Reading memo

Reading memo

Basically a summary of the two pieces and comparing them.

In both of these pieces, pay attention to the discussion of research ethics. Neither of these authors will say explicitly something about ethics, but there is a discussion buried in the text about the relationship between biomedicine and society. There is also a discussion of what the government?s role and private companies? roles should be in this relationship.

Petryna, ?Pharmaceuticals and the Right to Health"

Read for the main ideas. This is a chapter from a larger book about the global trade in pharmaceutical research. Pharmaceutical companies tend to set up clinical trials (testing the medications) in developing countries because it is cheaper and because the people there are ?treatment na?ve? (they haven?t taken a lot of medications). Pay attention to what Petryna says about why trials are done internationally, and what these trials do for sick and economically disadvantaged people. Pay attention to her discussion of the state of healthcare in Brazil. She talks about three ways to get medications in Brazil; know what these are. Pay attention to her discussion of who is responsible for providing healthcare to the disadvantaged and what happens to these people when the trial ends.

Franklin, ?Stem Cells R Us"

She is exploring how research into stem cells has fundamentally changed how we understand the potential for human life. Follow her argument at the top of page 63 about what it means that stem cells are an ?emergent form of life?. Know how the UK government responded to stem cell research. Don?t get bogged down by the different techniques she discusses, but do understand the fears people had about stem cell research after Dolly the sheep was cloned. Do understand what she means when she calls stem cells a cultural product. So, how do all of our cultural fears about cloning and stem cell research influence what kind of research can be done?

Franklin, Sarah. 2005. ?Stem Cells R Us.? Pp. 59-78 in Global Assemblages, edited by Aihwa Ong and Stephen Collier. Blackwell Publishing: Malden, MA. ǂ

Petryna, Adriana. 2009. ?Pharmaceuticals and the Right to Health.? Pp. 139-185 in When Experiments Travel. Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ.


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