Should prisoners be used as guinea pigs to test new cures and drugs?
Wow, this became another hot topic. In more ways than one.
It’s fascinating how strongly people feel and how volatile everything and everyone is currently. A coupla usually passive folk became incensed over this topic. Now, I think that astrologically speaking, there’s a lot going on. (London Riots anyone?) And I think that the heat has stressed us all out, the economy, the Stock Market, so many things are building up.
I like making people talk, discuss and share their thoughts. I only ask that they attack the ideas and never the person. Usually works out well, but sometimes there are slipups.
But the point of this blog is me. LOL
It is my blog after all!
Anyway, as Thorik pointed out, I’m striving for higher vibrations, I’m striving to improve myself, enlighten myself and improve my life, yet I feel that prisoners could be used as guinea pigs. Yes, I was supporting the idea of testing on prisoners.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I definitely would make it voluntary, and perhaps a reward system of sorts, but then again, those criminals who have commited crimes against children I don’t feel should have any rights at all. In fact, I don’t feel they should be alive.
All I know is if anyone did anything to my son, *I* would be the one in jail because that person would be dead by my hands. (So mote it be)
Other heinous crimes such as murder and rape, I think those folks have given up their rights and privileges as human beings. Karmicly speaking, “shoot ’em all and let god sort ’em out” kinda works.
Back to my spirituality and how it meshes with this belief:
Take care of me and mine. that’s my goal. Start with an inner circle and then start spreading out. I cannot save the world, but I can help people in MY world. I can make a difference here, and maybe, just maybe, they will pay it forward and the circle can spread. And if others continue this, or start their own circles, think of the differences these little waves make. A ripple of water does get larger and larger. We start small and it can grow!! :) That’s how I justify it. I can’t help (or hurt) those folk in prisons for being stupid, but I CAN teach right and wrong, encourage people to get help (Love you Leigh) and make a difference one person at a time.
I still feel strongly about harming children. VERY strongly. I could never be on a jury for a crime committed to a child for that very reason. But that’s why they ask questions at jury selection. They weed out people like me.
Thorik also mentioned how the government is right now testing people against their wills. How the government is doing bad things to orphans and to military personnel. I think that this is different because they sign up to become members of the military. The should go into a decision like that with an awareness of what they are getting into. It’s no secret that the military breaks down it’s people before rebuilding them. They have always gotten experimental shots and other things that they cannot talk about. Is it right or wrong? That’s not for me to judge. I believe it was and is an individuals choice to be in the military (or a choice between military and jail type choices).
All these horrible things are going on, Thorik insists, but I tell him, hon, no one in my world is directly affected by these. How can I fight them when I cannot see the enemy? Point me to the enemy and I will fight. If the government started kidnapping my friends / family and doing tests on them, yeah, I’d raise hell. But I’m not seeing it. Show it to me and I can fight it, but when it comes to conspiracy theories, I may BELEIVE, but without hard evidence, there is nothing I can do.
So, from this little discussion which caused a new friend to unfriend me, which caused some anger and some hurt feelings and a lot of thought, discussion and education, I learned much, shared my thoughts with my hubby and continue on my path of enlightment. I don’t think that my feelings for those who harm children in any way or rape, murder or maim adults in any way has changed or harmed my path.
In my belief system, I feel, acknowledge and release. I am angered. I get hurt. I get pissed. I get happy, sad, etc. It just makes me more human.
Am I bad person? No.
But I wouldn’t fuck with me if I were you.
I will protect my son with my life and that’s really all it comes down to.
From my FB page:
hot discussion last night..
Should prisoners (and I would prefer to say prisoners who have harmed other human beings in ways such as rape, murder, maiming, etc. and of course those who harmed children in ANY way) be used as guinea pigs for new scientific discoveries?
In particular, the discussion was about the new virus killer that scientists have invented. (link is below)
Kris Bethea http://www.popsci.com/scie?nce/article/2011-08/new-dr?ug-can-treat-almost-any-vi?ral-infection-cold-flu-kil?ling-infected-cells
A new broad-spectrum treatment for viruses could be as effective as antibiotics …See More
14 hours ago · Like · 1 person ·
Kris Bethea Remember.. attack ideas, never people. :)
KA: Well, I couldn’t see why not…but just on the really bad guys who don’t care what they have done.
KA: They seem to have no feelings, so they wouldn’t feel anything even if they were a scientific guinea pig anyway right?
