribe that the rights, safety, and well-being of all medical trial subjects must be safeguarded by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) that may only approve research for which there is a bona fide informed consent process for participants, not one of the 22 IRB-approved consent forms presented to parents at the 22 hospitals of the SUPPORT experiment mentioned the possibility of death or brain damage, and only two said anything about a risk of blinding. See The researchers and their defenders tried afterwards to deny that these risks had been foreseeable but they were the primary outcomes to be compared in the experiment and spelled out as such in the protocol, so the denials were absurd and only confirmed that the researchers were not scientists because those are committed to the truth.

Clearly, each one of the 22 IRBs had failed to examine the risks of the proposed experiment although their mission was to minimize those risks and to protect the research subjects from them. Instead, they had robotically rubberstamped the plainly inadequate consent forms that deceived the parents about the well-known risks to their children.

This systematic failure of all the IRBs undermines all confidence anyone might have had in this alleged bulwark against medical research abuses.

The Office of Human Research Protections

The clinical description of the SUPPORT experiment showed clearly that no parent could have legally consented to volunteer their premature baby for this potentially lethal tinkering with their child’s oxygen breathing help if they had been honestly informed about the risks. Any parent or other representative for the child can by law make decisions on a child’s behalf only if these are in the interest of that child. Risking death or permanent brain damage in the mere hope to maybe prevent eye damage was clearly not a legally possible choice.

I wanted therefore to know how the researchers had avoided this obvious obstacle and requested from the National Institutes of Health copies of the consent forms under the Freedom of Information Act. When I was told that these mandated forms could not be located I alerted the Office of Human Research Protections on 5/24/2011 to this violation of the Federal Regulations as well as to the premeditated killing of 23 premature babies for medical research . Its Director of Compliance Oversight, Dr. Kristina Borror, replied on 7/18/2011 that the OHRP would be “evaluating the allegations related to informed consent/parental permission”. This correspondence with the NIH FOIA Office and the OHRP is posted at

Please note that the OHRP had not done anything about these gross research abuses until I filed my complaint with them, and even then they did not react to the documented and premeditated killing of 23 children for the purposes of that research. It did not even give lip service to its alleged mission of protecting humans from precisely such lethal pre-Nuremberg-style research abuses. Moreover, it took almost two years to determine the yes-or-no fact that the alleged consent forms it obtained from all the SUPPORT study locations did not comply with the clearly defined disclosure requirements mandated by the Federal Regulations.

At long last, on March 7, 2013, the OHRP sent a “letter of determination” to one of the study centers, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, to state that the parents of these babies had not been properly informed about the risks to their children. 

Even this mild rebuke from the OHRP against just the lesser one of these two major transgressions went unnoticed until the consumer advocacy organizations Public Citizen and Alliance for Human Research Protection alerted the media about that letter on April 10 and 11. And when some of the researchers and their bioethicist defenders complained about the criticism of this research crime, the OHRP caved and retreated from its criticism of the indisputably non-informing "informed consent" forms. It suspended its plans to sanction the offenders and scheduled the above-mentioned Public Hearing to ask "what reasonably foreseeable risks of the research should be disclosed to research subjects in the informed consent process" although the Federal Regulations and all the ethics codes clearly require “a description of any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts to the subject.” Presenting this question as new and still needing answers is an attempt to obfuscate the violations and to imply a lack of clarity where the answers are already well defined. 

Similarly, the OHRP dignified the SUPPORT defenders’ bogus argument that the division of the babies into low- and high-oxygen groups was “standard of care research” without any new risk although the risks for both groups were known to be very different and the object of the experiment had been to refine this difference. Moreover, they let some of those defenders trot out again the already thoroughly debunked argument that the babies enrolled in the study had better outcomes than those who were not. I posted  the following criticism of that argument at one of its presentations on YouTube:

“Dr. Lantos keeps asserting that the infants enrolled in the SUPPORT experiment had on average better outcomes than those not enrolled, and he uses this to defend the experiment. However, as the analysts at Public Citizen have pointed out repeatedly, the not enrolled babies had been much sicker to begin with and can therefore not be used as an alleged control group. Dr. Lantos' repeating this already debunked argument is misleading.”

However, this pertinent criticism was removed twice, and it appears that the OHRP which organized these presentations is not interested in frank discussions but protects the defenders of the SUPPORT crime.

With its refusal to address the deliberate killing of 23 babies, its delay in addressing the lack of risk disclosure on the consent forms, its caving to the defenders of a research crime, and its defense of their debunked arguments, the OHRP cannot be counted on either to protect research subjects and is just as much of a Potemkin façade as the so-called Office of Research Integrity.

Directors at the National Institutes of Health increase the problem

Among those who condone deliberately fatal research abuses on humans without their informed consent are the Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and two of his top executives there, the Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy, and the Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. These top officials saw nothing wrong with the SUPPORT researchers' knowingly asphyxiating 23 human babies for "medical science". Even worse, they deliberately and dangerously misrepresented the clinical literature in their attempt to cover up this criminal violation.

