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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Drug-addict study released via FOIA request raises ethical questions

A 1994-95 research study, released in response to an FOIA request, indicates that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gave heroin addicts regular doses of morphine and then cut the doses off to measure the effects, the Washington Examiner reported. The patients suffered 787 "adverse events"; however, no follow-up information is available on the study's subjects.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spent at least $7.8 million in a secretive experiment to determine whether drug addicts become hyperactive when they suddenly lose access to morphine, documents obtained by The Examiner show.

The VA recruited 69 heroin addicts and began giving them regular doses of morphine. The scientists then cut off the morphine doses at intervals to see what would happen, internal reports show.

The decade-old study, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, offers the fullest picture yet of widespread government trials that gave hard-core drugs to addicts.

More here.

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