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September 04, 1980 - Image 70

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Need a buck? Be a guinea pig
By SARA ANSPACH Both researchers and subjects show anything." Presspitch attended three second year medical student, says he
ds like the job you've been disdain for the term "guinea pig." "It's sessions of about four, hours each. He checked out the consequences of taking
or. The hours are good, the so ... so derogatory," says an LSA swallowed a tube that went from his a drug by consulting with a friend in
e is spotless, and they usually 'senior who has participated in several mouth to his small intestines so food pharmacology before he participated in
sh. Depending on the job, the medical experiments. Second year could bypass his stomach in an ex- a certain experiment. "When you're
vary from $15 an hour to $6 a medical student Karen Wilson has a periment to test the effect certain en- using drugs, it's prudent to be wary,"
ither way it's not too bad. better suggestion for a name: "We're zymes have on food. It wasn't comfor- he advises. Wilson also won't par-
illy don't have to do anything. scientific prostitutes," she says. table experience, but he's ticipate in an experiment that uses
n't the least bit interested in It's an apt description. Though some philosophical: "A hundred and fifty drugs she considers dangerous. She
I. It's your body, or some part show an interest in the experiment, bucks is pretty good money for a tube in says, for example, that she would not
they're after., some come as a favor to the researcher your mouth." And besides, he adds, the volunteer for a research project that
ght be asked to donate a small and some arrive with an air of altruism, hospital fed him several free dinners, involves a certain drug used to induce
kin from your hip..Or maybe the overwhelmiing majority are there which were greatly appreciated at the amnesia in surgical patients, because
ve you a new drug to test, or for the money. There aren't any other time: "people using the drug have been
theter in your heart. The risk legal ways to make so much money in Among those who do this sort of thing known to have some pretty bad trips."
al and if it hurts, well, you're so little time. And many of the par- often, there are very few who will do in- Before every experiment, a person
nbursed . ... ticipants really are desperate for discriminately any old type of ex- must sign a consent form which says
OUNT of convincing, though, money, at least the first time they periment just because the price is right. she or he is aware of the potential risks
e most of us rush out and sign volunteer. Once the guard is down ane Those who are familiar with the market and discomfort involved in the ex-
paid volunteer for one of the the find out, as many do, that it is nog can name certain tests they would ' periment. Experiments on "nor-
esearch experiments waiting as terrible as they thought it would be, never participate in. Fortunately for mal"-or "healthy"-subjects involve
tial subjects. No matter how they may choose to participate more of- the researchers, the standards of minimal risk, and in the case of an
abuse our own bodies, most of ten "for fun." would-be subjects vary somewhat ar- emergency the hospital provides im-
ery wary about what we let Engineering junior Marig Pressprich bitrarily and widely advertised ex- medical care.
to them. Those fortunate few was "destitute" last summer when he periments seldom lack for participants. But theaexperiments can go wrong.
vercome this uneasiness have noticed ad advertisement on a bulletin Julie, a health science student who
le part time profession they board in University Hospital where ie "I've got funny priorities," says prefers that her real name not be used,
ack on in an emergency. Few worked as a patient sitter. The notice medical student Wilson. "There's an volunteered to participate in a
:e often enough to get rich, wanted volunteers for a digestion ex- experiment where you sell a small hemodynamics experiment for $150 this
there are stories of enter- periment. It didn't sound too bad, and swatch of skin for $60 and I wouldn't do year. A catheter was inserted into her
who work their way, through the total pay would be $150. "I was that, yet I'll allow them to put a tube in arm and up into her heart with the pur-
school loaning their bodies to down in the bucks," he says. "When you my heart." She's referring to a series of pose of measuring renal hormones, but
irs. need money you'll do just about "cardiac catherization" hypertension the experiment had to be stopped sud-
experiments she particpated in last denly when she "ran into some pretty
summer. During this series a cather intense complications." Emergency
was inserted into the right altrium of care was provided and she was
y Wilson's heart through a vein in her hospitalized. Julie says the com-
arm. Her blood pressure was measured plications were a fluke and insists that
while she lay on a tilted table, drugged her experience did not scare her away
and wearing a knee-length water vest, from volunteering in other experiem-
"I never completely lost consciousness, tns. Last week she participated in a flu
but my blood pressure went pretty low vaccine experiment for $30. "It's
at times," she notes nonchalantly. She almost, kind of fun," she says, ex-
says she was "somewhat uncomfor- plaining that it's an easy way to earn
table," but that the $250 she earned was money. "I would do more (experimen-
"the best money I've ever made." ts) if I knew about more," she says.
The skin donation Wilson refuses to Students who want to volunteer in a
do is actually one of the more 'popular' research project often have their own
experiments-in spite of the fact that "review committee" of parents and
each donation leaves a small scar. A friends to give them the go-ahead.
participant is given a shot of Parents generally don't approve and of-
Novocaine, and a small bit of skin is ten beg their offspring not to volun-
scraped from the buttocks or hip, the teer-usually to no avail. Some poten-
area is bandaged and the donor walks tial subjects just don't bother to inform
away with $60 in cash. An overly eager their parents of their plans.
student reportedly donated skin about Friends of scientific prostitutes call
15 times. Max Dehn, an LSA them fools and idiots, but most
sophomore, donated skin last year. "It dedicated volunteers are unpreturbed.
felt like I tripped and fell and scraped "My friends think I'm crazy," admits
my hip, only I was saved the pain of Julie. She hasn't had any luck convin-.
Ike falling by the novocaine," he says. "I cing them to join her, but she keeps
wouldn't do it again unless I needed the trying.
money, but for $60 you can live with the At any given time there are usually
pain." several notices on bulletin boards at 'U'
Medical students have an edge over hospital and other places around cam-
other volunteers, and'they often check pus advertising experiments that need
INTERNATIONAL CENTER out drugs beforehand that are going to participants. There are occasional ads
University oE ?1±hia4 93 603 EAST MADISON be used in an experiment to determine in the Daily but many potential subjects
if they are "safe.' Greg Govert, a hear about a project from people who
have already participated in the ex-
periment. A person is usually more
receptive to the idea if a roommate or
1-W m m - = m =Aclose friend is a living testimonial.





