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Author Topic: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow  (Read 3641 times)

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Offline Boze

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Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« on: April 14, 2010, 07:45:18 PM »
I had this idea today, wanted to see what people thought.

What would be the moral argument against doing trials of an HIV vaccine on someone who is about to be executed? Say instead of actually killing the guy (and occasional girl) - offer them a choice to be a guinnea pig in the trial with a fixed duration (say 2 years). The individual gets to live 2 years longer, science gets to test the vaccine.

Why I think this is a good idea:
1. The person experiences no suffering (aside from seroconversion). Even if the vaccine fails the symptoms of HIV would not show up for long time. Instead the person actually gets the benefit of living while experiment is run.
2. This seems like the only proper way to test a vaccine. Current system of recruiting 32,000 in Thailand and giving half of them the cream sounds pretty ridiculous to me (50 out of 16k who got the cream got HIV vs 75 for placebo group). Cost $100m.  How do we know if the people who got sick actually used it every time they had sex?
3. Aside from cost, this would also reduce the cost of running trials. We could still do widespread trials but only after a treatment proves reliable on a few individuals.


If the argument against it is that maybe some new fact comes out during the vaccine trial which proves that the person is innocent (and now has HIV) - well under the current system he would be dead. I.e. the vaccine trial happens after the last legal argument is exhausted and he would be executed otherwise. Here he actually gets to live (albeit on ARVs :)
Of course this is not palatable to the society, but I'm wondering why.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 07:48:19 PM by borzel »
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2010, 07:52:06 PM »
Wrong forum, mang!  ;D

MtD

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2010, 07:59:04 PM »
Cruel and unusual punishment.  They aren't our guinea pigs to treat as we will.

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 08:01:02 PM »
I refer you to Kind and usual punishment, published in 1974 but probably even more relevant today:

http://www.amazon.com/Kind-usual-punishment-Jessica-Mitford/dp/0394710932/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271289439&sr=1-1


Testing on prisoners has been going on for decades and they don't have to be on death row. 
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write © 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline Boze

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2010, 08:07:04 PM »
Why is it cruel or unusual?

1. The person is offered a choice - he can decline the experiment and be executed now
2. There is no pain or suffering if infected
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline mecch

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010, 08:07:31 PM »
Ick.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2010, 08:12:30 PM »
What a horrible suggestion.

MtD

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2010, 08:21:59 PM »
Why is it cruel or unusual?

1. The person is offered a choice - he can decline the experiment and be executed now
2. There is no pain or suffering if infected

1.  Don't you see how that might seem a teensy bit coercive to make someone choose imminent death or infection with a lethal virus?

2.  There's no pain or suffering because...?  If infected the person goes back to the gas chamber?

I have an idea!  Finishing the brilliant work of Dr. Mengele (god rest his soul) why don't we experiment on identical twin prisoners, too.
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write © 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline Boze

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2010, 08:31:05 PM »
"1. Don't you see how that might seem a teensy bit coercive to make someone choose imminent death or infection with a lethal virus?"

Yes. But they still have the choice. Ie they are better off than without the experiment

"2.  There's no pain or suffering because...?  If infected the person goes back to the gas chamber?"

The symptoms would not show up in time before their postponed execution.

This  offering would only be extended to people who are about to be executed. So they are gaining life years. I don't see how this has anything to do with Nazi experiments on innocent people.

Either way - I am only soliciting arguments why this is a bad idea, so thank you for them :)
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2010, 08:38:22 PM »
"1. Don't you see how that might seem a teensy bit coercive to make someone choose imminent death or infection with a lethal virus?"

Yes. But they still have the choice. Ie they are better off than without the experiment

"2.  There's no pain or suffering because...?  If infected the person goes back to the gas chamber?"

The symptoms would not show up in time before their postponed execution.

This  offering would only be extended to people who are about to be executed. So they are gaining life years. I don't see how this has anything to do with Nazi experiments on innocent people.