ME: *grin* Like Oswald Danes (fictional character.. but yeah, he was BAAAD)
Ex, naturally would like your insights.
Toke and Troll, let’s do this again..
Yeah, I love hot topics, what can I say.
I guess I Need to be unfriended once a week?
KA: Who unfriended you??
ME: A brand new friend I met in RL. He’s a lead singer in a band and I thought he was as “dark” as I was… I mean, he’s great friends with my hubby, John, and generally like attracks like. I was honestly extremely surprised by the violent reaction (you can see it below on the link lower on the page, the entire conversation is there about the virus killer)
Times are volatile. People are changing. I really shouldn’t be surprised.. maybe we will eventually become a more gentle society, but I’m still an Indigo. I am a warrior to protect my son.. and my instincts are always to eliminate the dangers… :)
I’m weird. I know..
btw, hubby’s a starseed, just like you.. :)
P: Well, it would be a nice way for the Death Row residents to give SOMETHING positive back to society, for perhaps having their sentence reduced to life…
ME: P, I disagree. Our prisons are over populated as it is…
Would you really want to add to the cost of keeping them alive?
They can stay alive for the duration of the experiment, but once that is complete, follow thru. After all, someone else is dead because of them…
P: Do you think that that many inmates will choose to become guinea pigs? And besides, with so many of them taking years (if not decades) to hit their execution time, filing away countless appeals, they are staying alive anyway (at least this …way, they’re not being a total drain on the economy).
In any case, regardless of how we set that up (it doesn’t have to be life, but they do have to be given a choice to participate, and most likely, they won’t do so without some sort of benefit), my main point is that I agree: using trial drugs on inmates isn’t necessarily a bad way to go. This is provided, of course, that there are steps to insure that the drug won’t get bought off by some company, only to get shelved in favor of using expensive palliative drug cocktails.
Ex: It’s certainly a controversial issue. On the one hand I can understand that – on paper, at least – the situation would be ideal, but I’m leary of human experimentation in any form.
While I can understand that it’s a necessary stage in establishing the efficacy of important new medical treatments, I’d be hesitant to give that sort of power to the pharmaceutical companies.
There’s also the human factor. It would be easy to condemn criminals convicted of the most barbaric crimes as being worthless, and as such their lives should be forfeit.
This becomes a difficult point. While I agree that they are worthless scum and if hell is real they deserve to burn there, the end result isn’t about them, it’s about us. They have grievously violated the rights of others, and therefore deserve no rights of their own.
However, we have to look to ourselves first. What does it say about us if we are willing to use our kind as chattel? If we force them into experimental treatments, then doesn’t that make them slaves? And weren’t there whole wars fought to abolish that very thing?
In bringing such a system into being, wouldn’t we be subjecting our whole society to the worst kind of cultural atavism, by degenerating to a time in history when people as individuals simply didn’t have worth?
My point, ultimately, is that I think it would be good if these criminals could actually positively benefit society in some way, but to do such a thing forcibly and against their will would be totally heinous on our part and make us no better than them.
I think the best, or at least the most plausible option, would be to treat medical testing as a kind of work/study program, in which the convicts were granted certain incentives or concessions in return for their volunteering. Definitely not any kind of reduced sentence, but something appropriate.
Ty: The problem with capital punishment (and I see this idea as exposure to something that is potentially capital punishment) is that we never know for certain if someone who has been convicted is truly guilty. Sure we have to act in some ways and incarcerate people who are convicted with due process. But when the state executes someone who is innocent, their death is on all of our shoulders. Incarcerating someone for “life” who happens to be innocent is a terrible injustice, but while their is life, there is hope and a chance for forgiveness.
KC: Maybe they could volunteer for these programs in lieu of the death penalty. Take their chances …
B:I do not think people who commit violent, heinous crimes should be allowed any kind of humane treatment at all.
These “things” are the dregs and slime of society, and they should all be put to work. Whether that work is physical labor, or trying out new scientific procedures, then so be it.
When my grandmother became terminally ill, we joked that we should give her a pistol and have her rob a liquor store. So while I’m prison she would get hot meals, her own room / cell, FREE medical care and hell, even a degree if she lasted long enough.
People in this country have a massive sense of entitlement, while thinking they never have to work for anything at all. Start making examples of these scum bags, that’s MY opinion.
C: Absolutely NOT …. they should be executed immediately after the conviction!
