Treating the Troops
Howe, Edmund G.
Martin, Edward D.
Annas, George J.
Grodin, Michael A.
Levine, Robert J.
Hastings Center Report. 1991 Mar-Apr; 21(2): 21-29.
On 2 August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Since it was then apparent that the U.S. might engage Iraq in combat and that Iraq might use biological and chemical weaponry, the Department of Defense (DoD) explored all means by which servicepersons could be protected. Several compounds (the word compound will be used to refer to drugs and vaccines throughout this paper) were believed to be highly safe and efficacious. Yet since the safety and efficacy of the compounds considered had not been tested on human subjects exposed to biological and chemical weaponry, by definition they were classified under FDA regulations as "investigational."...Although the specific compounds considered in this instance are intended to protect servicepersons from chemical and biological weapons, the ethical principles and analysis also would apply to other investigational compounds used for "treatment" purposes, such as those intended to prevent or treat endemic diseases. In this unprecedented situation, two ethical (and legal) questions were raised: Should servicepersons be given these compounds? and, if the answer was yes, Should servicepersons be given the opportunity to grant or withhold their consent, as they would if they were research subjects?...
Autonomy; Biological Warfare; Codes of Ethics; Coercion; Consent; Disclosure; Drugs; Ethics; Federal Government; Food; Government; Government Regulation; Human Experimentation; Human Rights; Immunization; Informed Consent; Investigational Drugs; Medicine; Military Personnel; Misconduct; Moral Policy; Patient Care; Policy Analysis; Preventive Medicine; Public Policy; Regulation; Research; Research Subjects; Rights; Therapeutic Research; Vaccines; War;
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