Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Are experimental drugs ethical for treating Ebola?

Believe it or not, I heard this discussion on NPR this morning.  Some international outfit (not our FDA) was questioning the use of experimental untested drugs in Ebola cases.  Wow.
   A patient has a disease with a 90% death rate.  Nothing anyone can do can make the patient's chances worse than that.  It's always ethical to do anything short of euthanasia to try and cure a patient who is that gravely ill.  It is indeed possible that experimental untested treatments have side effects and risks.  But compared with the 90% chance of dying of Ebola, nobody cares about side effects or risks of experimental treatments. Certainly not the patients.

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