The article that I found
interesting was the “Med School Study Deemed Unethical.” This study was conducted
in 2004 to 2009 and included 23 medical centers and 1,300 premature infants (Marathe, 2013). In this study premature infants
were grouped into two groups with one group receiving too much oxygen and the
other group receiving too little oxygen. The parents of these infants were told
to sign a consent form, but was not told the whole extent of the experiment
including the dangers of this experiment.
The results of this unethical practice
led to many people to complain and contact the OHRP (Office for Human Research
Protections) and HRG (Health Research Group) to send a letter to get the NIH
and the Medical Students and professionals to personally apologize to the
parents of the premature infants that were studied (Wolfe, 2013). The areas
that made this experiment unethical was giving the parents a consent form that
did not go into detail of what the experiment was about. The other unethical
problem in this experiment was that the experimenters provided faulty pulse
oximeters to read a normal reading in the premature infants even though their
oxygen saturation was higher or lower. This faulty equipment could have led to
infants being intubated prematurely or the infants receiving even more oxygen
causing an even bigger risk for the infant to have brain damage or die.
In this experiment, most of the
infants died before discharge and many had severe retinopathy or some other
disability. One article states that one of the parent’s involved in this study
now has to live with his daughter having Cerebral Palsy due to the study, he
states “If I would have knew all of this information before then I wouldn’t
have placed my daughter in this study” (Allen, 2013). This study affected the
population (community) greatly because the babies that suffered from severe
retinopathy or some other type of disability became dependent on some type of
government disability program when if they wouldn’t have been in the study then
they wouldn’t have to be dependent on these programs and could have lived a
healthy life. In response to this unethical situation, the OHRP and HRG wrote
to the NIH and the medical professionals in the study to apologize to the
parents that they lied to, but the at this time they still have not apologized.
If the student nurse should
discover something similar to this unethical practice being conducted in
research they should try their best to stop it or report it to an ethics committee.
In the articles discussed before it states that a citizen reported this
unethical practice and was able to get someone to do something about this study.
Since this study, there has been one other study that compared to this one and
also raised controversy. The main thing that the student nurse can do is try to
stop this study or at least inform the parents involved of what to expect.
Allen, A. (2013, August 30). U.S. Weighs Informed Consent
Rules in Wake of Infant Study Controversy. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/08/us-weighs-informed-consent-rules-wake-infant-study-controversy
Marathe, P. (2013, April 20).
Med School study deemed unethical. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2013/04/20/med-school-study-deemed-unethical/
Target Ranges of Oxygen
Saturation in Extremely Preterm Infants. (2010, May 27). Retrieved January 17,
2018, from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0911781#t=article
Wolfe, S. M., M.D. (2013, June).
Public Citizen: Oxygen Experiment on Premature Babies Is Highly Unethical. Public Citizen Health Letter,
29(06), 1, 4-5, and 7.