Ezekiel Emanuel, Washington Post, Ethics & Ebola Drug

Ezekiel Emanuel, Washington Post, Ethics & Ebola Drug

In a Washington Post article, LDI Senior Fellow Ezekiel Emanuel argues that it would not violate medical ethical guidelines to provide the unapproved experimental drug ZMapp to Africa's victims of the rapidly spreading Ebola virus.  

ZMapp, a cocktail of anti-viral agents whose replication employs chemicals found in tobacco, was developed by a California company and currently only exists in small quantities. The drug began generating world headlines after it was administered to the two U.S. missionaries who were infected with Ebola in Liberia and flown home for treatments at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta in affiliation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

A point of rising debate questions where the experimental U.S. drug should be mass produced and provided to those African countries where the otherwise incurable disease continues to spread.

Emanuel, the former White House health advisor who is now Chairman of Penn's Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, said that using the drug on humans doesn't pose an ethical problem because, "when it's life or death and you don't have options... something that has the potential to increase your chances seems like a good thing. It's hard to hurt you worse than the disease is going to hurt you."