Lesser Harms: The morality of risk in medical research by Sydney A Halpern

By James Kingsland RESEARCHERS infected 18-year-old Jesse Gelsinger with an adenovirus on 13 September 1999 at the University of Pennsylvania. That virus carried a piece of DNA they hoped would correct a genetic fault that made his liver unable to break down a toxic by-product of protein metabolism. But the virus provoked an acute inflammatory response, and four days later he was dead. Even if the treatment had been successful, Gelsinger and the other people in the trial stood to gain little, as a special diet could already compensate for their metabolic defect. What is more,
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