Ending and Extending Life (Contemporary Issues in Science) by Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald

By Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald

Finishing and increasing existence takes a close examine a number of daring scientific ideas that experience stored and more suitable the lives of hundreds of thousands of sufferers. Mechanical air flow, organ transplantation and different life-saving surgical concepts, new diagnostic applied sciences (such as CT and MRI scans), complicated chemotherapy and antiviral medicines, and tube feeding are just a number of the many clinical improvements that experience had intriguing and intricate implications for sufferers, family, and health and wellbeing care practitioners.

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Instead, they were being drafted without their knowledge into experiments they did not know existed—experiments that always posed at least a small, but measurable, risk of cancer. In November 1993, a series of stories in the Albuquerque Tribune brought national attention to the human radiation experiments, revealing for the fi rst time the names of patients who had been unwittingly injected with plutonium. Plutonium is a long-lived radioactive material used in nuclear weapons, and the government’s rationale for the experiments was the need for data on how it might be retained in the bodies of bomb workers in order to monitor their safety.

It appears that some subjects in the HIV vertical transmission trials understood little of what they were consenting to or what the risks might be. One participant in a trial conducted in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, told the New York Times in October 1997, “They gave me a bunch of pills to take, and told me how to take them. Some were for malaria, some were for fevers, and some were supposed to be for the virus. ” Lack of education of participants has often been cited as a problem, yet other factors must have been at play.

In the early 1990s when the KKI study commenced, an estimated 35 to 40 percent of children from low-income urban neighborhoods throughout the country had hazardous levels of lead in their blood (in sharp contrast to only 5 percent of non-Hispanic white children from outside urban areas). In some older cities like Baltimore, this percentage was thought to be even higher. KKI estimated that up to 95 percent of low-income housing units in inner-city Baltimore neighborhoods were lead-contaminated, and that as many as two-thirds of children living in these neighborhoods had elevated levels of lead in their blood.

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