Speaker to address ethics of drug trials in developing countries

Bioethicist Dr. Udo Schuklenk will address growing issues related to informed consent among Third World participants in drug trials at SUNY Oswego’s 22nd annual Warren Steinkraus Lecture on Human Ideals on Oct. 2.

Bioethicist Dr. Udo Schuklenk.The lecture, titled “Doing Clinical Trials in Developing Countries Ethically,” will take place at 2:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, in the Historic Lecture Room, Room 222 of Sheldon Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Schuklenk, joint editor-in-chief of the journal Bioethics, holds the Ontario Research Chair at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. He is the author and editor of bioethics books and more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and anthologies.

“Biomedical trials involving human participants are being undertaken in ever-increasing numbers in developing countries. The reasons for this are both scientific and economic,” SUNY Oswego’s philosophy department, which presents the Steinkraus Lecture, notes in a brochure for the talk. “Trial participants have reason to assume that they would directly benefit from a drug developed as a result of their voluntary risk-taking.”

Schuklenk’s lecture will explore how “reasonable benefits” for Third World drug trial participants should be determined, and propose ethically justifiable solutions.

In one post on his blog “Ethx,” Schuklenk recounted a trial for an anti-HIV drug that ended in failure after results found increased risk of HIV in the test group. “The problem is to do with the question of what is owed to those who became already infected during the course of the prevention trial, and to those who are now at greater risk of catching an infection,” he wrote. “There were also clear failings in the informed consent process.”

The late Warren Steinkraus, who retired from SUNY Oswego in 1987 after a distinguished career as a scholar and teacher, was committed to a wide array of human ideals, such as social justice, equality and nonviolence. The Oswego College Foundation administers and raises funds to present the annual lecture, which began in 1988.

Parking is free in campus lots on weekends. There will be spaces in the lot across Washington Boulevard from Sheldon Hall. Persons with disabilities needing assistance should contact Pat Meleski, 312-2249 or patricia.meleski@oswego.edu.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. Udo Schuklenk, bioethicist, author and professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., will speak at 2:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at the 22nd annual Warren Steinkraus Lecture on Human Ideals at SUNY Oswego.

(Posted: Sep 16, 2010)

Tags: steinkraus lecture, philosophy