Either way - I am only soliciting arguments why this is a bad idea, so thank you for them :)

This would not pass muster before a University ethics committee.

MtD



Offline Boze

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2010, 08:43:46 PM »
"This would not pass muster before a University ethics committee. "

Sure, but why not? Who is worse off from this?
I understand the "Ick" feeling this engenders - but I'm trying to understand what IS the problem?
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2010, 08:49:37 PM »
"This would not pass muster before a University ethics committee. "

Sure, but why not? Who is worse off from this?
I understand the "Ick" feeling this engenders - but I'm trying to understand what IS the problem?

The problem as I see it is your proposal chooses death row inmates because they are "disposable". it doesn't matter if they're infected with HIV because they're going to be killed anyway.

It's dehumanising, it treats them as a resource to be consumed not as people with rights - no matter how much their continued existence might offend the upright.

What if an inmate who participates is acquitted or is granted clemnency or pardon?

Also - Before they weigh in I'd just like to invite death penalty supporters (as a group not as individuals) to go and fuck themselves. Please note, I'm not directing that sentiment at the OP. :)

MtD

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2010, 09:00:56 PM »
...
It's dehumanising, it treats them as a resource to be consumed not as people with rights - no matter how much their continued existence might offend the upright...
MtD

You're obviously not familiar with the U.S. Penile System, matty-poo.   Most prisoners in the USA are already without rights.  Now the trend is privatizing, like with da war in Iracks, so human rights violations can be ignored or brushed off easily.

borzel, how are these "volunteers" to be prevented from having sex (consensual or not) in prison?  They can still catch teh AIDS (in fact many do) since we as a nation are too upright to acknowledge the problem exists.
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write © 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline Boze

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2010, 05:34:22 PM »
"The problem as I see it is your proposal chooses death row inmates because they are "disposable". it doesn't matter if they're infected with HIV because they're going to be killed anyway.

It's dehumanising, it treats them as a resource to be consumed not as people with rights - no matter how much their continued existence might offend the upright.

What if an inmate who participates is acquitted or is granted clemnency or pardon?"

Matty,

I think you are missing the point. I am not suggesting that countries w/o death row should institute it and test various vaccines on people before executing it. My proposal refers to the existing states that are killing people every month. My proposal is beneficial to everybody because these individuals would actually get to live longer (if they so choose).
Your argument that it's dehumanising and treats them as a resource just doesn't make sense to me because I see zero negative impact on the individual in question. They would not experience any issues and instead get to live longer than they would otherwise.
I've answered the contention that maybe new evidence would come up during the vaccine trial that exonerates the person and they end up living with HIV in the original post - by noting that were it not for the vaccine they would already be dead. So in this case they actually get to live (albeit on ARVs).

It is obvious that the suggestion would not pass - but I am yet to encounter a single logical argument why. My post here is not meant to advocate this position, more of exploration of both sides.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline bocker3

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 06:15:13 PM »
Sometimes a thing is wrong simply because it is. 
There is no "upside" to getting HIV -- even if it allows someone to live a little longer.  What life is that anyway -- in prison with the clock still ticking.  AND -- now you have a whole new reason to be ostracized over.......
It's simply wrong -- no further explanation needed.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2010, 06:31:09 PM »


  I like the idea however, instead of HIV let's inject them with the Ebola virus. 
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Cliff

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2010, 07:01:09 PM »
This is based on the notion that criminals don't deserve rights or are somehow less human, therefore it's ok to lower our medical ethics.   ::)

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2010, 07:07:16 PM »
This is based on the notion that criminals don't deserve rights or are somehow less human, therefore it's ok to lower our medical ethics.   ::)

I was thinking more along the lines of energy conservation. :D
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline tokyodecadence

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2010, 07:24:19 PM »
I could see the possibility of something along the lines of a census being collected for inmates on death row who already *have* HIV, and concluding that it would be ok to test on them if they so choose to accept. As someone has previously stated (as well as numerous news articles), the rate of HIV in prisons is rising. But putting a person in some sort of catch-22, when they know that they're just going to die any[either]way? I don't see that working.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 07:28:26 PM by tokyodecadence »
[.Fodão.]

