Malaria kills more than a million people each year; many of the dead are children. Seattle Biomedical Research Institute is teaming-up with Maryland’s Walter Reed Institute in offering the American public a live dose of Malaria in an effort to speed along a cure for Malaria. (Click here to read full details on this KOMO TV story.)
Volunteers will be compensated financially, stung by Malaria infected mosquitoes, and then given clinical-trial cures so that less effective remedies being studied can be eliminated. So far, nobody has died from their clinical encounter with deadly mosquito jabs, but the threat of death is always there: Malaria kills.
Concerns over Seattle Biomedical Research Institute testing of Malaria on willing humans are probably all best summed up as another American moralistic issue to be debated in media. Should we allow medical testing that may kill a participant, for an illness that normally strikes outside of our country?
Malaria is a disease caused by mosquito breeding, which is known to everyone and is quite a dangerous malady if not treated on time, where many people have paid the price of negligence with their lives just because they did not take mosquito bites seriously and always had a casual attitude towards it. But what does this have to do with your medical practice? You can go on with your work and continue enlightening people about the seriousness of malaria as a vector borne disease and small mosquitoes can do undue damage to your body.
Between 1987 and 1998, Jack ‘Doctor Death’ Kevorkian provided our current legal and moral understandings of people desiring medical help towards ending their lives. Kevorkian went to prison after giving a lethal injection to his fully consenting patient. Malaria is known to kill; clinical-trial patients are giving consent to a lethal injection.
Arguments are quashed along the lines of allowing Malaria research for humanitarian reasons, and not Kevorkian acts; Kevorkian was a humanitarian assisting a segment of society who believed that they were helping others towards reducing consequences of other known serious illnesses.
Kevorkian and Seattle Biomedical Research Institute are in situations where compensation exchanges hands. Malaria clinical-trial participants will receive an undisclosed amount over 2,000 dollars for their consent to be infected with malaria; the exact amount is not disclosed to prevent participation for the wrong reasons.
Malaria kills more people in Africa than in any other country. AIDS kills more people in Africa than in any other country. When you overlay AIDS and Malaria into a single neighborhood, you have children orphaned from, and who have AIDS, trying to care for child Malaria victims who are their friends. Some areas are totally lacking healthy adults.
The African virus strain of AIDS is different than the American version, it is harder to treat. There is no guarantee that Africa’s Malaria and AIDS problems will not migrate right along with the Bird Flu into American backyards. Some feel that by helping the African children with their AIDS and Malaria problems, we are helping our children.
Malaria is carried by mosquitoes; it is a parasite that enters the blood and multiplies in the liver. It is not contagious unless blood is shared between a healthy person and a non-healthy person through a needle, another mosquito bite, or by other means. Malaria parasites breed and multiply normally only in warm climates. It can’t normally thrive in Seattle.
Seattle Biomedical Research Institute was flooded with emails from volunteers after their story came out in the media… so, I didn’t send my request to be a volunteer after learning that they only need six people. Yes, I would volunteer for Malaria without a second thought. I understand how grim the situation is for the children involved.
The money being offered to volunteers by the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute Malaria trials is a token amount, and just the right figure for people who are serious about donating their body towards helping other people; those worried about potential future issues have no business raising their hands to go out into this line-of-fire.
Our children volunteer for possible death over a cause when they enter the military; taking on a dose of Malaria to help in a public health battle is the same thing. One group of soldiers are worried about concerns within localized boundaries, the other are worried about concerns on a global-scale. Both sets of politics have a valid place in our society.