These NIH leaders claimed in a June 5 paper that restricting the range of oxygen levels in two groups at 85 to 89 and 91 to 95 percent was the equivalent of the “standard of care” which recommended the full range of 85 to 95 percent. They said that there was no difference in risk between the groups although the experiment was conducted specifically to compare that allegedly non-existent difference. Compounding that lie, they further pretended that the “extra” deaths of the victims in the low-oxygen group had been "unexpected" and that there had been "no basis for claiming an increase in risk" in the oxygen-starved group. They also denied any obligation of telling the parents about the lopsided trade-off in harm the SUPPORT researchers were testing on their children. Their distortions of the facts are most dangerous when they claimed that

"The more recent studies showed no increased risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment at saturation levels as low as 70 percent."

Either these top U.S. Health officials cannot read a clinical paper, or else they know they are spreading potentially lethal misinformation. The one study they cherry-picked to represent those alleged "recent studies" included a group with a nominal oxygen saturation range of 70 to 90 percent. However, its authors explained clearly that this was not the actual saturation but that

"Staff always aimed to maintain saturation in the top half of the target range (particularly when the lower limit of this range was less than 85%).”

Despite the low nominal 70 percent bottom of that theoretical range, the babies assigned to that group were therefore unlikely to ever have been anywhere near that alleged 70 percent saturation for any length of time. Moreover, three of the SUPPORT researchers had written in a September 23, 2010, letter to the editor at the NEJM, posted at

"Our preliminary unadjusted analysis indicates that infants who died spent a higher proportion of time (P<0.001) with saturations below 80 percent". 

In other words, saturations below 80 percent were found highly likely to be associated with death, but three top officials at the NIH recklessly and falsely pretend that even 70 percent is a safe level. They clumsily try to obfuscate the well-known and widely documented mortality risks from restricting oxygen to preemies and to cover up the SUPPORT researchers' irresponsibility by spreading dangerous misinformation that is likely to further increase the death toll when nursery doctors actually rely on these false assurances offered by the top leaders of their profession.

Meanwhile, Public Citizen has discovered another ongoing experiment on premature babies funded by the NIH that exposes its subjects to two differently restricted regimens of blood transfusions. Like SUPPORT, this TOP experiment lacks the safety of a standard of practice control group, and its serious risks are again concealed from parents who are deceived by falsely reassuring statements in consent forms.

Public Citizen has urged Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to stop this unethical and dangerous experiment and to initiate an independent investigation of the HHS system for review and oversight of HHS-funded human subjects research to understand how the system failed so miserably in both the SUPPORT study and the TOP trial. This investigation should include an assessment of all entities within NIH and other HHS agencies that played a role in the review, approval, and funding of the SUPPORT study and TOP trial. In addition, given the widespread failures across multiple IRBs that reviewed and approved the SUPPORT study and TOP trial, HHS should determine what system-wide actions are needed to prevent such failures from recurring.

Deceptive reassurances from the Bioethics Commission

In the wake of the revelations in late 2010 about an earlier research crime 65 years ago by U.S. medical investigators in Guatemala, President Obama had instructed the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to reassure him that such abuses could not happen now. That Commission held a series of public meetings to give an appearance of research results to its already initially stated conclusion that the current safeguards against similar medical atrocities were adequate and protected, and then it dutifully confirmed that requested reassurance about present protections in medical research on humans that were firmly anchored in the now universal requirement for the voluntary informed consent of all human research subjects.

However, although this Commission had requested input from the public, it simply ignored repeated and fully documented alerts about the research crimes in SUPPORT and some earlier experiments on American premature babies. Moreover, the Universities led by the Chair and Vice Chair of that Commission were both participants in the SUPPORT experiment which had disregarded the legal and ethical requirement for informed consent and deliberately killed many of its research subjects. This crime was even worse than the one in Guatemala where the researchers had intentionally infected their subjects with syphilis but not deliberately killed many of them as the SUPPORT researchers did.

The Bioethics Commission’s hypocritical reassurances about present human protections against medical research abuses are therefore just as worthless and hollow as the Potemkin facades put up by the Office of Research Integrity and by the Office of Human Research Protections, and Americans have to realize that their alleged protections against abuses by followers of pre-Nuremberg-Code medical ethics are only an  illusion.                                                                                                         

Presidential “never again” promises without follow-up

When President Clinton offered his public apologies for the Human Radiation Experiments and the Tuskegee syphilis study, his Bioethics Commission produced a thick hardcover book about the abuses and made a series of recommendations for preventing their recurrence, but at least one of the Commission members said that they did not go far enough to make a difference, and many of them were never implemented anyway. The doctor responsible for the Tuskegee study received high academic honors even after the President has so publicly castigated hiswork, the fraudulent LIGHT-ROP experiment was going on without interference while he was apologizing, and no one ever investigated the despicable conduct of the 1955 Cooperative Study of oxygen withholding which killed and maimed more Americans than the Viet Nam war and the Human Radiation Experiments and the Tuskegee study combined.

Similarly, President Obama’s public apologies for the subject-infecting syphilis study in Guatemala may have been well meant, and his Bioethics Commission recommended compensation for the survivors of this abuse, but his government did not abide by this recommendation and obliged those victims to file a lawsuit against its stonewalling.

Moreover, the leaders of that Commission had been chosen without due diligence since their Universities both participated in an experiment even worse than the study for which he apologized, and his administration did not respond to alerts about these ethics violations by his Bioethics Commission.

President Obama has been quoted as saying about the use and spread of weapons of mass destruction in other countries:

“Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something.”

It would be helpful if he applied the same principles to the massive and highly destructive medical research abuses in his own country.



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