The Ethics Of Terminally Ill Patients Essay

1226 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 5 Pages
The purpose of this paper is to examine the ethical questions related to the rights of terminally ill patients to receive experimental medications by participating in clinical trials which they were not pre-selected for entrance into the study. I will attempt to evaluate the implications from a rights and utilitarian perspective, whilst examining these issues from a multitude of different stakeholders’ perspectives. The ethical questions posed by this case were ultimately brought in front of United States courts, in which adjudications were made on the pertinent facts that will therefore impact future decisions made with similar cases in regards to individual rights, regulatory agencies and the data integrity of clinical trials. Abigail Burroughs was a young woman who was diagnosed with head and neck cancer and became terminally ill. She was nearing the end of available treatments, when her family found out about several investigational medications that were in the midst of clinical trials, specifically, Erbitux. This novel medication, at the time, was available only to pre-selected candidates actively participating in carefully designed clinical trials for colon cancer. The family petitioned for Abigail to be granted access to this medication under the FDA’s “compassionate use exception doctrine,” which can permit access to unapproved medications when; there is no comparable treatment alternative; clinical trials are underway, and formal FDA approval is being sought.…

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