An examination of ethical issues raised in the pretreatment of normal volunteer granulocyte donors with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor

Emily E. Volk, Ronald Domen, Martin L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. - To explore some of the ethical issues surrounding the administration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to healthy individuals for the purpose of retrieval of granulocytes. Design. - Review of the historical precedent of drug administration to normal blood donors and review of the literature concerning the side effects of G-CSF administration to healthy individuals, particularly as related to granulocyte collection. We identify and discuss some of the ethical questions regarding this issue. Results. - Although the short-term side effects of G-CSF use in normal donors are generally felt to be benign, little is known about the long-term side effects. Ethical questions regarding the administration of this drug to normal donors for the purpose of collecting large numbers of granulocytes include the following: Does the potential benefit to a patient/recipient justify the unknown risks to the medicated granulocyte donor? Who should act as an advocate for donors so that their best interests are protected? What is the role and quality of informed consent for donors undergoing G-CSF administration? Is monetary compensation appropriate for donors administered G-CSF as part of a research protocol? Conclusions. - We recommend the establishment of a donor registry to collect the needed data on the side effects of G-CSF on normal donors. Until adequate data are collected, the use of G-CSF and similar agents in normal donors should be regarded as experimental and subject to review by institutional review boards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-513
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Volume123
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 10 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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