I am against clinical trials.
Rather, I am against clinical trials as they are now conceived and implemented.
I am against the mass “treatment” of the desperately ill via the marketing of hope (and often one of “only hope”).
I have no stats and I’ll certainly update this next contention should someone share some valid and pertinent data with me: Surely most clinical trials offer zero benefit to any subjects in terms of quality of life and likely not even in quantity of life.
As far as I can tell it appears there is not great cost burden placed on drug companies or even insurance companies to manage clinical trials.
Rather, if we are to agree that this is the way we approve of experimentation on humans with no discernible success but masses of evidence regarding pain and loss of quality of life, then I propose that every trial subject be given a large amount of cash.
After all, not only, as the propaganda goes, are they aiding (I’d say abetting) “reserach” science, they are “taking one for the team” of humanity, so to speak, so it’s claimed. Instead, of course, they are simply suffering cogs in the machinery of medically-induced pain prolongation.
A large number of people have begun to understand that humans are barbarous and cruel in our indiscriminate use, abuse, and torture of “lesser” animals. Of course, most Americans have no qualm against massive slaughter houses and the raising and cultivating of mammal life as if it were comparable to wheat or corn. That’s what the good Lord intended after all.
Yet we have, in order to create massive profits for drug companies, created a most elaborate mechanism for chemical and biological experimentation on the supposedly most precious and special species on the planet.
And really, this is not just the easily identified experimentation of medical drug trials; I would include all chemical and biological manipulations of the species and the planet.
All of this achieved via the consent of the “governed” and the passive assent of participants in consumer economic systems.
The truly amazing thing to me is that we actually pay for the privilege to be experimented upon. The American Dream, the land of the free, is the place where one can come to be the most free guinea pig in the world. It is indeed a very large and shiny cage for many of us.
Thank you for the environmental cancers that have developed due to constant toxicities created and released into the world and thank you for the opportunity you’ve given me to be experimented on in order to devise a treatment for the maladies created. You are so kind and beneficent, brilliant scientists.
Do you recall those mengeles in at UW in the 60s who worked their human-loving tails off to devise a way to create a pathological rhesus monkey, Harry Harlow (National Medal of Science winner!) and Stephen Suomi (grad student, apt pupil, now at the, believe it, Natl Institute of Child Health and Human Development, still torturing monkeys)? They made fake “mothers” to torture baby monkeys by shocking them, stabbing them, pushing them away and so on…but the babies kept coming back because mom is just hardwired for their emotional development; plus, I’d assume it must be absolutely beyond the monkeys’ understanding that the mother would be that way. Funny that, in a sense, these little baby monkeys would conform to a definition of insanity: doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result than what you’ve been getting.
Finally, as they couldn’t seem to get the results they wanted, they decided they’d have to simply take a baby and remove the mother entirely and keep in solitary confinement for as much as 18 months. Success! A pathological monkey they could now figure out how to “fix.” You want to know what worked best? The love of a child. Yep. The pathologically anti-social mother monkeys wouldn’t have sex (hating all other living beings) and so the doctors devised what they lovingly called a “rape rack” to inseminate these monkeys. After giving birth many of these new mothers simply killed their babies, often actually biting into their brains. Also they would slam the infant’s face into the ground and scrape it back and forth. But in several cases, depending on the extent of their confinement, the mothers could be rehabilitated by their infants.
It’s further interesting to see these torture experiments in historical context and this article,”Monsters,” at the blog Primate Freedom does an excellent job and I highly recommend reading it. The knowledge that the removal of a child from the home and from the mother would cause severe mental and emotional difficulties in the child and throughout his/her life had already been well-established.
“Harry Harlow and his colleagues go on torturing their nonhuman primates decade after decade, invariably proving what we all knew in advance—that social creatures can be destroyed by destroying their social ties.”(Wayne C. Booth, quoted in Wikipedia entry for the “pit of despair,” link below)
One assumes Harlow wanted to come up with that ever-important Western humanistic fix, a treatment for a symptom that would ignore or make “irrelevant” the root problem. Perhaps he dreamed of calling it the Elixir of Maternity.
This, to me, is directly relevant to clinical trials and the American scientific mania to “fix” our biological imperatives. If only the right pill would relieve us from being human and animal in any way at all! I’d argue that our digital culture seems to be achieving just that kind of “fix”; further that we are living in Harlow and Suomi’s “pit of despair” more and more as a matter of preference. We arrange our lives so we have the least meaningful human contact we can, unless it’s something that we can do through this very machine, at a distance. That’s the only “contact” we care for anymore.
With that as backdrop I’d go further and argue that “applied science” in the service of the consumption economy is intensely evil at its core as it becomes realized in this very way. We are subjects in one very long experiment. It is in utter dismay that I confront the fact that we honor, or at least offer deference to, by calling “science” and “research” and the noble character trait of man, the mania for discovery (exploration).
Harlow and Suomi, as vile as they are, are no exception. The “mad” scientist is the norm, fellow subjects, and the mad patient is his collaborator.
How can you imagine that the mentality that approves of all of the above would be “for freedom,” or against the systematization of military and civilian torture regimes, or against robot surveillance and surrogacy for the military regime.
How can you imagine the human as anything else than right and proper passengers on the cattle car to holocaust?