MH: Experimental treatments should only be given with informed consent. According to whose laws do we determine that any human life is worth risking? Think Nazi Germany: hundreds of people were subjected to medical tests without their consent, and those conducting the tests justified their conduct by saying that their human subjects were animals. Consider, too, the impact on those conducting the research. When researchers deem one segment of society worthless or less than human, what does that make the researchers?
P: Our government has a history of performing tests/experiments on the populace without permission. Ie; Tuskegee syphilis experiment. The answer is NO.
B: Nazi Germany conducted experiments on people they captured and threw into labor camps against their own will.
The people in prison now, PUT themselves there by their own actions.
M: Mengele’s name did come up last night, his was basic research that had never been done since people were deemed unfit to make up their own minds about whether they would like to keep on living or donate vital organs en vivo or other binding agreements like these. The laws that govern such things proceed from Christian philosophy and are based on the premise that life has an infinite value which ends up with the notion that one’s life does not belong to him that is living it. Who does it belong to then? God. In Eastern philosophy, the trail ends with your extended family or your ancestors. Neither path of thinking allows anyone the right to make a choice that ends their life for the good of everyone around. So we know very little for sure what happens beneath our own skins to make us alive, you see.
PS: part of me says “yes” use the prisoners. The other part of me says “no” because it doesnt make the crimes they’ve committed -undone-. As for the “humanity” issue, the way i figure it is; they were’nt “Humane” either,especially those who’ve comimitted rape, sodomy, murder….then there’s the “twisted” side of me that says…”use them, make them suffer”…hard for me to say
P: In order to do this, our courts would have to be infallable and only the guilty would go to prison. A look at our judicial system will show you we have not attained that level.
A: No, forced to be used as guinea pigs would be “cruel and unusual punishment” for one. There are clinical trial’s that are already available to the public to volunteer for, often for monetary compensation, so any such experiments of which an incarcerated person must be held to the same standards as to how such trial’s are handled on those of us whom haven’t been caught breaking the law ;).
T: It *is* a little too easy to picture a dystopian nightmare scenario in which the pharmaceutical industry wields its influence over courts and lawmakers so that we see increases in arrests on trumped-up charges to meet the demand for human test subjects.
P: Providing them with opportunities for informed consent, whether or not our courts are infallible, would be a significant safeguard to preserve our collective humanity: if you don’t wish to participate, then, simply don’t ask to participate.
Executing prisoners immediately after conviction fails to take into account those falsely convicted (cases like that STILL occur in our system), and it is draconically short-sighted: will prisoners’ participation undo the suffering that they have inflicted upon others? No, it won’t – but neither does executing them, and at least, their participation can provide some redemptive help in either saving others’ lives, or at least alleviating their pain. (Especially since they are soaking up the benefits of ‘3 hots and a cot’, on my dime.)
Again, make sure that they are given FULL DISCLOSURE, and the ability to CHOOSE to participate (with opportunities to say ‘no’, at any time up till the drugs are injected/taken/inserted/et?c., and if pharmaceutical companies take advantage of subject pool, there needs to be safeguards to prevent the drugs from being bought, and shelved. If prisoners are used, then the drug MUST be available to all.
Also, why are we only focusing on the violent criminals, or the ones who perform crimes against victims?
ME: Our society is huge and “humane” and it is important to be innocent until proven guilty.
Yet, I still long for the days of old where communities were small, if someone harmed someone else, the entire village knew about it and it was dealt with swiftly and with extreme prejudice.
Think how much better our society could have been..
But then, once again, we get back to that “large society” mass of peoples, rights and whatnot, otherwise, we’d have something like big-brother, with specific groups which could then become prejudice against other groups, and .. well, that’s no good either!!
It’s so difficult.
All I know for 100% is that if someone hurt my son, better lock ME up cuz that person WILL be dead.
Anyway, back on topic.. I would support the volunteerism of the criminals to be guinea pigs..
At the same time, I do not support the prosecution of diddly crimes.
Pot? Seriously? Is that really worth putting someone in jail? DWI? They just need to totally lose their driver’s license. Repeat offenders? I think they need to be chipped.. LOL Or something. But Jail? That’s crazy. Hospital with rehab? Yeah, I’d like that.. Hospitals instead of jails.. To help those that need it rather than putting them behind bars.. A different kind of “jail” but one where they can learn and grow!!
Ya’ll have given me much to think about.. and that’s exactly what I was hoping for!!
