College students as lab rats

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Christy is taking the summer off from school and looking to make some money with a part time job. She is focusing her job search on law offices, but perhaps being a paid lab rat might be more profitable. It certainly would be interesting.

In Boston, research hospitals actively recruit college students to participate in scientific studies. Students like Boston University senior Allison Yochim has found it to be quite lucrative -- she has made more than $3000 participating in medical studies, including a study on female sexuality that involved turtles and porn.

Many of the studies involve merely answering questions and have few risks or requirements, but others require that volunteers have certain medical conditions.

"It's a win-win for college students and a win-win for the greater Boston area when these studies are ethically done," said Dr. I. James Hudson of Harvard's McLean Psychiatric Hospital. "We know how to do research here, so there's an assurance that the research will be done by some of the leading people in the world."

In all honesty, if Christy told me she was participating in medical research for money, I would be a little concerned. Would you lend your body to science for money?

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