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Frank L. Hoffman Interviewed: Peacemaking
Comments by Maynard S. Clark - 19 Feb 2003
The AIDS Connection

The 2/3/2003 NewYorker has an popular article about the ethical challenges in testing an AIDS vaccine on Ugandans in Phase III trials.

Frank draws on Biblical sources for his ethics, and I concur that the greater good for the large number of sufferers is found in modifying behaviors to reduce the likelihood of contracting the condition. But researchers think ONLY of narrowly "ethical" issues around testing AIDS drug candidates in voluntary human populations (though they may not fully comprehend what they're undergoing, nor why they're participating, now how analyses are done, nor who is studied as the "placebo" group - no interventions).

Behavioral interventions may (or may not) be more effective in doing what WE might think would be the greater good for the host population (uninfected people of Uganda, so that they might not contract the disease), but current protocols don't address those issues BECAUSE the clear strategic concern is to develop a pharmaceutical product which will be profitable for the competing manufacturers of drug candidates for such a condition (to be sold in the Western nations, where it can be priced as high as the market will allow, short of legal restraints).

Any thoughts, not only on averting overt use of military coercion, but also the implicit support we all give to such efforts, since near every computer in North America runs on a Windows OS, and one of the largest funder of such research is the nearly "deified" (in pop humor) "Bill Gates."


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