Why I am for the use of the Experimental ZMapp Serum
By Nicole Hartwig
Over several decades the country of Africa has been suffering from outbreaks of the Ebola virus since 1976. What is the Ebola virus you ask? Well it is a very highly deadly and contagious disease that many are bravely fighting to survive from. It is a disease that is spread via bodily secretions and the fruit bat is its natural carrier. There is no known cure for the Ebola virus as of yet. The ZMapp experimental serum which was given to two Americans is showing promising signs of treatment. It could be debated whether it is ethical to treat patients with an experimental drug during an epidemic. When it comes to the Ebola virus I think that trying an experimental serum during an epidemic is ethically correct.
When looking at whether is it ethical or not to treat patients with an experimental drug one needs to look at the facts. The World Health Organization has stated after performing and ethical review that “it is ethical to offer unproven interventions for treatment of the dire disease” (Mohney, 2014). Also the approval of the Center of Disease and Control with the FDA as well allows some lenience for people to believe that there is hope for those infected. No one is making these people take the vaccine. It was the choice of the two Americans to attempt the usage of the drug on the basis of how gravely ill their conditions where at the time. To truly get a better understanding of how this drug works on those infected treat not just the gravely ill but the newly infected as well. We would have a better understanding of how the drug works on the Ebola virus at any stage.
To give this vaccine a chance provides the gravely ill with a ray of hope for treatment. Yes, it is ethically correct to administer the experimental serum during an epidemic. We owe it not only to those suffering presently but the next generations as well. Where would we be today if we didn’t have vaccines?
CDC. (2014, August 8). Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. Retrieved August 16, 2014, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/guinea/qa-experimental-treatments.html
WHO. (2014, April). Ebola virus disease. Retrieved August 16, 2014, from World Health Organization website: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/