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One more thing before I go for today (my access today has been ideal!).

Over the weekend Superman movies and Christophere Reeve came up in conversation. That got me thinking about medical experimentation regulations.

If I recall correctly Mr. Reeve wanted to have an experimental procedure performed on him which might have improved the quality of his life. I do not know the risks involved. What I do not understand is why a person with a poor quality of life (self defined as poor!) cannot volunteer for risky medical experimentation that would at least add to the knowledge base if not help the volunteer, but doctors and pharmaceutical companies can provide and prescribe drugs, etc without the recipient being fully informed (and therefore not really consenting).

If volunteers are needed then let people volunteer, knowing the risks involved.

How far should doctors have to go to be sure patients know the risks before signing consent? Should certain restrictions be loosened?
 

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Interesting question!

It all depends on how you define experimental.

Since vaccine clinical trials are done on a screened population and then the vaccine is used in a non-screened population, anyone who doesn't fit the screened profile is an experimental subject and should be informed. In my opinion. Frankly, this seems overwhelmingly obvious.
 

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If I recall correctly Mr. Reeve wanted to have an experimental procedure performed on him which might have improved the quality of his life. I do not know the risks involved. What I do not understand is why a person with a poor quality of life (self defined as poor!) cannot volunteer for risky medical experimentation that would at least add to the knowledge base if not help the volunteer...
IMO here's why:

How many thousands or possibly millions of dollars were already invested up to that point in the procedure? Would a researcher/developer/inventor want someone so high profile to be involved so early on? If it works, then it would be great. But if it doesn't, then they risk scaring off investors and having it shut down pretty fast early on. And if it injures or kills him, then they've killed SUPERMAN .

Often we hear how there is a new drug in the works that can treat some condition or disease. Understandably patients get excited and want quick access to it. The marketing division of Pharma companies put the word out to test the market before they have good solid evidence that the product even does what they claim. And I think some doctors get rooked into the hype as well because they do want to help their patients. A lot of wishful thinking going on by all parties for different reasons.
 

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I personally don't think doctors can not prescribe and do procedures without patents being informed. As far as how far they need to go, in my opinion they need only to verbalize to a patient the known risks.

As for Christopher Reeve, the problem was the procedures he wanted involved embryonic stem cell research and the cultural political climate at the time didn't allow for it.

As for other experimentation on terminal patients, some of the problem also can come in with the social justice issues. That wealthy celebrities able to pay for treatments, is upsetting to patients who cannot pay out of pocket for new treatments, and many believe that treatments should be reserved for those most likely to benefit or provide information, not those with the largest pockets.
 

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@Dakotacakes are you in favor of doctors informing vaccine recipients (or their legal guardians) that the vaccine being offered was only tested on a screened population and that the actual patient to whom the vaccine is about to be administered would not have qualified for that clinical test?

As an example of informed consent...
 
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