My opinion: Ethics in the all workplaces are difficult to follow, although perhaps it is most serious in medicine, since people's lives may be in danger. Since this study was originally given the go, the ethics committees must have been mislead along with the parents of the children. Perhaps these ethics reviews are like arguments in an essay. Though the research groups try to argue their point, they may have to cover up some of the concessions. While it is difficult to redefine the argumentative process, especially since it is so widely used, is it possible to change this in the medical field? I know that doctors are usually members of ethics committees, but should they look up the topic and investigate the research group throughout the trial to see if it is ethical? Considering that this study involved so many medical groups and ethics committees, maybe these changes need to occur across the country. Feel free to comment.
Med School study deemed unethicalA five-year study performed on premature babies has been deemed unethical by the Public Citizen Health Research Group.
The Support study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), lasted from 2004 until 2009, and was led by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham along with 22 other medical centers across the nation – including the Yale School of Medicine. Consent forms given to parents to sign were approved by local ethics committees, but did not include an adequate description of the risks to the premature infants, said Michael Carome, Deputy Director of the Health Research Group.
On April 10, Public Citizen issued a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the NIH, calling for an apology to all the parents who entered their children in the study, according to The New Haven Register.
The 1,300 premature babies enrolled as subjects were randomly divided into two groups. The first received high levels of oxygen exposure, which Carome said increases the risk of eye injury or blindness, while the second received low levels of oxygen exposure, which Carome said increases the risk of brain damage and death. But the consent forms did not clearly stipulate any of these risks, instead “misleading” parents, Carome added.
“Consent is an absolutely essential ethical requirement, and we consider this research highly unethical,” he said. “The Department of Health and Human Services should apologize to parents of the children and that apology should be accompanied by a detailed description of what they weren’t told.”