Doctors, parents want rethink on child medical testing ban

Doctors, teaching hospitals and parents are opposed to government plans to restrict medical research being carried out on children, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Health minister Edith Schippers has drawn up draft legislation which will virtually stop the use of experimental but promising drugs on children.

‘This means that we will be withholding new but promising medicines from seriously ill children because they cannot be tested here,’ child cancer specialist Michel Zwaan from the Erasmus teaching hospital told the paper.

Years of research

In Britain, Germany and France, much more medical research is permitted, he pointed out. ‘These medicines will not be available for us to use for years,’ he said.

Schippers wants to introduce the new rules because children are vulnerable and need to be protected against the risks associated with medical research.

Doctors and parents have written to parliament calling for a rethink. The letter has been signed by 15 professors from the country’s teaching hospitals and nine patients’ organisations.

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