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2010, 07:29:57 PM »
I totally agree that inmates should be given the opportunity to participate in clinical trials for new drugs, but that's not the same as offering to infect negative people with hiv in order to save them from death row.  That's a hell of a devil's bargain.

Offline tokyodecadence

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2010, 07:37:08 PM »
^^^^

What ponyboy said.
[.Fodão.]

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2010, 01:21:22 AM »
I'm against the death penalty and this seems like when the Chinese take organs to me.  I would be afraid it would make more incentive to put people on death row in order to have guinea pigs.  We know the prison system now is a business and they need more and more people in prison to keep them going and all those prison jobs.

Having said that, I think this is an excellent debate for an ethics class.  Could it give some guy who killed a little girl, for example, a last chance to give something back to society that may help thousands/millions of people live after taking a life?  I still don't like it, but I think it is a good debate topic.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2010, 01:36:48 AM »
You're obviously not familiar with the U.S. Penile System, matty-poo.   Most prisoners in the USA are already without rights.  Now the trend is privatizing, like with da war in Iracks, so human rights violations can be ignored or brushed off easily.

borzel, how are these "volunteers" to be prevented from having sex (consensual or not) in prison?  They can still catch teh AIDS (in fact many do) since we as a nation are too upright to acknowledge the problem exists.
I've got news for you, prisoners have more rights in the US corrections than we have on the outside. I have three members of my family that work as C.O.s.



Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2010, 01:39:43 AM »
I've got news for you, prisoners have more rights in the US corrections than we have on the outside. I have three members of my family that work as C.O.s.




Except that whole "I wanna go outside today and shop" freedom.  Wait there's also the "I want to improve my lot in life" freedom.  Coincidentally three of my relations are inmates!  (I'm just kidding, my family never got caught in their illicit criminal activities!)

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2010, 01:39:58 AM »
I've got news for you, prisoners have more rights in the US corrections than we have on the outside. I have three members of my family that work as C.O.s.

Bullshit Rod.

MtD

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2010, 01:50:53 AM »
I've got news for you, prisoners have more rights in the US corrections than we have on the outside. I have three members of my family that work as C.O.s.


How nice. We're winning the war on terror, too. 

Please spare me your Rush Limbaugh shtick, Rod.  I respect you but long ago realized it was no use discussing many issues with you. 
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write © 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2010, 01:55:19 AM »


C'mon guys, Rod means they don't have to disclose. :D
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2010, 02:01:33 AM »
How nice. We're winning the war on terror, too. 

Please spare me your Rush Limbaugh shtick, Rod.  I respect you but long ago realized it was no use discussing many issues with you. 
What does Rush Limbaugh have to do with your BS that you posted? You don't know what you are talking about.


C'mon guys, Rod means they don't have to disclose. :D
Oh they don't have a choice on not disclosing.  ;)

Offline Bucko

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2010, 02:35:09 AM »
Those who know me know that I gave up my gag reflex for Lent in 1977, but this topic makes me puke in my mouth. Comparisons to Dr Mengele are most just.
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2010, 10:46:15 AM »
I don't want to get into all the ethical intricacies of your modest proposal, Borzel, but some basic values in medical ethics include:

Autonomy - the patient has the right to refuse or choose their treatment. You say these prisoners are making a free choice but are they really? These are people in prison and they are being told you can either participate in this experiment or we are going to kill you. "Do it or die" isn't really a choice.

Beneficence - a practitioner should act in the best interest of the patient. Infecting people with a potentially lethal virus and then testing unproven treatments is not in these people's best interests. I also think the dehumanization of people, even if they are convicts, is not in the best interest of society and would outweight any acquired scientific knowledge, particularly since there are more humane options for gathering data.

Non-maleficence - "first, do no harm". I know you think infecting them with a virus is saving them from death but I would argue they are just being harmed in a different way.

