We get to foot the bill for the effects of other people’s “moral failings” here as it is. Why, then, should it be so objectionable to consider spending some public money to figure out how to help people stop? Is it so important that people be punished for their moral failings that we’re willing to sustain large-scale societal collateral damage just to enact that punishment?
DrugMonkey linked to a list of talking points from the Coalition to Protect Research, with a promise to return to them later for more discussion. Here’s a bit from CPR’s email call to action on this issue:
As expected, the scrutiny surrounding research funded by NIH via the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) continues. Much of the research cited by the critics of ARRA was funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). While NIH has been working to defend the breadth of its research portfolio and the rigor of its peer review processes, there is concern that the scientific community, patients and communities affected by substance use, addiction and alcohol disorders have remained silent in the wake of attacks on this research. . . Your help is needed to send that message to the administration and Congress underscoring the scientific community’s support for NIH’s peer review process and for NIDA- and NIAAA-supported research, in particular. Policymakers need to hear that the scientific community supports the broad public health mission of the NIH, the missions of NIDA and NIAAA, in addition to our support for the NIH-peer process.
More responses and resources at CPR’s website.
More blog posts on this topic:
Adventures in Ethics and Science: Funding scientific research that people “don’t approve of” (11/09)
Adventures in Ethics and Science: Is drug research on humans who are addicted to drugs ethical? (3/09)
DrugMonkey: More CongressCritter Meddling in the NIH Grant Process (09/09)
DrugMonkey: How would you like some posturing Congress Critter to de-fund your grant? (07/09)
SciCurious: Giving drugs to humans, the whys and wherefores (04/09)