The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research concluded in 1977 that children were an especially vulnerable population because they could not offer consent. Yet, children today are more likely to become research subjects now that federal policies begun in the mid-1990s have changed the face of the “typical research subject.” The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Revitalization Act mandated the inclusion of women and minorities in all research in 1994 and added children in 1998. So far, the new FDA and NIH policies have placed stress not on protecting children but on ensuring children’s access to research—unfortunately, this too often means researchers’ access to children. This is an ominous paradigm shift for black children, who already are overrepresented in nontherapeutic and stigmatizing medical research.
–Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington