Harvard seeks to test ecstasy drug on the dying

Peterkro

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wdlove said:
Harvard want to test ecstasy on 12 terminally ill cancer patients. They will be using MDMA, the activce ingredient of the drug. I can see both sides of this issue.

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2005/02/23/harvard_seeks_to_test_ecstasy_drug_on_the_dying/
Sorry to extend a double post. Ecstasy came to prominence in the therapy community long before it became a rave drug.It has helped many people including several I know personally. Also Aldous Huxley took a huge LSD dose as he was dying and according to his wife had extremely positive experience.
 

poopyhead

macrumors 6502a
Peterkro said:
Sorry to extend a double post. Ecstasy came to prominence in the therapy community long before it became a rave drug.It has helped many people including several I know personally. Also Aldous Huxley took a huge LSD dose as he was dying and according to his wife had extremely positive experience.
I used to head an unofficial therepy group at my college for survivors of rape and child molestation
I have personally used ecstasy and administered it to others in controlled settings in order to treat PTSD
it works amazingly well
helping many people after only 1 or 2 administrations
I hope the current administration can overcome their shortsightedness and realize the amazing potential of this and other psychoactives to help people suffering from a variety of conditions
 

Mechcozmo

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I can see the side that says "Its good for terminally ill!"
But I can also see that if it is allowed, then hey, why not prescribe it for inpatient surgeries. And it can go from there, because with great access to it, it will be abused even more.

And if MDMA is so damaging to the body (raises body temperature, increases heart beat, etc) wouldn't a cancer patient with a weak body end up dying from this? There are far better ways to die, IMO, then hallucinating on a drug.
 

Mechcozmo

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poopyhead said:
I have personally used ecstasy and administered it to others in controlled settings in order to treat PTSD
You do know that it is illegal, right?
 

Peterkro

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Have you tried it (dying) seems to me going through the greatest experience of your life in a state of high awareness is a good thing. Better that than opiates or tranq's that the medical industry will force on you.
(personal opinion )

Re Mechezmo if you live your life based on whats legal you'll miss a huge part of the human experience. Murder is illegal but thats not why I don't do it, it hurts people and evolution has taught me that is not a bright thing to do(in some cases it may be the right thing to do,but in extremely rare cases.I don't want to get into the philosophy of murder) Taking Ecstasy on the other hand will only hurt me and then its probably less risky than Aspirin.
( I understand you may have been using humor)
 

blackfox

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Mechcozmo said:
I can see the side that says "Its good for terminally ill!"
But I can also see that if it is allowed, then hey, why not prescribe it for inpatient surgeries. And it can go from there, because with great access to it, it will be abused even more.
That is a non sequitur. Merely cynical speculation.

And if MDMA is so damaging to the body (raises body temperature, increases heart beat, etc) wouldn't a cancer patient with a weak body end up dying from this? There are far better ways to die, IMO, then hallucinating on a drug.
First of all, if it was a terminal patient, they are going to die soon anyway, what does it matter?

The much more important part to consider though, is that that would be a choice for them to make, not you. You're not dying. What business is it of yours? Illegality (and punishment) are irrelevant, as there can only be consequences as far as you are alive to receive them.

This, imo, is closely-related to the assisted suicide argument. What gives other, healthy people, the right to decide someone else choice(s), which are (a) especially important as he/she has only a limited amount left, and (b) are coming from a completely different perspective that can only be arrived at by the combination of individuality and of looking at the definite prospect of your impending death.

You may think that the risk of killing a terminal individual is too high or that you might prefer to expire while not under the influence of a particular drug. The latter is your perogative when your time comes, the former is not your call to make.

BTW, considering the extreme pain involved in the latter stages of many terminal illnesses, there is already a precedent of giving the individual large amounts of various opiates. Do you have a problem with that? Do you have a problem with Ectasy because it is a recreational drug? Well, those opiates are used recreationally too. What is the difference?
 

Mechcozmo

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I'm worried that, if it becomes available for the terminally ill, it can lead to MDMA being more easily accessible and abused by those who are not terminally ill.

