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Experimental Drug Use to Combat Ebola: Ethicist Available to Discuss Use of ZMapp and Public Health Measures

Released: 12-Aug-2014 12:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Georgia State University
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In light of the World Health Organization giving its nod to administration of experimental drugs like ZMapp to combat Ebola, Leslie Wolf, professor of law at Georgia State University is available to discuss experimental drug use, public health measures, and the virus’ comparison to HIV.

Wolf is the director of the top 10 ranked Center for Law, Health & Society program at the College of Law at Georgia State. She has taught and conducted research regarding the use of public health measures to control infection, bringing both a legal and an ethical perspective. While a member of the CDC’s Ethics Subcommittee to the Advisory Committee to the Director, she served on the Travel Restrictions working group, providing input to the CDC on travel restrictions like those being imposed in West Africa.

Her practical experience reviewing research protocols includes applications for compassionate use like the use of ZMapp in the two American health care workers recently repatriated to the United States. She can comment on the legal and ethical issues regarding this particular use of experimental drugs and the drug development system, and the particular ethical challenges posed by the international nature of the epidemic. Wolf spent nine years with the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and has continued to teach HIV/AIDS and the Law and to conduct research related to HIV.

Wolf says the fear of a deadly, serious infection is provoking responses, in some cases, that are not justified by the mode of transmission. “We have seen stigmatization in parts of West Africa and fear that is, sometimes, facilitating spread of the disease. Accurate information, and use of tried and true public health measures, is essential to combating the current epidemic.”

Wolf received her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She holds an A.B. from Stanford University and an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

For more information about Wolf, including links to her publications, visit http://law.gsu.edu/profile/leslie-e-wolf/.

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