Demand Kathleen Sebelius Apologize to Parents of Babies Endangered in Study

Tell Health and Human Services Secretary to Apologize for Unethical Experiment that Exposed Premature Infants to Risk of Death and Blindness and Prevent Similar Failures in the Future

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should personally apologize to the parents of 1,316 premature infants who were exposed to increased risk of blindness and death as part of a clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health and held throughout the U.S. several years ago because they were not informed of the risks to their babies or the true nature and purpose of the research.

Add Your Name to the Petition to Secretary Sebelius

We, the undersigned, call on you to apologize to each of the parents of the premature infants enrolled in the unethical trial at 23 U.S. medical centers. This apology should be accompanied by a complete divulgence of the previously undisclosed information regarding the nature, purpose, and risks of the research.

We also urge you to take the following actions:

  • Direct the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) to require each participating institution to submit corrective action for avoiding such serious deficiencies in the consent process for future research.
  • Launch an independent investigation into how the HHS system for review and oversight of clinical trials failed so miserably. This should include an assessment of all entities within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other HHS agencies that played a role in the review, approval and funding of the study.
  • Determine what system-wide actions are necessary to prevent similar future failures.
  • Identify and suspend any similarly unethical ongoing research involving premature infants that is funded by NIH or any other HHS agency.

Spread the Word

share on Facebook


The trial, known as the SUPPORT study, was conducted between 2005 and 2009 at 23 prominent research facilities throughout the country, including the Stanford University School of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, Brown University, Duke University and University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Learn More

Optional Member Code

1-25 of 16895 signatures
Number Date Name Add a comment
16895 Wed Dec 17 05:22:05 EST 2014 Mary Ann Andruscavage Protect premature babies.
16894 Mon Dec 08 21:13:25 EST 2014 Marissa Gray
16893 Sun Dec 07 00:23:22 EST 2014 John Taylor Jr
16892 Sat Dec 06 17:28:53 EST 2014 Anonymous
16891 Wed Dec 03 19:12:19 EST 2014 Bernadette Webster This kind of behavior seems absolutely criminal.
16890 Wed Nov 19 07:59:39 EST 2014 Cynthia Grim
16889 Sun Nov 16 03:59:05 EST 2014 Anonymous
16888 Tue Nov 11 14:30:52 EST 2014 Susan Courrejou Imagine how this could have affected your own family!
16887 Tue Nov 11 14:30:40 EST 2014 Susan Courrejou Imagine how this could have affected your own family!
16886 Mon Nov 10 11:12:25 EST 2014 Tina King
16885 Wed Nov 05 18:04:11 EST 2014 Kathleen Fields
16884 Wed Nov 05 18:03:58 EST 2014 Kathleen Fields
16883 Thu Oct 23 16:45:24 EDT 2014 Jim Lamon
16882 Mon Oct 20 16:26:23 EDT 2014 NEIL STECKER
16881 Wed Oct 08 21:53:22 EDT 2014 Marissa Gray
16880 Wed Oct 08 21:53:21 EDT 2014 Marissa Gray
16879 Wed Oct 08 14:46:03 EDT 2014 Anonymous
16878 Sat Sep 13 00:33:22 EDT 2014 Jack David Marcus
16877 Sat Sep 13 00:32:55 EDT 2014 Jack David Marcus
16876 Tue Aug 26 14:59:29 EDT 2014 Anonymous
16875 Tue Aug 26 02:17:13 EDT 2014 Anonymous
16874 Thu Aug 14 16:01:04 EDT 2014 Vicki Bianchi
16873 Mon Aug 04 21:04:24 EDT 2014 meave o'connor
16872 Tue Jul 29 21:59:49 EDT 2014 Kevin Silas
16871 Mon Jul 28 15:17:11 EDT 2014 Julie Heinrich
Next ->

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. All rights reserved. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation.
Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.