Sample Answer for PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 2 A Right to Experimental Drugs? Included After Question
Write a 2-3 page paper that explains and defends your view on the issue of whether or not patients with no other treatment options have a moral right to unproven drugs.
Do patients with no other treatment options have a moral right to unproven drugs? Write a paper that explains and defends your view on this issue. In addition to reviewing the suggested resources, you are encouraged to locate additional resources in the Capella library, your public library, or authoritative online sites to provide additional support for your viewpoint. Be sure to weave and cite the resources throughout your work. In your paper, address the following points:
- Identify relevant ethical theories and moral principles.
- Explain how the principle of informed consent is relevant to the issue.
- Explain the costs and benefits of making unproven, unapproved experimental drugs widely available to patients. Consider the costs and benefits not only to the individual patients who take these drugs but also potential costs and benefits to other patients.
- Explain arguments using examples for and against offering pre-approved drugs to wider pools of patients.
- Support your view using ethical theories or moral principles (or both) that you find most relevant to the issue.
A Sample Answer For the Assignment: PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 2 A Right to Experimental Drugs?
Title: PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 2 A Right to Experimental Drugs?
Experimental drugs are usually in the process of being studied to identify if it alleviates a disease or medical condition. They are used when there are limited treatment options available or no approved drugs available to treat a disease. They are also prescribed if there are promising early study results for a specific investigational drug. The purpose of this paper is to identify and defend my view on the use of experimental drugs and discuss related ethics.
Relevant Ethical Theories and Moral Principles
The relevant ethical theories to the issue of the use of experimental drugs are teleology and deontology. Teleology states that the value of a situation is determined by its consequences. On the other hand, Deontology considers the intrinsic significance of the act itself as the criterion for the determination of good. The ethics of using an experimental drug would be determined using deontology by considering the motives of the prescriber and not the drug’s outcomes. The relevant moral principles are beneficence and nonmaleficence. Beneficence would require the prescriber to prescribe a drug that will improve the patient’s outcome and balance the drug’s benefits and potential risks (Munson, 2014). Nonmaleficence would require that the experimental drug cause no harm to the patient and the treatment must offer a reasonable prospect of benefit.
How the Principle of Informed Consent Is Relevant To the Issue
Informed consent is based on a patient’s right to decide for themselves. Informed consent involves facilitating the patient’s understanding of the experimental treatment, giving them adequate time to ask questions, and continuing to provide information on the drug (Pietrzykowski & Smilowska, 2021). Before patients give consent to be treated with an experimental drug, they must understand that: The drug may not benefit them; They may be exposed to unknown side effects; They are getting into a treatment that may vary from the standard medical practices.
The Costs and Benefits of Making Unproven, Unapproved Experimental Drugs Widely Available To Patients
Most unapproved experimental drugs availed and sold to the public offer negligible or no evidence-based therapeutic efficacy and safety to patients. This leads to losses since individuals purchase drugs that do not benefit them. Unapproved experimental drugs can also lead to high healthcare costs from treating adverse effects from the drugs. This is because they have an inherent safety risk that may potentially cause more harm to the patient or even death since they have not undergone rigorous testing (Mahant, 2020). Nevertheless, making experimental drugs available has the benefit of providing treatment for conditions with limited or no approved medications (Van Norman, 2018). When an experimental drug produces desirable outcomes it guides prescribers in making treatment decisions for patients who present with similar diseases in the future.
Arguments For and Against Offering Pre-Approved Drugs to Wider Pools of Patients
I support prescribing pre-approved drugs to wider pools of patients since it increases treatment options for various diseases mostly with limited options. It avails treatment to patients with serious or life-threatening diseases, and those with no comparable therapy or satisfactory alternative therapy. The pre-approved drugs have the potential to improve the quality of life of patients with extremely debilitating and painful conditions (Mahant, 2020). This upholds the ethical principle of beneficence since the prescriber seeks to provide benefit to patients. However, I advocate that autonomy be promoted when prescribing experimental drugs by giving the patient the right to choose their treatment and the ability to act on that choice. Teleology can be applied to judge the prescription of experimental drugs as good or bad by looking at the outcome of the drug’s action.
Ethical theories relevant to experimental drugs are teleology and deontology, while moral principles include beneficence and nonmaleficence. Informed consent entails providing the patient with adequate information about the drug to allow them to make an informed decision about proceeding with treatment. Experimental drugs can increase costs if they are ineffective and contribute to adverse effects but can also promote desirable outcomes.
Mahant, V. (2020). “Right-to-Try” experimental drugs: an overview. Journal of Translational Medicine, 18(1), 253. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-020-02427-4
Munson, R. (2014). Intervention and reflection: Basic issues in bioethics (concise ed.). Wadsworth.
Pietrzykowski, T., & Smilowska, K. (2021). The reality of informed consent: empirical studies on patient comprehension—a systematic review. Trials, 22, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-020-04969-w
Van Norman, G. A. (2018). Expanding Patient Access to Investigational Drugs: Single Patient Investigational New Drug and the “Right to Try”. JACC. Basic to translational science, 3(2), 280–293. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacbts.2017.11.007