Friday, January 30, 2009

Human Rights_ Human Experimentation Without Your Consent

WHOOOOOO HORSEY! If you do not find it a comforting thought to be forced into human experimental research like a lab rat while still alive, you had better run to your attorney and change your advanced directive pronto! And you better state it directly and clearly.

A Virginia Senate Bill could force incapacitated or dying persons to be subjected to human experimentation without their consent. This Virginia bill implies that an advanced directive may be interpreted as giving legal power to a surrogate-care giver in deciding to place YOU into a human experimentation clinical trial, even when it is known that the trial “ offers no prospect of direct benefit to the patient.”

More horrifying is that the Virginia advance directive form has language permitting experimentation as a default, unless otherwise denoted.

Per Bioethicist, Wesley J. Smith, “This provision explicitly violates the Nuremberg Code that requires subjects of human experimentation be capable of consenting to--and have complete understanding of--the experiment in which they participate.” From the Code:
The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice,...and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonable to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment.

One after another our human rights regarding life and dignity are being stripped from us. Those who wish to donate their bodies for human experimentation while alive should be allowed to do so by providing their knowing consent. But this Virginia law contains a slippery slope that propels one directly over the ledge to a violation of human rights.

I bet the biomedical research community just loves it.

1 comment:

  1. Which company in Virginia is the powerful lobby behind this? Is it doctors? Are there companies in other states who are going into Virginia to zap the old folks and get away with it?