Posted by: Ophelia | March 25, 2009

Experimenting on the disadvantaged for fun and profit

A new experimental program at a nonconventional “lifestyle medicine” center is targeting pregnant women who are Black and Hispanic minority, poor and fat. These women are being enrolled into a free health program which tells them it will benefit them and their unborn babies and make their babies healthier.

No mention is made in the patient literature that, by the soundest clinical evidence to date, compared to the standard of care, the program’s alternative interventions have been shown to lead to poorer chances of survival for babies, higher rates of spontaneous preterm births, and to put babies at greater risk for serious physical and neurological health problems and learning disabilities. There is no indication that these underprivileged minority women are giving their informed consent or are aware they are participants in human experiments that could endanger their unborn babies.

Why has no one cared to notice? The answer to that question is even more disquieting….

The news went on to say that experimenting on pregnant women has been considered unethical because it imposes risks to the most innocent of all — a growing baby. Dr. Kushner was quoted saying that “pregnant women have often been considered hands off because of fear of harming the developing baby [but] it’s time to be more aggressive with fat pregnant women.”

Participants in this experimental program won’t find that there is no evidence that mothers who try to restrict their pregnancy weight gain to 0-15 pounds can do so safely and that it will help their babies be healthier or prevent the hereditary tendency for obesity in their children. Nor does it appear that these minority, disadvantaged mothers are even being made aware that the evidence, for more than half a century, suggests that such restrictions could increase risks for their babies.

See the rest of the article at Junkfood Science.

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Responses

  1. This is so incredibly disturbing. Thanks so much to linking to this, it inspired me to do a post at the CA NOW blog: http://www.canow.org/canoworg/2009/03/intersections-of-discrimination-in-experimenting-on-pregnant-women.html

  2. “…it’s time to be more aggressive with fat pregnant women.” So fat pregnant women have fewer rights than thin pregnant women? Really? Hey let’s go make money off more people that couldn’t possibly defend themselves. It’s the white man’s way.


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