New York City Council Members Call for Investigation Into Research Involving HIV-Positive Foster Children
Three New York City Council members on Sunday called for an investigation into research involving HIV-positive foster children, the New York Post reports (Montero, New York Post, 3/1). The Post on Sunday reported that 50 HIV-positive foster children from Manhattan's Incarnation Children's Center were involved in 13 clinical trials -- some of which involved combination antiretroviral drug therapy -- that were funded by federal grants and pharmaceutical companies. The children were sent to ICC by the city's Administration for Children's Services. ACS requires parental consent for children to be involved in medical studies; however, if a parent cannot be located, the decision is made by ACS' medical and legal divisions, and its commissioner, according to the Post. The state Department of Health has begun an investigation into the studies involving HIV-positive children, the Post reports (Montero, New York Post, 2/29). The studies were "abruptly halted" in 2002, and officials from ACS and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center -- which was involved in some of the studies -- did not disclose whether any children were "hurt or killed" during the studies, the Post reports.
City Council members Bill DiBlasio (D), Jose Serrano (D) and Bill Perkins (D) -- all of whom are members of the General Welfare Committee, which oversees ACS -- said they would "demand an answer" concerning the health of the children who were involved in the studies, according to the Post. "It's crucial that we get full disclosure," DiBlasio, who chairs the committee, said, adding, "We need to find out what happened to these kids." DiBlasio said he would "reach out" to ACS Commissioner William Bell on Monday, the Post reports. ACS spokesperson MacLean Guthrie was unavailable for comment, according to the Post (New York Post, 3/1). New York-Presbyterian spokesperson Annie Bayne said, "Through these trials, children at the ICC outpatient clinic gained access to state-of-the-art treatments for HIV" (New York Post, 2/29).