Thursday, January 12, 2006

More on "iPledge: an agenda?"

Tonight's post is a brief follow-up to my Aug 22 post, iPledge- an agenda?. An article in today's New York Times reveals the festering conflict within the medical community about the use of the drug and the continued fear of pregnancy during its use.

The article quotes even from the March of Dimes, an organization that purports to defeat birth defects (though the pro-life movement is largely wary of their policies because of their history of recommending abortion). In the article, Dr. Nancy Green, medical director of the March of Dimes, said, "We've been advocating since 2000 for F.D.A. to take this kind of step. Is this the perfect solution? We'll have to wait and see. We are cautiously optimistic that this is the right way to go." But, wouldn't it make more sense for an organization so passionate about avoiding birth defects that they would either recommend against the dangerous Accutane drug or insist on abstinence from relations while on the drug?

Oddly enough, the article also mentions a similar campaign during the 19th century where prescriptions were only granted under the condition of attempting to prevent pregnancy at all costs. The drug, thalidomide, was used to treat and prevent morning sickness, and carried the same stipulation: two forms of birth control. However, I know of hardly any cases where a woman suffers morning sickness apart from pregnancy, and morning sickness is most dramatic during the first trimester of pregnancy, which happens to be the time during which most birth defects manifest themselves.

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