Board against more drug tests on children

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The number of drug tests on children should not increase, according to the Board for protection of Human Rights.If children suffer from tests performed on them, their rights are affected, said chairman Laurien Koster to Nieuwsuur on Wednesday. The board is very critical on a bill of Minister Edith Schippers of Health for the expansion of the number of tests on children.

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So far, drug trials on children were only allowed if the subjects experienced little to no discomfort and were not at any risk of serious side effects. The minister wants to change the law to provide for more scientific research by allowing children to be test subject when it may pose a greater burden for them.

We must protect young children. The new bill exposes children to more pain, more discomfort and more risk. An increased risk can lead to permanent damage or even death under certain conditions, states Koster.

The Board for protection of Human Rights, formerly the Equal Treatment Commission, believes the new bill should distinguish between children above and below 12 years of age. The board assumes that children over 12 years are better able to decide whether they want to join a research.