Ethical Dilema Essay

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Every day, patients with life-threatening illnesses run out of FDA-approved treatments. In desperation, some seek drugs that have not yet been approved by the agency and, in some cases, have not even been widely tested. These patients argue they have nothing to lose and are willing to risk taking even a little-studied drug that offers a glimmer of hope. Josh Hardy, a seven-year-old boy, is currently fighting for his life. Josh is suffering from a rare viral disease. When he was 9 months old, Josh Hardy was diagnosed with a malignant rhabdoid tumor of the kidneys. It is a highly aggressive, rare form of cancer that only 15 children are diagnosed with each year. Two years ago Josh Hardy defeated the cancer thanks to a bone marrow transplant. Josh has spent the past two years helping raise money for other kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he was treated. However, since then, Josh who attends Hugh Mercer Elementary School in Fredericksburg, developed an adenovirus, which causes respiratory problems. Due to his weak immune system, Josh is very ill and is in ICU at St. Jude. In a cabinet in Durham, North Carolina, there is a drug that could likely help Josh Hardy, but the drug company won’t give it to him. They’re adamant that spending the time to help Josh and others like him will slow down their efforts to get this drug on the market. Helping Josh, company says, means hurting others. There is no way they will change their minds. There is no way president of the company is going to give Josh this drug. “He holds our son’s life in his hands” Todd Hardy says. Nearly 20,000 people signed a petition supporting “compassionate use” for Josh, which allows a drug to be administered outside of a clinical

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