Narcolepsy (part 9)

… continued from previous eight articles on narcolepsy, where in the recent one the effects of Modafinil (Provigil®) and Amphetamines on the body were mentioned.

However, looking back at how the mechanism of Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem®) is unknown, in this week’s article, I will present the ethical issue raised because of that and the arguments for and against it.

Ethical issue with prescribing Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem®):

An ethical issue can be raised as those who are prescribed Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem®), are basically ‘guinea-pigs’ that are being experimented on with this drug to see whether there are serious side effects or any other illnesses.

I believe by knowing the mechanism it is possible to determine the dangers of overdose or the main organs that are being affected in order for the drug to work. However, without knowing how it works, this is literally a test to see how the human body copes with this drug which I believe is extremely wrong as this dismisses the importance of human life, and their rights. This also objectifies the consumers of the drug as they are merely a lab rat without any rights.

On the other hand, it can be argued that throughout the medical history we have seen for medical advancements many inhumane things or actions that defy human rights have taken place. For example, life time prisoners were used as experiments. Also, for further knowledge of human anatomy, the bodies of hanged or beheaded criminals were used for dissection. Since they have a committed a crime, it’s justified to take away their rights and punish them cruelly, right?

Additionally, wars have helped speed up medical advancements as well, such as blood storage. That would mean we should have more wars in order to progress in medicine, right? The saying ‘No pain, no gain’ falls true to this as without those factors we probably wouldn’t be as advanced as we are. Also, cancer patients are sometimes offered treatment which is not guaranteed to work.

So, what can we conclude from all this? Should this be banned or should the people have a right to make their own decision?

To be continued…



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