T: In some countries they have coerced rehab for drug addicts. Basically a sort of boot camp/hospital where they force you to tough out the worst part of the cravings until you can function without an undue fear of relapse. I think it’s an idea whose time has come. Beats hell out of imprisoning people simply for having an addiction while not addressing their problem. I’m talking about people arrested on simple possession charges, of course. Not people who commit crimes in the course of being intoxicated.
L: If you desire to make Medical Experimentation a part of the punishment for the worst criminals, then don’t sit there insisting it be done without our country’s usual period of debate and lawmaking. Instead, honestly request it to be added, by the legislature, to the specified legal punishment for the crimes in question. If it survives the legislature, the veto, and the courts, then you will have accomplished your goal, but out in the open where the sun may shine upon it.
I suspect the main reason no one has suggested this path to implementation of such possibly cruel and certainly unusual form of punishment is that everyone realizes that it would not survive the “sunshine” process, and could only be implemented by a government more like the worst examples of human government from past history.
And part of me wonders why anyone would want to live under a government which subjects it’s incarcerated prisoners to such atrocities, given that such governments routinely imprison the innocent along with the guilty. Our current government makes every effort not to imprison the innocent and still imprisons the innocent anyway, while sometimes allowing the guilty to escape justice (“not guilty” is not the same as “innocent of the crime”). So those who demand such punishments for those convicted of heinous crimes are, in essence, insisting on the possibility that they, themselves, may be someday subjected to Medical Experimentation.
Which is precisely why our country holds up reasoned debate as the ideal for implementing new policy: those who insist on this new punishment which may be implemented on themselves clearly haven’t thought hard enough about it, nor do they have all the information at their disposal for an informed decision.
S: No. No, no, no and NO. It is inhumane, dehumanizing and I don’t care how you justify it, just plain morally wrong. Two wrongs does not make a right, nor will it ever.
M: And so we come back to the basic proposition: Can anyone be allowed to decide to die regardless of how hopeless his life appears to him or anybody else? Whose life is it anyway? Circular arguments get us nowhere and leave us chasing our tails until we are too dizzy to continue. Read back through the comments before you begin again. No. Don’t skim. Read every word and make sense of it.
P: ?1. Has anyone demanded, though, that such experimentation be mandatory? In that case, then please, initiate debate upon this, and 2. Is the execution of prisoners also considered “inhumane, dehumanizing”, and “just plain morally wrong”?
B: WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?!!!!! Kris, what a can of worms you opened up
P: ?*grins* I apologize to everyone who contributed to this discussion, for my knee-jerk reaction; most who know me understand that I don’t respond well to being personally attacked.
Or when you feel you are being attacked.
Yes, it could be interpreted both ways. I got in trouble for my wording the other day too.
Wasn’t how I meant it, but could later see that it could be seen as a attack.
A: OK, I’ve read enough of the two raging debate/mudslinging threads to get the gist… As a former researcher and former juvenile inmate teacher and wife of a former corrections officer, I’m going to only weigh in with this one observation. If researchers were to limit their study to using only prisoners, they would be potentially skewing/tainting their results by using such a limited population. I firmly believe that there is some genetic coding that predisposes a person to a life of crime (nature) which can then be triggered (nurture). So only using prisoners only tells you how people with this genetic coding–prisoners– will respond to the test variable. So many genetic elements are linked together that we don’t know, so a great number of the general population may not have the particular combination of genes that the variable responded to that are present in prisoners. And NO I am not saying they are not genetically like the general population–I am saying they may have some hidden genetic triggers not found in all people, just like not everyone carries genetic markers for breast cancer, etc., or don’t have those triggers flipped. So as a researcher I would think twice about only testing on prisoners–I would want a wider test group.
A: I mean, what a total waste of research dollars if you spent all your time testing a drug to prevent breast cancer and then had to come back and say “oops–I guess they never were gonna get it in the first place…”
J: No. We are not the ones to make a decision as to who is human and who is not human, no matter how tempted we may be to by one’s behavior. The Nazis considered Jews to be sub-human, and thus, in their world view, one could experiment on Jews and get results that were relevant to human physiology without being ethically wrong, because Jews “weren’t really human”, so experimenting on Jews was equivalent to experimenting on animals. The United States did exactly the same thing with blacks (like in the Tuskegee Experiment), because blacks “weren’t really human”, but more of an evolutionary intermediate between apes and “fully human” whites.
Sorry that it’s preachy, but that is our history. We don’t need to go back there, but we do need to remember it and acknowledge that ideas that appear ethically sound sometimes aren’t.