AHRP accuses Obama administration of using meeting to approve anthrax vaccine test on children

The Alliance for Human Research Protection accused the Obama administration on Wednesday of using a public meeting of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to allow anthrax vaccine experiments on children.

A public meeting of the commission is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at the University of Miami Hospital Seminar Center in Florida. The topic for the discussion is ethical issues related to the development of medical countermeasures for children.

The AHRP, a national network geared toward ethical and responsible medical practices, alleges that the commission is attempting to find a rationale for endorsing a proposed government policy that would violate medical ethical principles. In particular, the AHRP alleges that the government will attempt to test medical countermeasures on unprotected children who are legally incapable of giving informed consent.

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues advises the President on bioethical issues related to advances in science, technology and biomedicine. The commission looks to identify and promote practices that ensure the social and ethical responsibility of technological innovation, healthcare delivery and scientific research.

In October 2001, anthrax-laced envelopes were sent through the U.S. mail, killing five people, infecting 17 others and prompting the study and development of anthrax countermeasures.