Tuesday, February 2

Get Smallpox, get $525

Okay, so it's not quite that simple. A study is being done on the vaccine to see which of the two delivery systems is more effective. And they need 250 money-hungry folks to agree to expose themselves to Smallpox over the course of 7 months.

Hey, it's only a little bit of a highly infectious, deadly disease!

Okay, you know, I'm all for scientific advancement. And for making money as a medical study participant. (My mom has written about medical studies as one way to make extra cash. At one point, she got paid to watch porn.)

I'm not even particularly worried about a resurgence in Cowpox cases. (If you don't get the joke, see the end of the post.*)

But I do draw the line at exposing yourself to deadly illnesses. Especially when we're talking about $75 a month.

Maybe I'm biased. One of my few memories before the age of 5 was getting a polio vaccine. By the end of the day, I had to be carried because my legs were so weak. I was fine in a day or two but... yeesh.

I understand the need for scientific advancement. And I'm grateful to the people who do volunteer themselves for studies like these. Still, I wonder if this is really the best use of tax dollars. And whether it's actually worth the risk (however small) of actual Smallpox infection.

Would you participate in a study like this? How much money would it need to pay, for you to expose yourself to a small risk of such a deadly disease?

*The Smallpox epidemic was solved when a scientist noticed that milk maids were practically unaffected. It turns out that Cowpox (transmitted through ulcerated skin on a cow's udder) is close enough to Smallpox to create an immunity.



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