Earlier, the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics suggested that forced testing of experimental vaccines should be made mandatory.
Now, the British Medical Journal’s Journal of Medical Ethics is suggesting that parents should be allowed to kill their babies if they do not want them AFTER THEY ARE BORN. They are calling infanticide as “after-birth abortion.”
Recently, I read a report in the ET about an Indian company’s rotavirus vaccine. It was tested on 6800 infants in numerous hospitals. Do you think parents would have knowingly given their kids experimental vaccines? Even if they were told about, do you think there were educated enough to take an informed decision. It seems that we get new medicines and vaccines after it has been tested on poor/uneducated people.
Today, it has become common for a woman visiting a hospital to be given a pitch for taking a Gardasil HPV vaccine, costing Rs. 4500. After the woman takes the shot, she will be told that that was only the first of three shots. Final price will come to Rs. 13500. The price of such vaccines are artificially marked up and sold to doctors at huge discounts, often up to half the retail price.
A mass trial of the HPV vaccines were conducted on girl students from poor families living government hostels in AP.
The trial was disguised as a vaccine donation by Path.org. If you go to the website, you will realize that the AP campaign was not really altruistic but an effort to prove the vaccine as effective and get governments in developed countries to subsidize the vaccines.
In 2010, 48 babies died in a vaccine trial conducted at India’s premiere government hospital AIIMS in New Delphi. This hospital was built with foreign money and is being used to test foreign drugs.
The cost of conducting trials in India is 20% to 60% of the cost in industrialized countries. The RTI query also digs out information on the top drugs (according to volume of consumption) made in a foreign country that were used during the trials on the babies.
AIIMS has said five foreign-manufactured medicines were tested during the trials. They were zinc tablets for treating zinc deficiency and serving as a nutritional supplement, olmesartan and valsartan for treating blood pressure-related problems, rituximab for treating chronic focal encephalitis and gene-activated human glucocerebrosidase for treating Gaucher’s disease, which affects the liver. AIIMS said it had taken clearance for the trials from its own ethics committee, the health ministry steering committee (HMSC) on ethics and the national ethics committees of ICMR and DBT.
Speaking to TOI, Verma said, “This is shocking. We decided to file the RTI when we saw parents unable to admit their seriously ill children at AIIMS while children of some other poor and illiterate families were being kept in the hospital needlessly for a long time.”
He added, “AIIMS said in its reply that families of patients are given social counselling before trials are started. With most patients in AIIMS being illiterate and belonging to extremely poor families, I doubt if they even understand what a clinical trial is and what their children are being subjected to.”