Human Guinea Pigs to Get Protection

A Congressional advisory panel is proposing comprehensive rules for most medical research on humans in the United States. Two years ago Congress ordered the EJe-partment of Health, Education and Welfare to adopt regulations thai protect children, fetuses, prisoners and the men tally ill from violation of their rights and safety in the name of science.

Recommendations on prisoners were completed last October. The advisory committee asked for a de facto ban on prison experiments because no known jail can meet noil coercion standards. Members agreed no inmate can be a true volunteer as long as filthy, crowded cells, unpaid work, censorship and boredom make a paid stint as test subject seem like a "holiday in the Bahamas:" Final rules must be issued by HEW by May 1. HEW has already followed the panel's advice that fetal research be allowed only under detailed safety measures with lhe mother's consent,.

Psychosurgery is one of the mosl controversial issues before the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects. Several witnesses called it some patients' only hope. Others said operations to control violence by destroying part of the brain are so easily abused for political and personal reasons that they must be outlawed , A preliminary rules draft, would allow this surgery in prisons and mental hospitals only when all other treatments have failed. Each operation would require approval by a court., a board of doctors not involved in psychosurgery, and the prisoner's or patienils legal guardian.

General guidelines for cliildren and mental patients are expected late this year. Ethical procedures governing "average citizen" volunteers will be a legal by-product of rules for special groups.

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