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Case Study Based on Sonia Shah

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This is a term paper on a case study based on Sonia Shah’s review of The Constant Gardener. Constant Gardener is a movie released in 2005 and revolves around a widower, Justin Quayle who struggles to find the cause of his wife’s murder. The essay will answer questions from the case study. The paper will describe two different arguments developed by Ms. Shah in her essay and thereafter determine which is more important from a moral point of view and why. The paper will equally indentify and state two moral principles/values that are relevant to understanding why the issue of drug testing is so troublesome. The paper will also explain the utilitarian theory and Kant’s theory, and hence show how each can handle the issue of drug testing. From all the information in Shah’s essay, the paper will; derive a rule /principle that will confine the companies to doing what is right while testing drugs on human objects. The paper will similarly comment in details to the following law: Every American shall have to serve at least once in his or her life as a subject in a clinical trial for a drug.

 

From Sonia’s review, two arguments can be drawn: It is wrong to test drugs in the way companies are doing. Most of the drugs though manufactured in America, their effectiveness is tried outside America, in developing nations which are mostly poor. In course of their trials the drug companies do not give the necessary information, presumed risk of the drug to the clinical subjects. The clinical subjects are not compensated and the risk is not insured and so participates at their own risk. So many people have died courtesy of the drug trials (Shah, 2005 pg 1).

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The condemnation of the drug companies is not that simple as shown in the movie. The movie does not show the benefits derived from the research. The movie does not admit the inaccessibility to the government representatives for complains relating to the trials. The movie does not appreciate that different drugs have variant levels of killing properties. The movie does not also show that the new drugs are more effective than the old drugs (Shah, 2005 pg 1).

The argument that; it is wrong to test drugs the way drug companies are doing, is morally important. This is because the risks involved are fatal and one might not live to enjoy the benefits. And hence a balance between the risks and benefits should be established beforehand. In understanding that drug testing is a troublesome affair, the following principles are relevant: No drug can be recommended for use before a successful trial is taken. This is done to gain guarantee with the drug as no assumptions can be made with life; Human drugs can only be tested with humans. This is because drugs react differently on different metabolisms.

Utilitarian theory determines what is right or wrong depending on the outcome of choosing one action over the other with the good deriving more pleasure. It considers all interests. In this case, it can be used to gauge the risks and benefits depending on the outcomes of the trials (Kay, 1997 pg 1).

 

Kant’s theory observes that what is morally right depends on one’s free will to do something. In this case, the choice to participate in a trial rests with an individual (Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy, 2008 pg 1). This rule should be observed by companies on testing drugs on human objects: A drug company should fully inform the human object of the risks involved, benefits expected and who’s responsible of the risks.

The law requiring Americans to participate in drug test at least once in their lives is very fair. This would ensure that potential customers participate in the test and ignorant individuals outside America are not subjected to the risky exercise.

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