Indigenous Canadians have filed a lawsuit alleging that doctors conducted medical experiments on them without their consent.

The class action, which was certified in early February, highlights Canada's painful history of conducting medical experiments on indigenous peoples and the discrimination they continue to face in the health care system.

In her statement of claim, plaintiff Andrea Paul said that she and 60 other members of the Pictou Landing First Nation, a group of Indigenous people, participated in a medical research project led by the Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds.

But after the test was over hospital staff held them for a second test and refused to share the result of the test.

"As she lay in the claustrophobic MRI room holding her breath and cowering from the loud noises around her, MRI scans generated data that revealed private information about her body without her knowledge or consent," members of the indigenous community said in their statement of claim. She was chosen for one reason only: her ethnic identity."

Robert Miller and Sharon Clarke, the radiologists who conducted the test, were named as defendants in the class action lawsuit.


It turns out that the test results were used for a larger research project entitled "Evidence of Liver Disease in the Atlantic Canada First Nations Population".Neither the researchers at the Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds nor the plaintiffs were given the results of the test.The claim also alleges that due to mistreatment and abuse, Indigenous people "have been reluctant to participate in health research and seek treatment from non-Indigenous doctors, health centers and hospitals."

"There is a historical and evidence-based distrust of the health system," the allegation said.Canada has a dark history of its treatment of Indigenous peoples under the guise of health care, and the deadly effects of systemic racism continue to this day.