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NYT: Wanted: Volunteers, All Pregnant

Wanted: Volunteers, All Pregnant

New York Times, February 15, 2010

Like something out of a movie, this NY Times article uncovers a government study underway to track the life of 100,000 children from when they are first an embryo/fetus all the way through age 18.

The first step for the project right now is finding women who are in their first trimester and soliciting them to take part in the study. It’s a big commitment for the woman – providing numerous samples of bodily fluids, lifestyle reports, etc – and a big burden on the unknowing children who will be tracked in every regard throughout their first 18 years.

The end product for all of this – the government is hoping – is some extensive research and knowledge about how certain elements impact how humans experience life – anatomically, mentally, emotionally, etc.  They are hoping to expose similar patterns across different populations to establish trends that may lead to preventable measures going forward.

At no point is there a mention of compensation for this study, so I assume it’s on a voluntary basis, but it also seems that it will not be easy to exit the experiment once you start. Let’s say at age 5 your kid is afraid of the additional examinations from the government investigator – you can’t really turn the fed away, can you?

While I’m one to always embrace science and technology, and would gladly help with any potential advancement in those areas, something about this initiative seems creepy. I keep having visions of scary government scientists examining my child in a cold, dark room.

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