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September 18, 1987 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-18

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OPINION
Page 4 Friday, September 18, 1987 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVI, No. 7 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
.cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
Athletics and ethics
S cott Shuger's article in the Canham and the faculty for
September Ann Arbor Observer, tolerating it.
"My Semester in PE 402," paints an While Shuger's criticisms may or
embarrassing portrait of the Athletic may not be valid, his methods are
'Department's attitude towards questionable. The author uses the
1academics. Equally unnerving is the names of students unnecessarily to
'article itself, which can at best be sensationalize his accounts of the
considered shoddy journalism. class. He unfairly quotes people
. Posing as a student in an upper who were unaware he was writing
,level Phys Ed class, Shuger took an article. Also, Shuger accuses
fnotes not only on the content of the several students, some still
course, but on the behavior of the attending the University, of
students and faculty as well. He cheating and plagiarizing without
;observed poor attendance, lax including any response from those
effort, and cheating, with little named.
:effort on the part of the instructor to Another flaw in Shuger's article is
1h4lt these practices. that he ignores the positive qualities
sLhis may not seem surprising to of the class. The opportunity to
-those skeptical of big-time athletic have the most successful Athletic
"programs. However, Michigan has Director in major college sports
0always prided itself on maintaining explain the empire he created is
'high academic standards for its hardly "Mickey Mouse." The tone
Eathletes.What makes this even more of the article indicates that Shuger
shocking is that the course's main entered the class for the sole
lecturer was none other than purpose of exposing the Athletic
Michigan Athletic Director Don Department, which is reason
Canham, one of the most enough to question the objectivity
respected sports administrators in of the article.
the country. In fact, Canham is the However slanted the author's
person other athletic directors turn reporting may be, the article does
to for "guidance" when their raise some disturbing questions.
programs fall apart. Considering One has to wonder about the
what this article indicates a s sincerity of the athletic program's
happening here, one shudders to commitment to education, as well as
imagine what may be occurring at the opportunities some student-
less scrupulous universities. athletes are throwing away. If
"My Semester in PE 402" also Shuger had written the story
points fingers at many of the objectively and given those in-
students, several of whom are name volved notification and a chance to
athletes on campus. Shuger's daily rebut, "My Semester in PE 402"
log includes accounts of who might be a more noteworthy piece.
showed up, who walked out, who As it stands now, however,
screwed around, and who fell Shuger's article can only be
asleep. It is not clear who Shuger is considered an unprofessional attack
blaming more - the students for on Don Canham and some
their lack of participation or prominent Michigan athletes.

Wasserman

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4

AIDS

A$Pgp OF 114IS 1VOW N?

By Beth Fertig
The death toll for Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is growing
at an alarming rate. Experts predict that in
the United States alone 1.5 million people
are carriers of the AIDS-causing virus,
while the Center For Disease Control
reports that 24,000 deaths so far have been
attributed to the disease. With statistics
like these, immediate action is called for.
Meanwhile, one of the most promising
treatments for this 20th Century plague
has been, in effect, ignored because of the
fearful and inherently sluggish nature of
the government and the medical com-
munity.
The treatment in question is known as
AL-721, a substance derived primarily
from egg yolks and lecithin, and which
has by many accounts halted AIDS like no
other drug. Its effect on AIDS was realized
in Israel three years ago at the Weizmann
Institute, where AL-721 was tested on 34
people with AIDS or ARC (AIDS Related
Complex), all but two of whom have
shown significant improvement. When
ingested daily as a butter-like spread, AL-
721 somehow fluidizes cell membranes,
changing their shape and rendering the
AIDS-causing virus, HIV, ineffective.
Thus, the substance works as an antivirile;
a person with the HIV antibodies in his or
her blood would not then develop AIDS.
Furthermore, according to Yehuda Scor-
nick, the Israeli doctor who conducted the
tests, there are no known toxic side
effects.
And yet, the only drug the American
public hears about is AZT.
AZT, while relieving many of the
symptoms of AIDS, is also extreinely
toxic and very expensive. There are many
painful side effects of the medication (such
as regular blood transfusions, nausea,
headaches, and stomach aches) and the
Beth Fertig is the Daily's Arts Editor.

