Drug money

As we continue with our theme of clinical trials, Jill Fisher examines the recruitment practices for drug testing on human subjects. She does this through analyzing advertisements as well as three cases of why individuals choose to participate in these trials.  While there may be several reasons motivating the subjects to participate (mainly surrounding self-interest), her underlying argument is that informed consent is insufficient. She also maintains that by providing participants with some form of compensation, it creates an environment that attracts a vulnerable population.

While I do agree with Fisher in some respect, I argue however that her paper is somewhat overarching. She maintains that in order to solve this issue of (lack of) informed consent a, “reevaluation of the structural conditions in the United States that make clinical trial participation necessary for these groups” (890).  This entails a reconstruction of not only the United States medical system, but possibly the capitalist structure as a whole. I do understand the problematic nature of clinical trials with respect to the ready-to-recruit population, however, in order to change this, their either needs to be an abolishment of incentive or an abolishment of the poor. I believe that even if the problem of informed consent was solved in the manner Fisher proposes, incentive will continue to triumph as the motivating factor. The two major issues that Fisher outlines are thus too deeply entrenched in our society and cannot be solved within the medical community alone. 

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