D. 6411

State marijuana law
may be lightened

A Lapeer County woman recently
convicted of possession of .22 grams of
marijuana, could be sentenced to one
year in jail and levied a $1000 fine under
Michigan law. In Ann Arbor, the same
offense would carry a $5 penalty.
Unfair? Absolutely, according to
State Senator Jerome Hart (D-
Saginaw). Hart is the sponsor of Bill 65
that would make possession of up to 30
grams of marijuana a civil offense
statewide with a maximum penalty of
THE CIVIL OFFENSE status would
mean a suspected offender would be
ticketed and ordered to appear in court.
If convicted, the offender would pay the
fine, after which all the records and
references to the violation would be
The bill, which has been, passed by
the state Senate, would also set aside
convictions of anyone found guilty of
possessing less than 30 grams of pot in
the past ten years. These records would
also be destroyed.
Under the same bill, which needs the
approval of the House before Gov.
Milliken can sign it into law, a drug of-
fense by a minor would be treated more
seriously. Possession would betcon-
sidered misdemeanor with a maximum
sentence of 30 days in jail and a $100
ROGER WINTHROP, a member of

the Michigan chapter of the National
Organization for Reform of Marijuan
Laws (NORML), said he wa
dissatisfied with this aspect of the bill
and hoped that the problem will be
ironed out before the House vote.
Winthrop explained that the bill is not
only important because it allows more
personal freedom but, also because
it saves tax dollars used for enforcing
the law.
"Michigan taxpayers spend between
$6 and $7 million a year in marijuana
enforcement," Winthrop said.
legalization of marijuana is that it has
not been conclusively proven to be a
harmless drug. Winthrop disclaims this
argument. "Marijuana is the only non-
toxic substance out of the three most-
publicized abuses: Alcohol, tobacco,
and marijuana," he said. "Just
because it may be harmful to people
doesn't make it right that they be
treated as criminals." ,
Another bill, sponsored by Rep.
Richard Fitzpatraick (D-Battle Creek),
would replace local ordinances that
have been created to ban the sale of
smoking devices to customers. If the
bill passes, persons under age 19 will be
prohibited from purchasing smoking
paraphernalia., This also includes
cigarettes and any other form of tobac-
co. Both the customer and the
proprietor would be subject to a fine if
an illegal purchase is made.
Rep. Perry Bullard (D-Ann Arbor),
proponent of legislation to
decriminalize marijuana use in
Michigan, said the proposed bill is "a
step in the right direction." He stressed
it should be illegal for minors to smoke
pot. Bullard also said the passage of
this bill might eventually help Senatdr
Hart's pot reform bill by demonstrating
to marijuana decriminalization Op-
ponents, that the pro-marijuana
proponents intend to be responsibl4
concerning who can use the substance.

1sf Church of Christ, Scientist

1833 Washtenaw

. SUNDAY SCHOOL 10:30 am
OPEN MON-SAT 10 am to 5 pm

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