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surprise Irish babies of single mothers were guinea pigs for drug
Niall O'Dowd, Irish Central, 20th August 2010
news that Irish babies in the 1960s born to unmarried mothers were used
as guinea pigs in a drug trial without their parent's consent is truly
But why am I not surprised?
Th level of vitriol and hatred aimed at unmarried mothers back then by
the church and state is hard to believe nowadays.
Mari Steed, (50), born to an unmarried mother in Cork,
was given up for adoption to a couple in the US shortly afterwards. She
says she and others were used a guinea pigs for a vaccine trial.
She claims that a major U.S, drug company GlaxoSmithKline used Irish
babies in homes for single mothers run by Catholic orders to experiment
with a four in one shot against childhood diseases.
The shots were later found to be less effective than the standard
"The trials involved incredibly poor judgment on the part of all
involved. We were basically used as human guinea pigs" she now
She found out when she traced her birth mother and got access to her
Such was the fate of unwed mothers and their children in Holy Catholic Ireland
in the 1950s and 1960s.
Drug companies and religious orders singled out the religious homes
where the unmarried mothers gave birth then gave the injections to their
babies without telling them.
Luckily it appears little damage was done and that the 211 or so
children who were guinea pigs have all survived.
They were of course, taken from their disgraced mothers and shipped
abroad for adoptions,mostly to wealthy Catholic families here in the
Over the years my publications have talked to some of those mothers who
had their children torn away from their breast literally in some cases.
Almost without exception their lives were darkened and ruined by what
Now comes this claim of even more depravity, that nuns allowed a drug
company to essentially experiment on defenseless babies.
Suffer little children -- and shame again on a government and church
that allowed such a dreadful thing to happen
here to return to the news page
|“In all of us there
is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are
and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there
is a hollow yearning . . . and the most disquieting
Alex Haley, Author of Roots