Unethical medical testing in South Africa

October 7, 2005

I’ve been keeping watch on a few stories recently that have to do with Africa and ethics.  This one has finally come into the public eye.

The Rath Foundation advocates nutrition and its multivitamins to fight AIDS and has led a campaign through pamphlets and newspaper advertisements against anti-retroviral drugs, which it says are poisons.

The Wits statement follows a petition from Cape Town doctors and academics last week demanding the government act against Rath, who critics say is endangering the sick by persuading them to stop taking medicine that could prolong their lives.

The University has criticized Dr. Rath for unethical testing of drugs and vitamins on populations that only recently have been persuaded to take the anti-retroviral drugs that have the best proven track record against the HIV virus.  Since the government has also only recently thrown its support behind the ARV drugs, it is even more vital that doctors and pharmaceutical companies not abuse the regulation-low African nations as places to conduct unethical tests and to avoid laws in their home countries meant to protect the uninformed.

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