by Vera Sharav
Alliance for Human Research Protection

Newly obtained documents from the oxygen experiment (SUPPORT) reveal far more extensive medical ethics violations than those specified in the March 7, 2013 letter by the Office of Human Research Protection to the University of Alabama.

On May 8, 2013, Public Citizen submitted a follow-up letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services and detailed analysis (31 pages) of the SUPPORT research protocol and consent forms approved by each of the 23 IRBs at the participating medical centers at which the experiment—Surfactant, Positive Pressure, and Oxygenation Randomized Trial (SUPPORT) had been conducted on more than 1,300 extremely premature babies.

See letter: 

See, consent documents:

The review of 22 IRB-approved consent forms for the SUPPORT trial reveals that NONE complied with mandatory Federal disclosure requirements:

  • NONE of the 22 consent forms explained that death was a risk—especially for babies randomized to low oxygen levels;
  • Only two of 22 consent forms disclosed that babies randomized to high oxygen levels were at increased risk of retinopathy or blindness.
  • NONE of the 22 consent forms disclosed that the pulse oximeter readings—that neonatologists rely on to determine an infants’ need for supplementary oxygen—were intentionally altered to provide the treating medical teams with either false high or false low oxygen saturation values (SOP2).

SUPPORT experiment was not designed to support or improve the babies’ survival rate or to decrease the risk of retinopathy; indeed, multiple elements of the protocol sacrificed rather than supported the babies’ survival needs.

The consents were obtained from mostly young single mothers who were in labor. They trusted the doctors at the medical centers–but they were deceived.

They did not suspect that the experiment for which they entrusted their babies was designed and conducted as if their vulnerable tiny premature babies were lab rats.

Read how dubious deception in the trial design sacrificed the babies’ welfare, impacted on vital clinical decisions, resulting in some babies undergoing protocol-driven, clinically unnecessary invasive interventions–thereby increasing risks, trauma and discomfort for the vulnerable babies.

Read who poses a very serious threat to legitimate medical research: the enemies of honest research would pervert the values of our society if they are not repudiated.

Read the full article here:

Comments on this article from Facebook:

It’s dreadful but nothing new. The difference is that for many decades most of the experiments were done elsewhere, on foreign soil, in impoverished places where they were not likely to risk exposure and litigation. It is appalling, but that is the truth. I cannot imagine the pain of the parents who sought help for their babies but were given placebos or something deadly. I’m sure a research group would argue that it saved millions of babies in the long run but it’s such a horrible concept.Gwen

I’m a mom to twins that were born at 25 weeks. I’m also a RN. Sadly, experimentation on preemies is extremely common. . overwhelmed new parents, if they have no medical background, are not in a position to know what is truly going on, and neonatologists, historically, are not as forthright as they could be. “The Long Dying of Baby Andrew”, “Playing God in the Nursery” are a couple of books that have talked about what really goes on in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Up until the mid-1980s, preemies were not even considered to feel pain. As a result, they received horrible medical procedures – chest tubes, heart surgeries, etc without anesthesia. It took one brave mother, whose premature son died to blow the lid off of this barbaric thing. My daughters were just born, and we could never have realized that anything like this could happen – no anesthesia for a major surgery – but we saw it happen to an infant in the unit we were in. Paralyzed with a drug, and a chest tube inserted. No anesthesia. – Teresa

Baby designed by God
by Dr. Amanda Hess & Dr. Jeremy Hess


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