Answer the following questions.
1. In chapter 1, Elliott discusses the topic of “guinea pigs”. What does he mean by this term? Who are these people? What is Guinea Pig Zero? In what ways does the Guinea Pig Zero subculture seem to differ from the Civilian Public Service testing mentioned on page 17? What sorts of things is a Guinea Pig activist concerned with?
2. Whereas trials to test pharmaceuticals used to be primarily tested in academic settings (i.e. at universities and colleges), they are now mostly performed in the private sector. This has led to an industry of companies designed to operate and oversee these clinical trials. It has also led to a new kind of relationship between testers and test subjects, where both parties tend to view the process as a way to make money. Describe some of the examples of these relationships from chapter 1. What sorts of ethical concerns, beyond just the ones you mention the Guinea Pig activist might be concerned with in question one, are raised by such a relationship?
3. Remember, part of Elliott’s thesis is that the turning of medicine into a business brings with it the darker sides of business. This includes a common sort of deception (deceptive practices). What are some of the issues of deception that arise in chapter 2? What is the tension between science and industry mentioned on page 34?
4. Explain what ghost writing is, using at least one example from chapter 2. How does this practice fall in line with Elliott’s statement that drug marketing is not supposed to look like marketing? What are your thoughts on the practice of ghost writing?
THE BOOK FOR THIS QUESTIONS IS White Coat Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine.
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