It has largely been argued out that the U.S government uses war veterans to carry out clinical trials and research on newly discovered therapies and drugs. These veterans commonly known as disposable heroes in research fields are at government disposal. Healthy volunteers agree to be used as research subjects due to motivational reasons like financial gain, indebtedness, or self-sacrifice. Researchers or rather the sponsors of these research organizations enter into study and researches so as to develop new or enhance the already discovered vaccines and medications with the goal of making profits (no ‘disposable heroes’ n.d.).
There are rules, laws and regulations to safeguard these volunteers and the researchers are bound by the law to follow them before and while subjecting the research subjects into therapeutic of drugs tasting. For instance each research institution has to take full responsibility in complying with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) set of laws for the presentation of all explore studies involving human subjects. These institutions have the sole duty of enlightening the researchers on issues touching scientific integrity and research ethics. They are also mandated to carry out investigations pertaining scientific misconduct cases by the research organizations (Roles and responsibilities of institutions in human subject research (n.d.)).
It’s the responsibility of the IRB to analyze and approve the clinical trials proposed by the research companies through carrying out investigations on the study sites to check whether they comply with the regulations of human safety and welfare of the research subjects. In any human research, application to the FDA has to be made first so that reviews and investigations are done to validate the research and ensure that regulations are followed to the latter.
Human subjects or rather participants vary greatly ranging from those are health either first timers or who have participated before and who are volunteering as self-sacrifice to promote medical discoveries, those who are ill patients and are desperately in need of cure, and those who are motivated to participate due to the financial incentives offered. The sponsor has to inform the volunteers about the study, the expected outcomes and if there is a possibility of side effects he/she has to tell them. Thus in the event that the sponsor has neglected to tell the volunteers about the medications side effects, they are liable to punishment by the low since that is exposing human beings to risks without informing them first. Most of them argue out that it is impossible to detect or determine the expected outcome of the trial but they are supposed to do deeper research about the drug before subjecting it to human trials (McCullough & Chervenak (2011)).
For instance in the recent years there has been a drug-testing scandal that involved the department of veteran affairs as they were accused of administering drugs on war veterans who served the Iraq and Afghanistan warfare. There was a national outcry by even the media condemning the VA of using war veterans as guinea pigs in their post-traumatic stress studies. The VA had prior knowledge that the drug known as chantix had harsh probable side effects and they still continued administering it to the military veterans. The FDA linked several suicidal cases to the uptake of the drug and the most serious issue is that even the VA did not even inform the test subjects the risks or rather the side effects of the drug (no ‘disposable heroes’ n.d.).
There are many discussions against the use of health volunteers in medical tests as there are many risks involved they are exposed to. I tend to argue out that they shouldn’t be limited in participating since they do this out of their own will and we still need new discoveries and innovations to be made concerning the medical world therefore in fact am for that many people are supposed to be encouraged to participate in these studies so that we continue making legitimate medical discoveries (kolman et al n.d.).
(n.d.).No ‘disposable heroes’. Washington Times, The (DC). Retrieved may 4, 2012 from http://ehis.ebscohost.com.proxygw.wrlc.org/eds/[email protected]&vid=2&hid=121&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ==#db=bwh&AN=4KB520080703025740002
Ellis P.M (n.d.). attitudes towards and participation in randomized clinical trials in oncology: a review of the literature. Kluwer academic publishers, Netherlands. From http://annonc.oxfordjournals.org/content/11/8/939.full.pdf
Tishler Carl L. and Bartholomae, 2003. Repeat participation among normal health research volunteers: professional guinea pigs in clinical trials?. The johns Hopkins university press, from http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/perspectives_in_biology_and_medicine/v046/46.4index.pdf
(N.d.). Roles and responsibilities of institutions in human subject research. from http://store.centerwatch.com/pdfs/samples/s04603_ch03.pdf
Kolman, J. M., Wray, N. P., Ashton, C. M., Wenner, D. M., Jarman, A. F., & Brody, B. A. (2012). Conflicts among Multinational Ethical and Scientific Standards for Clinical Trials of Therapeutic Interventions. Journal Of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 40(1), 99-121. doi:10.1111/j.1748-720X.2012.00649.x
McCullough, L. B., & Chervenak, F. A. (2011). The Fetus as a Patient and the Ethics of Human Subjects Research: Response to Commentaries on ‘An Ethically Justified Framework for Clinical Investigation to Benefit Pregnant and Fetal Patients’… Iltis, A. S. 2011. Who is a patient and why does it matter? American Journal of Bioethics 11(5): 62–64…. Kaposy,C., and F. Baylis. 2011. The commonrule, pregnant women, and research: No need to rescue that which should be revised. American Journal of Bioethics 11(5): 60–62…. Kipnis, K. 2011. Emergent obligations to the former fetal research subject. American Journal of Bioethics 11(5): 54–56…. Lyerly, A. D., M. O. Little, and R. R. Faden. 2011. Reframing the framework: Toward fair inclusion of pregnant women as participants in research. American Journal of Bioethics 11(5): 50–52…. Perry, C. 2011. Unacceptable risk in pregnancy: Whose choice and responsibility? American Journal of Bioethics 11(5): 64–65…. Shalowitz, D. I., and J. L. Ecker. 2011. Research in pregnancy. American Journal Of Bioethics, 11(5), 3-7. doi:10.1080/15265161.2011.576939