In response to Experimental Proposal K we decided as a group that the research should not be allowed to proceed. The decision was a unanimous decision. Our reasons for why are:
1) The researchers are targeting and exploiting individuals who are poor and lack the ability to use other prevention measures. If the ointment is shown to be effective, the question remains as how it will be made available to these individuals, since as noted they already cannot afford other measures.
2) Even though the ointment deters bites from Anopheles, the increase in bites by other mosquitoes poses a potential risk. Individuals using the ointment could be open to other diseases or infections carried by other mosquitoes.
3) At the end of the proposal it is noted that there is a slight risk of individuals developing long-lasting sores, and that these individuals would be studied in a sub-study. Also, that it is unknown if these sores are treatable. So what is to happen to the individuals who develop sores after the sub-study if the sores are not treatable?
If the researchers were able to address concerns and answer our questions (e.g. the ointment would offered to individuals in poverty for free), our verdict would still be to not allow the research to proceed. This is primarily due to similar reasoning that is stated in (1), the individuals to be used in the study would still be exploited.
Rachel, Kelsey, Kristian