Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Uncomfortable research

There are a couple of good posts up at ScienceBlogs (at Bioephemera and Adventures in Ethics and Science) about the double standard applied to drug addiction research, and the ethics thereof.

To sum it up succinctly, BioE points out the apparent double standard of research into how to help people quit smoking tobacco = GOOD! but research into how to help people quit smoking pot or crack = BAD! She also points out the (possibly larger) societal costs associated with illegal drug use and addiction and (validly, in my opinion) questions why spending money to try to avert those costs is considered a waste of money. She also touches on issues involved in funding research on other "uncomfortable" topics, such as HIV transmission in transgendered prostitutes.

Dr. Free-Ride, as is her wont, addresses some of the ethics involved in avoiding research on behaviors considered to be "moral failings." She asks (again, validly, in my opinion) "...are we committed to a one-strike policy with bad choices, with no room for compassion or fresh starts? Is that really who we want to be as a society?"

My answer is a resounding "Hell, no!"

And as both Dr. Free-Ride and BioE have asked for others to post their thoughts, I thought I would.

I'd like to write more on this, but between the two of them they've pretty well hit all the points I would have made.

Go forth, read...and then do something about it!

No comments: