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posted: 8/16/2014 5:01 AM

U.S. unjustly holding back Ebola medication

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No valid reason exists for keeping the medication that stopped the deadly Ebola virus in two Americans from the people of West Africa. This trial drug has not been approved by the FDA. So what? That it prevented two deaths from Ebola should be enough evidence that it works. Most people afflicted with this deadly virus will die, so the U.S. must cut through its red tape and get that medication to the people infected with Ebola. In this case, the benefits of this not-yet-approved drug far out weigh the risks. This outbreak is a global emergency that demands emergency measures.

All human life is precious no matter where the people live or what color they are. I cannot help but ask why we hesitate to give this lifesaving medication to the black people of Africa when we did not hesitate for a second to administer the medication to two white Americans. I am sure I am not the only one to wonder about this inconsistency. One doctor expressed that it is immoral to withhold a medication that has been effective against Ebola from people who have no other chance to survive. Any rational person must agree.

To withhold this lifesaving medication on a technicality is not only immoral but also plain stupid, as stupid as people in charge have been behaving since this outbreak began in allowing people to leave the country and to hesitate for a second to quarantine the affected area.

For most victims of Ebola, there are only two options: the medication the U.S. is holding back, or death. Which option do members of our government including the president believe they would choose if Ebola struck them or their loved ones? I think we all know the answer to that.

Mary E. Keenan, RN


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