Dignity - the patient has the right to dignity. Treating people as solely as expendable lab rats diminishes the humanity of the subject and the person performing the experiment.

The Nazi were big into human experimentation because they did not feel their subjects were human. Convicts are still human and Americans are not Nazi (at least most of us, aren't). Fun Fact!: Carl Peter Værnet, a SS major and a doctor at Buchenwald concentration camp, took a crack at "curing" homosexuality by injecting hormones in to men's testicles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_human_experimentation
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 10:49:30 AM by GSOgymrat »

Offline Boze

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2010, 10:44:22 AM »
GSOgymrat,

I see the point of your contention - that people on Death Row are forced to accept this route in order to survive and our science prefers to deal with volunteers.

I would also like to stress the difference between this proposal and Nazi practice. Nazis killed and tortured innocent people who would lead normal lives otherwise. Here the testing is a way to prolong someone's life who would be killed. Second - this test would be completely pain or other discomfort-free.

If anything, I'd take this further and consider doing this with people who are brain-dead. Instead of pulling the plug on the machine, donate the body (via something similar to a donor form) to science so that a vaccine can be tested.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2010, 10:53:07 AM »



   
If anything, I'd take this further and consider doing this with people who are brain-dead. Instead of pulling the plug on the machine, donate the body (via something similar to a donor form) to science so that a vaccine can be tested.

   So you mean once they clear the grieving family members out of the room they shoot it with the virus? 
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2010, 11:03:52 AM »
Hi Borzel , I was wondering why you are unhappy with the accepted protocols for human testing and trials that are already established ? The concept of doing coerced reseach on humans is very troubling to me .

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2010, 11:05:16 AM »


   
   So you mean once they clear the grieving family members out of the room they shoot it with the virus? 

Heh, he's just trying to think outside of the box.  Ethically though Borzel human testing will never fly unless the participants aren't under duress and the choice is theirs to make.  However, it's not really a lack of human test subjects that is the problem.  The virus is really difficult to destroy without accidentally getting our cells in the process, so finding something that works on a mechanism for them but not us is the key.  Few vaccines have gotten that far along and none of them have been effective yet.

Offline Boze

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2010, 11:16:54 AM »
skeebo1969, jg1962

I am not proposing doing anything coercive. The trial would only be done on someone who agrees to donate their body to science in case of brain-death (ie the brain is dead but other organs keep working) beforehand via something like a donor form.

The reason for this is that  I am unhappy with current vaccine testing procedures. As far as I understand there is NO way to efficiently test a vaccine - ie to give someone a vaccine and then infect them with the virus. So the way these things are tested (looking at the latest Thailand trial) is to take a large sample - say 32,000 people - and provide half of them with a vaccine. Then after some time examine the two groups and compare rates of infection. In Thailand 75 people without vaccine got HIV vs 50 with it. However, this still leaves unanswered the question of whether the people who got the vaccine (it's a cream) used it every time before sex. This took years and cost $100mio.

Alternatively we could do this with 5-10 individuals over a few months and get a definitive answer whether the proposed vaccine works.

Again - the point is not to shoot people with HIV and see what happens. It's rather develop a  vaccine that works on monkeys first. So the scientists expect it to work. Then give it to someone who's brain-dead and infect them with HIV. Ideally they would not even get it - but if they do, see why it happened, etc.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2010, 11:25:45 AM »
Well like my Momma used to tell me ... Its not a good idea so eat your lunch and change the subject .

Just kidding ... discuss away .

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2010, 11:51:06 AM »
skeebo1969, jg1962

I am not proposing doing anything coercive. The trial would only be done on someone who agrees to donate their body to science in case of brain-death (ie the brain is dead but other organs keep working) beforehand via something like a donor form.


OK, I see now...  so next to the organ donor alert on a persons drivers license it could also state," infect me with HIV".
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Boze

  • Member
  • Posts: 477
Re: Testing HIV vaccine on deathrow
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2010, 01:28:42 PM »
After the person is dead. Expired. Ceased to exit. No more...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

 


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