Jun 8, 2011

Friggin' insane!

What if  there was a drug that helped cancer patients, but had the potential of some bad side effects?

There is one called lenalidomide that is set to go on wider trial, having been used in limited trials for some cancer patients.  The problem with it?  In in the 1950s there was a drug called thalidomide, a sedative, quite similar to lenalidomide. It was seen to cause birth defects, and cardiac problems in some patients. With the availability of other sedatives, thalidomide was banned. 

So, the doctors just want to be careful with lenalidomide. They have conducted tests to quantify the risks, and determined that it was worthwhile to launch wider trials. With warnings and precautions.

OK, so what's the problem?  After all, this is quite a common practice in drug trials.

Turns out that a Catholic hospital disagrees with physicians who want to be careful when they prescribe this drug. Some of these doctors encourage men to have vasectomies, and women to have two negative pregnancy tests before they get on the drug. Or, if you want to be more pragmatic, one doctor wants to recommend contraceptives so as to reduce the possibility of pregnancy.

The issue is that the Church does not want doctors to talk about the option of using contraceptives.

Yes, it is that stupid. One more reason to wonder why the Catholic Church exists.

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