Ethical issues in using a cocaine vaccine to treat and prevent cocaine abuse and dependence

Hall, Wayne and Carter, Lucy (2004) Ethical issues in using a cocaine vaccine to treat and prevent cocaine abuse and dependence. Journal of Medical Ethics, 30 4: 337-340. doi:10.1136/jme.2003.004739

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Author Hall, Wayne
Carter, Lucy
Title Ethical issues in using a cocaine vaccine to treat and prevent cocaine abuse and dependence
Journal name Journal of Medical Ethics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0306-6800
Publication date 2004-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/jme.2003.004739
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 30
Issue 4
Start page 337
End page 340
Total pages 4
Place of publication UK
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject C1
321213 Human Bioethics
730307 Health policy evaluation
Abstract A cocaine vaccine'' is a promising immunotherapeutic approach to treating cocaine dependence which induces the immune system to form antibodies that prevent cocaine from crossing the blood brain barrier to act on receptor sites in the brain. Studies in rats show that cocaine antibodies block cocaine from reaching the brain and prevent the reinstatement of cocaine self administration. A successful phase 1 trial of a human cocaine vaccine has been reported. The most promising application of a cocaine vaccine is to prevent relapse to dependence in abstinent users who voluntarily enter treatment. Any use of a vaccine to treat cocaine addicts under legal coercion raises major ethical issues. If this is done at all, it should be carefully trialled first, and only after considerable clinical experience has been obtained in using the vaccine to treat voluntary patients. There will need to be an informed community debate about what role, if any, a cocaine vaccine may have as a way of preventing cocaine addiction in children and adolescents.
Keyword Medical Ethics
Ethics
Social Issues
Social Sciences, Biomedical
Treatment Outcomes
Immunization
Offenders
Model
Legal
Q-Index Code C1

 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 14:29:51 EST