Do you ever think about the people who make sure the medicine you're taking is safe for you to take? If your like most of us, probably not.
The job of a human 'lab rat' is a lot like most jobs. They get up, go to the office, do their job, and come home. The difference is they risk their mental and physical health every time they go to work and sometimes get sick from the experiment they're testing. Despite the risk, they don't get paid much and have no guarantees that their medical bills will be paid if they get sick from one of the experiments.
Yes, they get paid. For some reason, that bothers a lot of people in ways they're not bothered by someone who donates their kidney to a stranger for free. Yet, both of these types of people take the hit so the rest of us don't have to.
- Larissa MacFarquhar - Staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Strangers Drowning: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Urge to Help
- Paul Clough - Professional lab rat and founder of “Just Another Lab Rat,” a website that helps other lab rats find trials.
- Carl Elliott - Professor in the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota and the author of White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine
- Liz Parrish - CEO of BioViva
Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on January 10, 2017.