progress
average cost of the treatment is $10,000-
$12,000 a year. AZT is also a failed cancer
drug; it sat on the government's shelves
for 17 years before being whipped through
the FDA for approval as an AIDS drug.
The FDA states that AIDS drugs will
require less time for approval than
"average drugs" due to the urgency of the
situation. However, while AZT took under
a year to win approval (compared with the
FDA's seven year average), there are be-
tween 15 and 20 other AIDS drugs on the
agency's list for testing, some of which
have been on that list for some time.
Here in America, the FDA states that
AL-721 is currently in the testing phase,
as are several of the other potential AIDS
drugs on its list. However, this testing has
been on only a few subjects and has been
preliminary at best. In medicine, skepti-
cism breeds caution, a well-founded virtue;
Therefore, the FDA requires very specific
phases of toxicity testing. Yet, so far AL-
721 has only been tested on seven people
at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center
in New York City. In addition, doctors say
that this is not the full, FDA-demanded
toxicity trial - almost a year after it
began - because the dosage that the
patients received was constant, and not
gradually increased. As for the Israeli
doctor's study, the FDA refuses to ac-
knowledge test results from another
country. While patients from the Israeli
study can testify that there are no side
effects from AL-721, our own government
has taken a year just to conduct a
preliminary toxicity trial. Who knows
how long it will be before it conducts a
more legitimate one.
Doctors involved with this New York
study are enthusiastic about the effects of
AL-721. While they caution that it would
not be a good treatment for someone with
the full-fledged development of AIDS,
they say that it could work to halt further
progression of the disease for people with

early ARC.
The fight against AIDS certainly does:
not suffer from government funding. Over,
$100 million has been ear-marked for 19
AIDS Treatment Evaluation Units. And
yet, almost a year after the programs were:
initiated, the units are mostly dealing with,
patients' responses to AZT. In addition,
the fight does not lack popular support.
AIDS is a mainstream problem now; it is
there on subway and bus posters, on your.
network television, and in pop star Ma-
donna's enormous benefit concert in New
York City this past summer. Doctors an4.
people all over America care very deeply.
about the threat of the disease. As
exemplified by President Reagan's choice
of personalities for his government panel,
on AIDS (including the avowedly
homophobic John Cardinal O'Connor);,
the war on AIDS only suffers fron:
ignorance.
But word has gotten out about AL-721.
Stories of the few Americans who went
against their doctors' advice and partici
pated in the Israeli study have leaked. The
gay underground, vigilantly pursuing its
own means of dealing with the problenm-
has taken to producing home made very
sions of AL-721 and cannot reproduce the
formula correctly. In addition, the
California-based activist group Gay Rightr;
Advocates, angered with the delay of the-
AIDS treatments, has recently filed a suit ,
against the public health service for
genocide.
The story of AL-721 is a sad example
of how mired the American bureaucratic:
system can become in its attempts to:
solve a tragic problem. Hopefully this;
drug, and the many others awaiting FDA-
approval, will some day soon becomc,'
available to the thousands of patients with:
AIDS world wide. There is not a moment'
spare.
r

slow

4

of class

L Learing oUv
S tudents often ask themselves
whether or not they are "getting
their money's worth" at the
University. This concern for getting
a "good return" on a heavy financial
*investment is part of what causes
#the frantic class searching during
the beginning of every term.
The search for a quality education
.at the University too often stops
;when students leave the CRISP
line. The problem begins with
*vocabulary; the average student's
definition of education 'is
surprisingly narrow. Many perceive
xeducation to be only a formal,
structured process of gaining new
-information, worthwhile only to the
:extent that it can be used in a future
career. Others have learned to value
the process of learning as an end in
'itself; but even many of these
students fail to look beyond the
classroom for learning experiences.

Lside

identity frequently discourages
students from giving their time to
anything but their classes - an
attitude that can follow a student
throughout college.
The students sitting on the Diag
today are some of those who have,
successfully fought the onset of this
tunnel vision, and are committed to
reminding their peers of the energy
-and interests they left behind.
Festifall is the student's once-a-year
glance at that host of organizations
and clubs that help to make "the
college experience" what The Big
Chill said it could be.
The day-long event provides
students with the opportunity to
truly see all that life in Ann Arbor'
can offer. The selection ranges from
the Glee Club to human rights
organizations, and everything that
falls in between. To become
involved in an organization, the

LETTERS:

Don't support rent

control

To the Daily:
This letter is in response to
Michael Appel's letter
concerning rent control dated
September 16 ("Rent control
campaign starts tonight",
Daily, 9/17/87). It is inter-
esting to note that Mr. Appel
contradicts himself with de-
tailed information. He men-
tions that Ann Arbor has a
very low vacancy rate. He goes

result in a decrease in the
number of new units con-
structed. The maintenance of
most buildings, which is
already very poor, will also
suffer.
Unscrupulous landlords will
probably profit even more
greatly from this measure. As
historical experience in cities
such as Berkeley, New York,

) s
, e
/l4
d
DEREGLAMO
CIVIL R~c>tr$ '

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