Imnol. Contraception : Societal Issues

guest at guest at
Thu Nov 11 23:42:48 EST 1993

	Contraception using immunological approaches is a major
	area of interest at the place where I work. People here
	are targeting  various molecules associated with conception :
	ranging from gamete-specific proteins to hormones. People
	who've been following the work in this area would know that
	contraceptive vaccines have reached clinical trials. And here
	begins a story that raises issues which I find impossible to 
	resolve by myself.

As a (hopeful) scientist, I think contraception is a good idea. Specially
so in my country. Further, as far as sheer lab-work goes, I think we're
doing competent enough work. When it comes to letting the vaccine loose
on society, however, there are some doubts being expressed by activists
about the safety of the proposed vaccine. I do not want to appear to be
unequivocally defgending the big bad scientist, but I am sure everyone is
aware of the possibility of risks involved: most of aqll the investigators
themselves. After all' they have astake in it that goes beyond fame and
funding. They are also legally responsible for the product they push into
clinical trials.

	Does anyone have anything to say on the proposal of 
	stopping the trials before they are begun ? This is what 7 
	Women's organizations were demanding at a demonstration before 
	the office of W.H.O. in New Delhi on the 9th of this month. What
	should be the moral position of an investigator who believes
	in his work as well as human rights ?  Ensuring the safety of the
	product is part of th job and also a legal requirement. What
	can we do to reassure the activists about the "honorability of our
	intentions" 		Amit Misra
                              National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi,

				e-mail: amit at

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