blackfox said:
BTW, considering the extreme pain involved in the latter stages of many terminal illnesses, there is already a precedent of giving the individual large amounts of various opiates. Do you have a problem with that? Do you have a problem with Ectasy because it is a recreational drug? Well, those opiates are used recreationally too. What is the difference?
I've never been terminally ill, but I'd assume it would hurt rather badly to put it lightly. Opiates are known to relax an individual and slow them down, if that makes any sense to you. MDMA increases blood pressure and heart rate, Opiates decrease both. If MDMA increases blood pressure and heart rate then the terminally ill may be in MORE pain. Something I don't want to happen.
And I have an issue with Ectasy because it is both illegal and used irresponsibly. I've seen what happens. If you want to take it in your own room, go ahead, fine. But then to go ahead and do something that places others in danger-- then I have an issue with it. Especially when I see someone kill themselves in the sake of having 'fun.' 'Fun' shouldn't be dangerous to that point. Risky, fine. But to get dragged into an E.R. to get your stomach pumped, charcoal solution pumped IN, blood coming out of everywhere, and then to just lay there as your brain is dead-- that isn't 'fun' and that is where my problem lies.
In summary: If it didn't hurt anyone, then it would be OK. But it hurts too many people. So if it can be accessed by more, then it can hurt more.
 

rainman::|:|

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MDMA is harmful with sustained use and is not necessarily harmful after one or two, tho it can be. Most of the damage they're speaking of is to the central nervous system, spinal fluid to the postsynaptic neurotransmitters where the effect on seratonin is seen. Usually this kind of damage comes from repeated abuse and can lead to motor impairment and mild neurological impairment, along with reports of severe sexual disfunction, and the occasional anecdotal about someone frying themselves into insanity, tho that's been attributed to damn near every drug. The real risk from E is that it alters your metabolism and causes cells to dehydrate (honestly there are dietary supplements that are worse) which can easily be countered with water in a non-rave environment. Provided these cancer patients aren't running around to strobe lights, I doubt there's much to fear.

And of course, when we're specifically talking about cancer patients, yes many stimulants increase tumor growth. But when you're talking about people that are going to die-- soon-- why not let the decision rest with them?
 

blackfox

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Mechcozmo said:
I'm worried that, if it becomes available for the terminally ill, it can lead to MDMA being more easily accessible and abused by those who are not terminally ill.
[/quote=] I understood your logic, but it is by no means a certainty.


I've never been terminally ill, but I'd assume it would hurt rather badly to put it lightly. Opiates are known to relax an individual and slow them down, if that makes any sense to you. MDMA increases blood pressure and heart rate, Opiates decrease both. If MDMA increases blood pressure and heart rate then the terminally ill may be in MORE pain. Something I don't want to happen.
And I have an issue with Ectasy because it is both illegal and used irresponsibly. I've seen what happens. If you want to take it in your own room, go ahead, fine. But then to go ahead and do something that places others in danger-- then I have an issue with it. Especially when I see someone kill themselves in the sake of having 'fun.' 'Fun' shouldn't be dangerous to that point. Risky, fine. But to get dragged into an E.R. to get your stomach pumped, charcoal solution pumped IN, blood coming out of everywhere, and then to just lay there as your brain is dead-- that isn't 'fun' and that is where my problem lies.
In summary: If it didn't hurt anyone, then it would be OK. But it hurts too many people. So if it can be accessed by more, then it can hurt more.
I am well aware of the effects of various drugs on the body (and mind). In my youth, I did quite a few, and made an effort to research what I was doing as a matter of safety. I was still perhaps reckless and irresponsible, but I do at least have a cursory knowledge of these substances.

Moving on, are you still talking about the terminal patients? You seem to be talking about regular people doing it out and about, which isn't the issue being discussed, even if you are convinced of a causal linkage.

Yes, Ectasy is illegal and dangerous, especially if used irresponsibly. As I said previously though, so are various opiates used by the general public recreationally. As I mentioned before, both the danger and the illegality of the drug is largely irrelevant to a terminal patient, though.

I am sorry if you have directly witnessed a particularily sobering instance involving drug use - I can see how that might color and galvanize opinion.

It should be noted, however, that in this instance, unlike street drugs, or those made by your grad-school chem major friend, there is also a guarantee of what you are getting. MDMA may very well be dangerous, but much of the problems you hear about are related to impure samples, mixed with all manner of things, many toxic. It is also, in this instance, a controlled study, of a voluntary nature, in which certain agreements are made in the interests of knowledge - not purely for "fun". It is roughly analgous to those studys you can register for as a guinea pig, where you are paid varying amounts of money to test experimental (also varying in degree) drugs, which may cause substantial harm (or not).

Most drugs began in the lab and made it out to the street because there is a buck to be made off of making people "high". That shouldn't necessarily color the inherent value of that drug to any number of legitimate applications.
 

Peterkro

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MDMA dangerous, not really, are you aware of how often its used and what the fatalities are. For example the best estimate for the UK is 4million per week(out of 55 million). Number of fatalities miniscule. Your more likely to die falling out of your SUV whilst trying to deliver your kids to school.Impurities, yes a problem, answer free testing at venues(a la Netherlands or to a certain extent UK) education about possible problems. Get used to it people take drugs, try and make it as safe as possible.
 

wdlove

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This is an update on the study. We are getting very close to the study actually starting.

