Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A dark chapter in medical research

ReelAbilities is a New York film festival that gives voice to stories about people with disabilities. This Friday Willowbrook (above) is being screened. It's a disturbing account of researchers who injected active hepatitis virus into healthy children with intellectual disabilities when they were admitted to an institution as part of a medical experiment.

"...most ethicists see Willowbrook as an example of medicine run amok, in which overzealous researchers did harm to an exceptionally vulnerable population," says this recent Well blog in The New York Times.

One can only surmise that these doctors felt that children with intellectual disabilities fell outside the protections afforded children with regular IQ.