Just 24 weeks into her pregnancy, Sharrissa Cook gave birth to a critically ill baby boy. Dreshan weighed in at a fragile 1 pound, 11 ounces. He lay motionless in the incubator, connected to tubes and monitors in the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital.
[quote]“He was so tiny,” Cook recalls. “I was a first-time mom. I didn’t have a clue. I didn’t know what to expect.”[/quote]
It was Oct. 11, 2006. Medical personnel asked Cook, then a 26-year-old single mother, to enroll little Dreshan in a study. She says they described it as a program offering assistance and encouragement to preemies—premature babies—and their families. She readily signed the consent form.
[quote]“I remember them telling me they were a support group who would pretty much hold my hand through the developmental process,” Cook says.[/quote]
But in reality, the study was much more than that. It was a national, government-funded experiment on 1,316 extremely premature infants in which their fate may as well have rested with the flip of a coin.
[ilink url="http://dailysignal.com/2014/06/03/uninformed-consent-nih-sacrifice-preemies-sake-research/"]READ the entire story[/ilink]
Originally published June 3, 2014