The Drug Enforcement Agency still must approve the experiment, and Harvard officials said they expected to hear from the agency within weeks.
They are try to find a good use for the drug. I have seen the effects on patients of drugs to alleviate their pain. A quality of life is very important.
 

Mechcozmo

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If this helps the patients, then great.

If this allows the patients families to abuse the drug, then boo.

I think that is the distilled version of my opinion. I really do wish the best for these terminally ill, and I don't want to see them in pain. But if that means that society will take a turn for the worst, then I'd hope it doesn't go forward.
 

blackfox

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Mechcozmo said:
...SNIP...
If this allows the patients families to abuse the drug, then boo.
...SNIP
Look, I don't want to come off as overly contentious with regards to your position (as I have already quoted you twice), but how do you possibly see that (what I quoted above) happening?

This is a controlled study on terminally ill patients. How do you bring the possibility of abuse by the families? Are you saying they might steal the medication from their dying family member? Or are you saying, if beneficial to loved ones, that these family members may conclude that Ectasy must be really good, so they better run and and get some?

If so, you are a very cynical man.

Again, I mean no disrespect to your opinion, I just don't understand you logic.
 

maxterpiece

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a little off topic, but we finally get the "free i*p*o*d" ads off with this thread! (I put stars in the quote so google wouldn't see the word I typed).

Back on topic -
Having been through an experience when my mom was in palliative care, I can tell you that tranqing someone up is pretty much the same thing from the patient perspective as euthanizing. the main difference is from the doc's perspective - s/he shouldn't have the responsibility to "kill" a patient. You tranq them up so they hopefully can't feel, but they also can't move, speak... anything. If ecstacy could have taken my mom out of pain and allowed her to LIVE for the last couple of weeks of her life then it is infinitely better than the pain meds they gave her then.
 

Mechcozmo

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blackfox said:
Look, I don't want to come off as overly contentious with regards to your position (as I have already quoted you twice), but how do you possibly see that (what I quoted above) happening?
I just have a strong position, its fine. Explanation below...

blackfox said:
This is a controlled study on terminally ill patients. How do you bring the possibility of abuse by the families? Are you saying they might steal the medication from their dying family member? Or are you saying, if beneficial to loved ones, that these family members may conclude that Ectasy must be really good, so they better run and and get some?
If this study ends up allowing MDMA to be used. Not in just this trial, but in the future. If used in the future, it could be bad. Because then there is less restriction on it, and therefore easier to get to.

blackfox said:
Again, I mean no disrespect to your opinion, I just don't understand you logic.
Its that if MDMA, in the future, (after this trial) will be easier to get to because it will be less-restricted. Schedule II instead of Schedule I. Hard to get to but easier than now.
It it is illegal now, then it should only stay that way and become harder to get to because it has little benefits. I think that this trial should go through but not any further.
 

wdlove

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maxterpiece said:
Having been through an experience when my mom was in palliative care, I can tell you that tranqing someone up is pretty much the same thing from the patient perspective as euthanizing. the main difference is from the doc's perspective - s/he shouldn't have the responsibility to "kill" a patient. You tranq them up so they hopefully can't feel, but they also can't move, speak... anything. If ecstasy could have taken my mom out of pain and allowed her to LIVE for the last couple of weeks of her life then it is infinitely better than the pain meds they gave her then.
I'm sorry to hear about you Mom. At least you should have comfort that your Mom was comfortable at the end. I consider that to be important, some patients aren't so lucky, it depends on the comfort level of the physician. Anything that can relieve the pain and allow the patient to also be alert will be a big step forward.
 

poopyhead

macrumors 6502a
Mechcozmo said:
I just have a strong position, its fine. Explanation below...



If this study ends up allowing MDMA to be used. Not in just this trial, but in the future. If used in the future, it could be bad. Because then there is less restriction on it, and therefore easier to get to.


