Courageous Calla & The Clinical Trial by Arya Singh ’18. Still in college, Arya already has a book to her name and one that will be reassuring to children who find themselves participants in clinical trials. The only way we can move forward with treatments and medications is through clinical trials. Adult volunteers can weigh the risks and benefits before joining a test group. But for those conditions that emerge at birth or during early childhood, very young participants, many of whom have seen more than their fair share of doctors and hospitals, are badly needed. Courageous Calla is just what kids need to allay their fears and show them that they are helping not only themselves but many other children. In the book, Calla is a superhero and truly, all the children who take part can hold claim to that title.
Arya takes the ethical principles advanced in the Belmont Report and outlined by Warren T. Jahn and puts them in language easily understood by the very young. Calla’s father explains that there are “four promises doctors all around the world make to always try to do what is best for patients like you.” The first promise, respect for autonomy, is translated as “you’re the boss of your own body.”
This book should be sitting in every pediatrician’s office. No one who understands picture books is too young to understand how medical science moves forward and to admire the superheroes who make it happen.