Thursday, October 15, 2009

Terminally Ill Drug Trials

Via Futurepundit:
I'd like to see a change in US Food and Drug Administration policy where people with just a few months left to live should be free to try drugs that are currently in stage I trials or even drugs which have only been tried on other animals. If you are going to die then you should be free to try anything. If I had several months left to live due to cancer I'd rather try experimental drugs even if they might kill me sooner. If the result was simply to rule out the further use of an otherwise promising drug as least I'd die for some constructive purpose.
This is not a bad idea, but one that will face a number of obstacles from medical ethicists and maybe even governmental busy bodies.

Ironically, at some point, drug trials have to take place on humans. So the question is, why can't someone who is terminally ill not be allowed to take any medicine that holds a chance for them. So long as the patient has the cognitive ability to understand the risks and the willingness to absolve the drug company from liability, I don't seem why this is such a bad thing.

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