In May 2007, Carrie and Shawn Pratt agreed to sign up their severely premature daughter, Dagen, for a government-funded study being conducted at Duke University Hospital. The Pratts say they were told that researchers simply were gathering information to help other children.
The friendly sounding acronym SUPPORT stands for “Surfactant, Positive Airway Pressure, and Pulse Oximetry Randomized Trial.” The experiment, which cost taxpayers $20.8 million, was conducted at 23 academic institutions from 2005 to 2009 under the National Institutes of Health, part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The consent form signed by parents did not disclose one controversial aspect of the experiment: The preemies’ oxygen monitors intentionally were altered to provide false readings so that medical staff wouldn’t be tempted to adjust the babies’ oxygen out of their study-assigned range.
More babies who received higher levels of oxygen ended up with serious vision disorders. The low-oxygen preemies were more likely to die. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2010, sparked ongoing ethical questions and complaints.
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Seriously? Are we all just lab rats in some gigantic government study?
I’m trying to understand the point of this experiment. It’s well known that too much or too little oxygen is harmful, especially for a tiny infant who is already battling premature birth. WTF?
There is no result here that couldn’t be confirmed on rats, cats, dogs, rabbits or chimps. Why use humans? I thought the last of the Auschwitz medical researchers had died decades ago. If you must play such games, go do it in China or a Muslim country, they got no use for girl babies.
The thing that raises the hackles on my neck is that ObamaCare is chock full of “information gathering” studies, gun violence, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, drug addiction. Thousands of diagnostic codes that doctors must assign their patients so bureaucrats can crunch the data and arrive at what?
What do they hope to discover? How will any of this make medicine more efficient or us healthier? Please state the purpose.
Doctors correctly worry that in maintaining these records they’ll no longer have time to practice medicine.
It reminds me of the classic movie “Brazil” in which a renegade ‘air conditioning specialist’ Archie Tuttle is dubbed a terrorist by the regime when he quits his government job with ‘Central Services’ over his dislike of all the paperwork he has to file every time he makes a simple repair.
Doctors are very much mechanics, they derive satisfaction in correctly diagnosing and fixing a problem. None endured the rigors of medical school to become bureaucrats. But increasingly, the government is forcing them into that position.
The practice of medicine will not be better for it.