Daily Express

‘Children treated as objects of research’

- By Hanna Geissler

YOUNGSTERS were used as “objects for research” while the risks of contractin­g hepatitis and HIV were ignored at a specialist school where boys were treated for haemophili­a.

Of the pupils that attended the Lord Mayor Treloar College in the 1970s and 1980s, “very few escaped being infected” .

Of the 122 with haemophili­a between 1970 and 1987, only 30 are alive, the Infected Blood Inquiry found.

Several pupils at the boarding school in Hampshire were given treatment for the disrder at an on-site NHS centre. But it was later found that many with the condition had been treated with blood products infected with hepatitis and HIV.

Most people with haemophili­a have a shortage of the protein that enables human blood to clot, known as Factor VIII.

In the 1970s, a treatment was developed – factor concentrat­e – to replace the missing clotting agent, with this being made from donated human blood plasma.

Unethical

Sir Brian Langstaff’s report concluded that children at Treloar’s were treated with concentrat­es that were known to carry risks of infection.

The inquiry found that, from 1977, medical studies were carried out at Treloar’s “to an extent which appears unparallel­ed elsewhere”.

Sir Brian said: “The pupils were often regarded as objects for research, rather than children whose treatment should be firmly focused on their best interests alone. This was unethical and wrong.”

His report added: “Practice at Treloar’s shows that the clinical staff were well aware that their heavy use of commercial concentrat­e risked causing Aids.

“It is difficult to avoid a conclusion that the advancemen­t of research was favoured above the immediate best interest of the patient.

“The likeliest reason for the Treloar’s treatments having catastroph­ic results is that clinicians were seduced by wishing to believe, against available informatio­n, that intensive therapy might produce better results.”

Sir Brian added there was “no general process for telling parents of the risks” and research was conducted without their consent.

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