Reponse to article "Guinea Pig Nation"
I enjoyed reading Joann Ellison Rodgers' essay, "Guinea Pig Nation," from http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200812/guinea-pig-nation because... it was interesting and informative on the human volunteers for research.
I'm learning more about human experimentation right now, and in particular what I'm wondering about is: Is there a limit to what scientists can do to the human volunteers? Obviously the volunteers are aware that there may be some defects or something but does that allow the researchers to do what ever without regulations? I was researching this question online, and this article caught my attention because of the title. What exactly did the writer mean by "Guinea Pig Nation"? I know realize that she called it this because her article was based on how everyone wanted to be a volunteer for science so it was kind of like a nation of guinea pigs.
"Six healthy men volunteered to take the new drug in London for £2,000 each (about $3,500), most of them immigrants. All six ended up in intensive care shortly after receiving the drug, in intense pain and with multi-organ failure—the result of immune overreaction."
Citation: Joann Ellison Rodgers, 2009. Guinea Pig Nation.Psychology Today, http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200812/guinea-pig-nation?page=3
The quote I chose here is basically saying that the researchers that use the hman volunteers really can't make a judgement about whether or not an experiment is going "too far" or is harmful. I'm sure that the researchers didn't know that the drug would cause these organ failures. It also shows what it really takes for someone to volunteer for this kind of treatment. You are paid for your inconvenience, you get free food and healthcare, entertainment, and wifi. All of these conditions seem pretty okay when being experimented on with drugs.
Another sentence Rodgers wrote that stands out for me is: "Bioethicists Trudo Lemmens of the University of Toronto and Carl Elliott of the University of Minnesota call attention to studies like one in Scotland that paid healthy volunteers £600 to drink orange juice laced with pesticides." I think this is interesting because this article goes to show that money causes a lot of people to do things. Pesticides aren't the most intriguing thing to drink but when you are offered so much money, pesticides almost do not seem poisonous.
A third sentence that I found interesting was: "There isn't a square inch of my fanny that has its original skin," which he let doctors razor off for 40 dermatologic tests of sunscreens at $65 per half inch, leaving raw wounds that felt like "burns." This stood out for me because these tests seem pretty extreme but they are not restricted. Removing skin, drinking pesticides, and taking odd drugs are not things people had a problem with when volunteering. This makes me wonder was is regulated within the lab. How far is too far? If allowing someone to do all these things to themselves is illegal, who knows how extreme experiments could be?
What I appreciate about this writer's work is the fact that the writer not only states facts, but makes this article interesting with a point of view. She also provides real examples for us to read about. I look forward to seeing what she writes next because her writer is very clear and this topic was really interesting.