Its that if MDMA, in the future, (after this trial) will be easier to get to because it will be less-restricted. Schedule II instead of Schedule I. Hard to get to but easier than now.
It it is illegal now, then it should only stay that way and become harder to get to because it has little benefits. I think that this trial should go through but not any further.
how do you know it has few beneifts

From personal experience it has many benefits
have you ever dealt with reliving being raped or molested night after night, having flasbacks of being raped every time you see a kid the same age as you when the abuse started on you
or simply having the smell of a certain cologne or food bring back memories of being sodomized by a family member
been unable to listen to the radio for fear of hearing the song that was playing on the radio while you were being molested
these are real things that many people with post traumatic stress syndrome go through on a daily baisis
they fear the mundane due to thoughts and memories they cannot control
MDMA has been proven to treat PTSD effectively
this means that people once afraid to face the world are able to live again
I treated people who had PTSD with MDMA
I was treated with MDMA
it does wonders and is a wonderful drug when used appropriately
stop beleiving all of the government hype and do some research on the drug itself and its many potential benefits
 

Mechcozmo

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poopyhead said:
From personal experience it has many benefits
have you ever dealt with reliving being raped or molested night after night, having flasbacks of being raped every time you see a kid the same age as you when the abuse started on you
or simply having the smell of a certain cologne or food bring back memories of being sodomized by a family member
been unable to listen to the radio for fear of hearing the song that was playing on the radio while you were being molested
these are real things that many people with post traumatic stress syndrome go through on a daily baisis
they fear the mundane due to thoughts and memories they cannot control
MDMA has been proven to treat PTSD effectively
this means that people once afraid to face the world are able to live again
I treated people who had PTSD with MDMA
I was treated with MDMA
it does wonders and is a wonderful drug when used appropriately
stop beleiving all of the government hype and do some research on the drug itself and its many potential benefits
Sorry to hear what you (at least, I presume you are talking about yourself) went through. I do not believe in "government hype" and I actually see your point of view-- it works, we need it, why not use it. But I just look at the people around me and wonder about the people who have PTSD because of the drug. The people around me who live in another world. The people around me killing themselves.
Used appropriately is the most over hyped phrase. That is what was said about cocaine. About serevent. About pretty much every drug that is now BANNED in the United States.
My experience with drug companies isn't a good one. Thus "used appropriately" is something I don't laugh at because it means someone will die. And when you die, you don't just die-- your children, and your children's children, are dead. they didn't have a chance at life and now they are effectively murdered as well.
 

Demon Hunter

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Does the drug work by introducing serotonin into the system, or by increasing the body's production of it? Any relation to the SRI's used to treat depression? (serotonin reuptake inhibitors) :confused:

Amazed at the thoughtful comments here...
 

poopyhead

macrumors 6502a
dferrara said:
Does the drug work by introducing serotonin into the system, or by increasing the body's production of it? Any relation to the SRI's used to treat depression? (serotonin reuptake inhibitors) :confused:

Amazed at the thoughtful comments here...
unlike a selective seritonine reuptake inhibitor or a selective seretonine noroeprimine reuptake inhibitor which slows the reuptake of serotonine thus leaving more active serotonine in the synapse MDMA causes neurons to dump serotonine but does not affect reuptake. Often people who use ectasy suffer from mild to moderate depression on the following day or two because the body isnt able to quickly produce enough serotonine to replace the large amounts of serotonine dumped while on the drug. MDMA does not cause the body to produce more serotonine.
 

poopyhead

macrumors 6502a
Mechcozmo said:
Sorry to hear what you (at least, I presume you are talking about yourself) went through. I do not believe in "government hype" and I actually see your point of view-- it works, we need it, why not use it. But I just look at the people around me and wonder about the people who have PTSD because of the drug. The people around me who live in another world. The people around me killing themselves.
Used appropriately is the most over hyped phrase. That is what was said about cocaine. About serevent. About pretty much every drug that is now BANNED in the United States.
My experience with drug companies isn't a good one. Thus "used appropriately" is something I don't laugh at because it means someone will die. And when you die, you don't just die-- your children, and your children's children, are dead. they didn't have a chance at life and now they are effectively murdered as well.
no one gets ptsd from the drug
the drug effectively treats ptsd
i was talking about the stories I have heard from my friends
but yes some of it does apply to me as well

so taking people out of the gene pool is morally the same as killing all of their potential offspring

im guessing you are against contraception as well
 

Mechcozmo

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poopyhead said:
no one gets ptsd from the drug
the drug effectively treats ptsd
[/QUOTE
Yes, they can. They overdose or have a "bad trip" or they end up in the emergency room or (fill in the blank). You can get PTSD from an experience such as that, and the drug may have caused it.


poopyhead said:
so taking people out of the gene pool is morally the same as killing all of their potential offspring

im guessing you are against contraception as well
Yes, actually, because you kill someone and all of their children are gone. What would their children have done? If your parents had been killed, wouldn't you have also ceased to have a chance of existing? Your parents murdered means that you would have been murdered before you even got to live.
I'm not against contraception. Sperm are about 300,000 to 1 egg. It is a shotgun effect. It may work or it may not work. If you have a child, are you killing the 299,999 that didn't make the cut? No.
Contraception is not like murder. Murder takes what you know that could happen and destroys it forever. Contraception prevents something that could happen or not.
 
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