Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What Could Possibly Go Wrong With Your Pregnancy?

Wouldn't you want to find out? I say not really, especially if it involved putting me or the baby at risk to find out, but then I'm not pregnant. And won't be in the future.

Anne Drapkin Lyerly, MD, a medical ethicist at Duke thinks that pregnant women should be studied in trials along with everyone else when testing new medications.

It's a tough issue she's tackling. On the one hand, it seems irresponsible to expose an unborn fetus to potentially dangerous or deforming chemical interactions. On the other hand, doctors don't currently know a whole lot about what could be dangerous or deforming, because no one has been runnning tests on pregnant women.

I don't know how I feel about the issue, except to say that I don't want to take a stand on it. You know how doctors used to experiment on themselves rather than put someone else at risk? I'm envisioning a creepy worst-case scenario where a woman doctor gets herself pregnant and then starts experimenting on herself to collect data. Not that it would actually happen, but I guess that someone could write a medical thriller about it. Someone who needs a lot of therapy.

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Anonymous said...

There are a lot of good points made here... But seeing as I'm pro-choice, I think there are plenty of mothers-to-be that would participate in these studies. It's still up to them to choose, and if there's a welfare mom out there, working on having a 5th child, then what would be the harm? I know, that may sound cruel... But it's a woman's choice.

I like the posts you have here. Keep it up :)

Stanley! said...

Thanks! And thanks for commenting!

I'd like to continue to keep this issue at arms length, but you have a point that the subjects should have the right to make the choices about their own bodies.

I guess that I'd be concerned about the potential for abuse. I'd want safeguards in place to be sure that test subjects understood exactly what they were exposing themselves (and their babies) to.

The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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