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PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 2 A Right to Experimental Drugs? CM


PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 2 A Right to Experimental Drugs?

As health care professionals we have a moral and ethical obligation to care for others, our goal is often just to help them reach their goals whether physical or psychosocial. Often time’s experimental drugs are offered to patients with chronic conditions that have tried all other options and their care team has concluded that there is nothing more that can be done. At this point an experimental drug may be recommended to try. End of life can mean different things to different people. On one hand, one person may wish to go home and spend their last days as comfortable as possible. On the other hand, someone else may wish to have everything possible done to extend their life. Neither option is necessarily right nor wrong it is however a personal choice. This is also where ethical theories or moral issues come in to play. In this research we will discuss how using the Utilitarian theory of mortality as a basis of moral defense can affect the decision for or against experimental drugs.

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 2 A Right to Experimental Drugs? CM

Informed Consent

Before a patient can be enrolled in a clinical trial it is ethical and even legal to be given an informed consent. According to Gillies (2018) this ethical requirement was indented to protect participants from undue harm. Informed consent generally required verbal and written consent to be treated. Consent should be voluntary and completely understood. The participant needs to understand that the treatment is still in the trial stages and has not been approved by the food and drug administration. The participant should be informed of the possible benefits and risk of taking a drug that is still unknown or not yet proven.

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 2 A Right to Experimental Drugs? CM

Cost and Benefits

Drug that are still in the experimental stages can cost millions of dollars, usually between two and four hundred million dollars depending on the drug. Often times, insurances will not pay for experimental drugs or treatments but the benefit is that, according to, Ricardo (2020) the sponsor of the clinical trial or the government usually pays for research related cost. Fortunately, participants of clinical trials receive all treatment related to the experimental trial free of charge in return for participating. Once the drug or treatment becomes approved, future patients will then pay for the treatment (Ricardo et al., 2020)

Ethical/Moral, For or Against

I am going to consider the arguments in favor of the use of experimental drugs in the terminally ill patients. I will utilize the utilitarian theory of mortality. Considering the utilitarianism theory experimental drug therapy for the terminally ill patient can only be morally and ethically justified if it is said that it will positively impact the patient and the disease. The use of experimental drugs has historically been a moral, legal and ethical decision (Sibanda 2019). It can be argued that it is never ethical or moral to use experimental drugs should never be used on human participants because it is unknown if they could have negative side effects or even be fatal. On the other hand however, we are going to argue that with extensive and thorough informed consent these experimental drugs should be used. For example: if the patient is terminally ill and has exhausted all other treatments they are going to die regardless. By using these drug we can give the patient a ray of hope, so to speak. Which in turn can bring happiness and comfort to the patient and the family when they need it the most and on the ‘off’ chance that the experimental drug actually works or extends their life then the mission can be considered successful. Also, for example: if the trial is unsuccessful then the patient has the same outcome but at least the patient and the family can feel that they have tried.


Sibanda, O.S., (2019). Moral, Ethical and human rights arguments for using experimental and clinically unproven drugs. Tydskrif vir Regswetenskap 44(1), 35-62. Doi:http://dx.doi.org?10.18820/24150517/JJS44.i1.2

Silva, R.E., Lima, E., Novaes, M., & Osorio-de-Castro, C., (2020). The high cost of experimental drugs obtained through health litigation. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 11, 752-752. https://soi,org/10.3389/fphar.2020.00752

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