Originally Posted by valanhb
The sad thing is that juries don't even have to listen to the facts. A jury awarded a widow $250 million because her husband was taking Vioxx when he died. He died from a heart arrhythmia (sp?), which has not even been tied to the drug. But hey, it doesn't matter...she's grieving so someone should pay her, apparently.
You can't blame the judge for that one.
Good point, Heidi!! Juries are really "loose cannons" sometimes, and can be persuaded by emotions more than logic.
As for smoking, since I was a child, I knew that smoking killed. Not only did I read the warning labels on the sides of the package, but my mother would point out to us kids when someone we knew developed emphysema or lung cancer, that it was caused by the smoking. Back then, she even insisted that 2nd hand smoke was a big culprit in lung problems for the rest of the families- and she has only an 8th grade education!!
Where does personal culpability start????
With the Vioxx issue, I think that the allegations that Merck suppressed the degree of dangers associated with taking it, is what people have a right to be angry about.
My daughter has left-brain damage from the old DPT immunization, she had a bad reaction to the 2nd dose, and I did delay getting the 3rd shot, but allowed my reservations to be overridden by discussions with a pediatrician and then with a doctor & nurse practioner who administered the last shot. They provided me with not only the usu. pamphlets, but additional informational leaflets that indicated that the risks were much lower than they actually were. My daughter's injury was permanent & severe, and left her immune system compromised, which greatly increased the likelihood that she would sustain damage from Western Equine Encephalitis, which she did.
After Sen. Ted Kennedy spearheaded the effort for the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act, I found out that at the time my daughter was given her vaccines, the old DPT was already banned in Japan & France, that warnings had been issued in UK, and Lederle laboratories already had the patent for the less profitable shot now currently used, the DTp. Who is at fault for my daughter's injury? Me? The drug company who had suppressed the vital info. AND prohibited the safer vaccine from being available?? (At the time, my husband was a United Mineworker, and our insurance would have covered the medical costs). Ultimately, I blame myself, because I should have listened to my "maternal instincts", and listened to the nurse practioner who warned me after the 2nd shot,not the get the 3rd, and my veterinarian who said the same thing (he & his wife were personal friends - I don't usu. get 2nd opinions from the vet about my children, although maybe that's not such a bad idea).
As a member of the public, we really do trust the FDA and I feel that it is their job to be trustworthy! The question is, did the FDA know more, and suppressed the info., as some of their former employees allege, or did Merck hide the info? Does the FDA need to do more independent studying on their own - would the taxpayers be willing to fund that?And would the Vioxx takers have died of the same causes anyway? Being in constant pain can cause overall general health to decline, too....so many questions...