When experimental studies go awry

Filed under: Work Life, Health & Safety: Babies, Media

Articles in the English press have recently focused on how an experimental study went horribly wrong. Six victims of the disastrous Elephant Man drugs trial have been told they face contracting cancer and other fatal diseases as a result of being poisoned in the bungled tests. One of the six victims was told last week he is already showing definite early signs of lymphatic cancer. He and three others have also been warned that they are highly likely to develop incurable autoimmune diseases. The men were paid 2,000 pounds each to volunteer as human guinea pigs in the trial in London last March. The men were told by doctors they would not suffer any life-threatening illnesses. Instead, they suffered heart, liver and kidney failure and were left seriously ill after being given TGN1412, a drug was made by TeGenero, a German firm. One of the victims recently commented, "It's a really bizarre feeling when you discover you might be dead in a couple of years or even in a couple of months", he said. "I feel like I've given away my life for 2,000 pounds."

Yes, I know: the only advances that can come to improving the health of our babies is through research. If there are ever volunteers in studies, we likely will receive far more benefits than ill. Still...

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.