Edited because, I’m sorry, I forgot TW: medical racism and exploitation, child abuse.
I just want to make sure that we’re all aware that twenty years ago, decades after the Tuskegee syphilis “experiment,” scientists affiliated with Johns Hopkins partnered with slumlords in order to deliberately cause lead poisoning in black toddlers from impoverished families to experiment with cheaper methods of cleaning up lead paint.
I first read about this three years ago, when the parents filed a class action suit. I couldn’t think about anything else for days. I couldn’t sleep. These scientists deliberately poisoned children. They lured families in with unusually low rents. They monitored the kids’ blood lead levels. And they didn’t do anything to help when those levels climbed and climbed.
This “study” passed Johns Hopkins board of ethics.
When I first found about this, I maintained that if one of these parents decided that a civil suit was bullshit, and instead decided to cut the throats of each and every person with knowledge of what was happening–including that damn ethics board, I would raise money for a legal defense, or a plane ticket to a country without an extradition agreement. Because this is one of the most horrifying things I can imagine.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to be one of those parents, having tried and tried to what was best for my family and children, and then to find out that I had been bamboozled, that I was complicit in my own child’s poisoning, all so slumlords could save a few bucks.
Black people, poor people, Native Americans, have real reasons for being suspicious of US medical care. Centuries of being experimented on–of having one’s children experimented on–will do that.
As far as I know, the case is on-going. I can’t find any reference to a verdict.