Children as Guinea Pigs: Historical Perspectives
Lederer, Susan E.
Accountability in Research 2003 January-March; 10(1): 1-16
Experimentation involving children is not a new phenomenon. Children have been used as research subjects in a diverse set of experiments, including the trials of new vaccines and sera, in efforts to understand normal pediatric anatomy and physiology and in the development of new drugs and procedures. Concern about child participants in research is also not a new development. For more than a century, critics of medical research have called attention to the fact that children and other vulnerable populations-- pregnant women, prisoners, the mentally ill--have too often served as the unwitting and unwilling subjects of medical experiments. This paper looks at several early cases in which children participated, including the first trial of cowpox vaccine, the first human trial of rabies vaccine, and the first treatment of Listerian wound antisepsis. The history of concern for children, especially institutionalized children, in medical research is considered along with the development of regulations or guidelines, including the Declaration of Helsinki (1964).
Children; Drugs; Guidelines; Medical Research; Pregnant Women; Prisoners; Research; Research Subjects; Vaccines; Vulnerable Populations; Human Experimentation Policy Guidelines / Institutional Review Boards; Informed Consent or Human Experimentation; International and Political Dimensions of Biology and Medicine; Research on Newborns and Minors;
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