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Involuntary human drug experiments in the U.S. and abroad

Updated on August 28, 2008

We've all seen the big-ticket pharmaceutical ads on television, enticing the viewing public with tempting offers to cure acid reflux, help you sleep better, and ensure the God-given right of men of any age to get an erection. Pharmaceutical companies are required to notify their potential customers about potential conditions that may result from taking their medications - but they haven't been as forthcoming about the torture and loss of human life involved in bringing their drugs to consumers. What in the world are we buying into here?

Beyond child abuse

In a convent-house-turned-orphanage run by the Archdiocese of New York, children from low-income families have become an unwilling stable for experiments with toxic chemicals for some of the world's largest pharmaceutical comanies. You'll recognize some of the names - Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Genentech, Chiron/Biocine and others. These children come from low-income families, and many of their mothers have died. These toxic chemicals, often given in much higher-than-normal dosages, are forcibly given to children from ages 4 to 22. When children refuse these chemicals they are taken to Columbia Presbyterian hospital where a hole is surgically drilled into their abdomen, so that these toxic substances can be forced directly into their intestines through a plastic tube. These chemicals are known to be toxic - causing genetic mutation, organ failure, bone marrow death, bodily deformations, brain damage and fatal skin disorders - but their guardians and nurses appear to see no problems with forcing them into the children, sometimes killing them. The abdominal tubes themselves often cause their stomachs to swell and distend, and cause other health problems as well. There have been over 200 of these chemical experiments conducted at this orphanage, all part of the process by which name-brand pharmaceuticals pass federal trial requirements so they can be brought to market. This is big business, and ethical standards have dropped so low that they mark a return to human rights standards that were common during the Industrial Revolution.

Making news

Many thanks go out to investigative reporter Liam Scheff, who broke this story in January of 2004. Since then it has been covered by the New York Post and the New York Press. More than four years later, the investigation into this is supposedly ongoing. Antony Barnett also reported this story in the British newspaper the Observer. Unlike coverage in traditional press, breaking the story here on the internet allows people to actively get involved in putting a stop to this abomination. We have sites that will allow us to start online petitions, others that will help organize fundraising, and still more that will allow us to enlist large groups of internet users to take direct action. I wanted to start some of these and include a link, but I'm currently not sure where to go with this. Please leave your ideas in the Comments area. The best I've come up with so far is to petition the state of New York to shut the orphanage down, enlist users in boycotting the pharmaceutical companies involved, and start a fundraising effort for a court case to have their corporate charters yanked for these depravities. If someone is, or knows, an attorney to take the case I'd be happy to start such an effort and link to it here. Together, we can put a stop to this - and show large corporations that they can't get away with this and merely stop when they get caught at it. They'd only try the same thing again, and we may not find out about it until decades later - if ever.

Inhuman aid

The largest drug company in the world, Pfizer, is being sued by authorities in Kano, Nigeria. The suit claims that at least 11 children have died or suffered disabilities from experiments of the drug Trovan Floxacin conducted in April of 1996. Kano had suffered an outbreak of meningitis and other diseases, and Pfizer - along with the World Health Organization - "volunteered" to help with the outbreak. Meningitis killed 15,000 people in Africa that year.

Around 200 Nigerian children with bacterial meningitis were in the study. Besides the 11 who died, others suffered various injuries and long-term disabilities from the treatment administered by Pfizer, ranging from blindness, seizures, deafness, muteness and brain damage to paralysis.

According to the lawsuit, "In the midst of the epidemic, Pfizer devised a scheme under which it misrepresented and failed to disclose its primary motive in seeking to participate in giving care to the victims of the epidemic. ... Pfizer never disclosed that it intended to experiment on vulnerable victims or conduct any clinical trials without the necessary approvals from regulatory agencies in Nigeria but pretended it came to render humanitarian service."

Pfizer claims that they had permission from the Nigerian government to perform the tests. The permission was in the form of a letter purporting to have been written six days before any of the tests began. In fact, they had been written over a year after the tests had ended. The letter of authorization is now known to be fraudulent, too - according to an article in the Washington Post, "Sadiq S. Wali, the hospital's medical director, recently told The Washington Post the document was ‘a lie.' He said the hospital had no ethics committee at the time Pfizer's test was underway and did not organize it-or create the letterhead stationery bearing his name that was used in the approval letter-until months later."

So, we now have drug companies playing the part of a valiant white knight, rushing in to save us from disasters, and using that to disguise involuntary drug experiments on humans. When confronted about it, they will generate fraudulent evidence and knowingly lie to the public about it. Sounds like it's time to pull the plug - dissolve their corporate charters, and send the CEO's to jail.

See the source article, here.

Taking action

There are a lot of abuses like this from the major pharmaceutical companies. I wanted to get this Hub up, and the information out there, so we could discuss what to do in the Comments area. I kind of like the idea of starting an attorney's fund over the internet and working to shut these companies down. Corporate charters are supposed to be yanked when corporations don't act in the public interest, and that's exactly what's happening here. In the meantime, readers can learn what's going on with all this, tell their friends, and boycott these behomoth pharmaceutical corporations. Send a link to your friends. Leave a Comment if you have an idea of how to tackle this. And get involved. We can stop these human rights abuses, and if we don't... we'll be next.


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