Use of Prisoners in Drug Trials

  1. Is it ethical? Do they really have informed consent? This two page article reviews some history, and argues pros and cons:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/13/us...rssnyt&emc=rss
    •  
  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    The potential for abuse is strong. But I can see the attraction. They live in a controlled environment, with similar diets, and some confounding variables are removed. There isn't a good history there however.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    I know of a former prisoner who was offered money to brush his teeth with a certain toothpaste for a specified time period by a well-known comsumer products company. This brand of toothpaste had not been sold to stores and was still in the trial period. Within two weeks this prisoner had lost every single one of his teeth.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I know of a former prisoner who was offered money to brush his teeth with a certain toothpaste for a specified time period by a well-known comsumer products company. This brand of toothpaste had not been sold to stores and was still in the trial period. Within two weeks this prisoner had lost every single one of his teeth.
    How could that happen? Every single tooth out in two weeks??

    As to the use of prisoners in drug trials - I agree with Tweety.

    steph
  6. by   Dinith88
    Quote from indigo girl
    Is it ethical? Do they really have informed consent? This two page article reviews some history, and argues pros and cons:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/13/us...rssnyt&emc=rss
    To heck with them, their 'consent', and/or their rights.
    or...maybe i should clarify.
    I believe a certain 'segment' of the criminal population should be used to better our understanding/knowledge. Lets see...we could start with violent offenders (murder, repeated assault, rapists, etc.), pediphiles for sure...and..umm.. thats all i can think of at the moment.

    Call me conservative or cold-hearted (i dont consider myself any of these)...but this is my opinion.

    Of course the perpretrators of victimless crimes should be exempt...

    I think the best argument 'against' my point of view is that this would place us on a slippery slope...and a potential quick slide to a nazi-type state...but i dont think so...so long as we limit the research to violent/sociopathic criminals who've blatantly demonstrated their own disregard for their 'fellow' human beings' rights. In which case i think they should be treated as though they've in turn given up their own 'rights'.
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Aug 21, '06
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Dinith88
    Screw them, their 'consent', and/or their rights.
    or...maybe i should clarify.
    I believe a certain 'segment' of the criminal population should be used to better our understanding/knowledge. Lets see...we could start with violent offenders (murder, repeated assault, rapists, etc.), pediphiles for sure...and..umm.. thats all i can think of at the moment.

    Call me conservative, cold-hearted (i dont consider myself any of these)...but this is my opinion.

    Of course the perpretrators of victimless crimes should be exempt...

    I think the best argument 'against' my point of view is that this would place us on a slippery slope...and a potential quick slide to a nazi-type state...but i dont think so...so long as we limit the research to violent/sociopathic criminals who've blatantly demonstrated their own disregard for their 'fellow' human beings' rights. In which case i think they should be treated as though they've in turn given up their own 'rights'.

    Screw them.
    I have to say, when I think of pedophiles I completely understand your reaction.

    steph
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Aug 22, '06
  8. by   MrsMommaRN
    when i first saw the title of this thread i thought what a great idea. then a kept thinking about it. sure it would be great to make these prison inmates more useful. then i thought about how they live. even in a controlled study whose to say these deviants of society arent using some other substance? the inmates would have to be in good health minus the condition they are doing the drug trial for, they would need to stick to the prescribed regimine, & avoid other substances while doing the study. i am sure there may be some inmates that would cooperate willingly and follow the rules they need to hoping for an early release. my thought do the drug trials on the inmates wating on death row they might be able to be more closely controlled. perhaps the inmates on death row can make some contribution to society that is worth while.
    please do not think i am being cynical or cruel it's just my two cents.
  9. by   justpoorfect
    Hold on! Wasn't anyone here awake during Sociology 101? Doesn't the good ol' USA have the highest imprisonment rate IN THE WORLD? And aren't the majority of prisoners poor and minority members? Are US prisoners subject to losing ALL human rights? Just remember, a small percentage of those prisoners are proven innocent - YEARS later!

    I am all for informed consent. If they want to participate, fine. If they don't, we cannot inflict cruel and unusual punishment on top of the usual.

    Drug companies typically follow the scent of money. How long did it take for them to test anyone but WHITE MALES? It didn't matter to them if their product was effective or safe for women, they wanted to market products to people who demanded the best drugs money could buy. So, wouldn't we do better by making all white collar criminals do a stint of drug-testing? Martha Stewart and the Enron gang would be sure to line up and roll up their sleeves out of guilt, huh?
  10. by   mercyteapot
    I honestly see no problem with it, and I can say that, having participated in a drug trial myself. So long as the same system of checks and balances are used for prisoners as for civilians and participation is strictly voluntary (and there are more sophisticated ways to ensure these procedures are followed now than in the past), I think it makes good sense.

    This talk about the disenfranchisement of prisoners reminds me of my experience in Yosemite National Park the season I worked and lived there. Many employees were housed in raised tents. That same year, the idea of using tent cabins to house prisoners was floated, and there was a massive outcry. I guess it was just okiedokiefine to house people who spent their days scrubbing toilets or serving up mashed potatoes for a living, but God forbid scofflaws should endure anything less than four walls and indoor plumbing.
    Last edit by mercyteapot on Aug 22, '06
  11. by   Roy Fokker
    ... Never mind...
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Aug 22, '06
  12. by   dano
    I also believe that those who commited violent, unexcusable crimes AND are guilty beyond doubt should be subjected to pharmaceutical testing no matter how dangerous. They violated someone else's rights as a human being, therefore they deserve to have theirs violated as well. Call it eye for an eye if you will.

    As for everyone else in the prisoner population, they should only be subjected to any testing with consent. If they don't want to participate, so be it. If they do, great.
  13. by   ChevRN
    Quote from dano
    I also believe that those who commited violent, unexcusable crimes AND are guilty beyond doubt should be subjected to pharmaceutical testing no matter how dangerous. They violated someone else's rights as a human being, therefore they deserve to have theirs violated as well. Call it eye for an eye if you will.

    As for everyone else in the prisoner population, they should only be subjected to any testing with consent. If they don't want to participate, so be it. If they do, great.

    I agree
  14. by   traumaRUs
    I sincerely hope this thread continues on an even keel. As most of us are nurses (and some in correctional facilities), we must not lose sight of the basic rights of prisoners. If truly informed consent is obtained (as it is in the general populace), then that is fine. If however, we resort to arbitrarily performing trials on prisoners, we have reduced ourselves to those who have gone before us in WWII.

close