Sunday, November 10, 2013

Only Men Used as Human Guinea Pigs in Clinical Trials? That's Sexism Against Women.

Harvard Magazine in a 1997 article titled "Chivalry and Science" complains that only men were routinely used as human guinea pigs in clinical trials and calls it this brand of chivalry a form of oppressive discrimination against women:

"Ah, chivalry. We know it as that noble male quality that obligated Saint George to endure a dragon's sulphurous breath so a fair maiden would go free. But chivalry's legacy has been mixed: while it may have opened a few doors for women, historically it has closed many more. And, unfortunately, chivalry has excluded women from serving as study subjects in most biomedical research."

This was at the same time that clinical trials on drugs being used on women in the third world was being called unethical because the women were given placebos:

"The zidovudine (AZT) regimen used in the United States to prevent mother-to-infant transmission of HIV has not been feasible in the Third World because of its complexity and cost. But a U.S.-backed research initiative to test a simpler, less expensive regimen last year touched off a sharp debate about the ethical standards for clinical trials, particularly those in the Third World."

So when women were excluded from medical experiments it was called oppression and when they were included in medical experiments it was called oppression.

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