As reported by the Washington Times, August 5, 2008:
Violations rife in hospital’s studies on veterans
An investigation of research conducted at an Arkansas veterans hospital has uncovered rampant violations in its human experiments program, including missing consent forms, secret HIV testing and failure to report more than 100 deaths of subjects participating in studies.
And you thought America respected and honored the sacrifices of its veterans. Think again.
The investigation revealed that “serious adverse events” had not been reported, including some resulting in the deaths of 105 veterans. But, according to a VA spokesman,
“The issues at the VA medical center in Little Rock were detected by VA employees, revealed through investigations by [the Food and Drug Administration] and VA’s Office of Research Oversight, and ultimately referred to VA’s Office of the Inspector General,” said VA spokesman Matt Smith. “This is an example of VA detecting and fixing its own problems.
“The issues cited in VA’s Inspector General report are being addressed through an aggressive action plan. The Little Rock research program is under heightened scrutiny to ensure no recurrence,” Mr. Smith said.
“VA strives to provide world-class health care to its patients and that includes observing the highest professional standards in protecting people who agree to participate in medical research,” Mr. Smith said.
This is absolutely disgusting. This is not about detecting and fixing problems, it’s about the problems happening in the first place. These experiments should simply never have been done without following proper procedures. The sheer incompetence and negligence of this activity is mind-boggling. Indeed, it’s almost on par with that exhibited by the Bush administration during the early days of the Iraq occupation.
Clearly, there are people in the VA bureaucracy that think they can operate outside the law. They are wrong. Experiments of this nature must be halted immediately and the people running them must be removed and prosecuted.
It is simply unconscionable that our veterans should be treated in such a callous and inhumane manner.