The Constant Gardener

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– The Constant Gardener
In the article “The Constant Gardener: What the Movie Missed” by Sonia Shah, she talks about the issues and concerns of new drugs being tested on people in developing countries such as Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. In Shah’s essay she brings up two convincing arguments against these experiments. One argument Shah speaks on is that in the movie The Constant Gardener the seriousness of the possible danger in these experiments is not well depicted. She argues that the movie makes the situation seem much simpler than it really is. The film does talk about some of the deaths caused by these experiments however; she argues that not much is revealed. The second argument bought up by Shah is the unfairness of using the poor in these developing countries as guinea pigs to test the drugs, though she cannot prove this morally. Though I fine both arguments as reasonable, the argument that I find most significant is the fact that poor individuals in developing countries are being used as the guinea pigs. Like Shah, I feel like this is really unfair to these people. In the article it says that major companies like Merck does half of its trials outside of the United States, whereas Wyeth Pharmaceuticals does 70% of its trials in other countries. It also states in the article that the drugs being tested are not for illnesses that affect most of the people being used as the guinea pigs in these countries. I think that if you want to test a drug on someone that could be potentially fatal it should at least be a drug that can also be beneficial to them. These poor countries obviously don’t have the money for some of the drugs needed to treat them. With this being said, as hopeless as they are they will do almost anything in hopes of being cured. These people being so vulnerable because they are dying for treatment, it is almost as if these companies are taking advantage of them which is morally not right. Experimental testing can be very...
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