|Selected news articles which highlight important policy issues.||
News: Weekly Archives
News for the week of 10-06-2006
$1 billion would go toward developing bioterror remedies
According to many experts, Project Bioshieldthe program Congress created in 2004 to spur private sector research and development into countermeasures against potential bioterror attackshas floundered in a sea of bureaucratic red tape.
Project BioShield was Congress' response to the anthrax attacks of 2001, which killed five people. The measure, passed two years ago, gave the government $5.6 billion for the procurement and stockpiling of treatments in case of another bioterrorist attack.
Worries about mass casualties from bioterror attacks have so farthankfullyproven unfounded, in part because it is still much easier for terrorists to buy and deploy guns or bombs than say, smallpox. But it would be much better to have a stockpile of products on hand in case terrorists make a quantum leap in sophistication, and that stockpile isn't going to develop without a better strategy from federal agencies. Stay tuned for additional developments.
Pay Organ Donors, Experts Suggest
Patients in need of organ donations routinely die on waiting lists for the relatively few organs other people have voluntarily donatedleading to a large and growing black market in organ sales. Thankfully, there is a solution: creating a regulated market with appropriate safeguards and compensation for prospective donors. In this article, a prominent American academic defends the concept in the British Medical Journal.
People should be paid for living organ donations, a US surgeon has said in an article in the British Medical Journal.
[Friedman argues that setting] up a regulated system of compensation for living donors is not against current medical practice, as other body parts such as eggs, semen and hair, are already on sale in the US and patients are also paid for participating in medical research, she argues.
"Bringing these activities out of the closet by introducing governmental supervision and funding will provide equity for the poor, who will get equal access to such transplant," she said.
She said any laws would have to be policed, probably by the government, with a balanced oversight board comprised of medical and transplant professionals, as well as representatives of patients, donors and social workers.
Critics who argue that a market for organ transplantation is de facto exploitive of the poor take the worst-case scenarios and assume that such scenarios prevail in all cases. Governments routinely allow individuals to risk their life and limbs in particularly dangerous occupations, such as service in the armed forces or coal mining, provided that appropriate safeguards are in place and fair remuneration is offered to volunteers. Organ donation seems to be a similar case.
|home spotlight commentary research events news about contact links archives|