Bioethics: CIA Vaccine Ruse
Interview: Eric Meslin, PhD, Director, IU Center for Bioethics
Steven Jay, MD, professor of medicine and public health
IU School of Medicine
Earlier this summer, in the wake of the Osama bin Laden killing, there were reports in the British paper The Guardian that the CIA organized a fake vaccination program in several Pakistani towns around where bin Laden was believed to be living -- in hopes of gathering DNA from some of his relatives.
That DNA would then be used to confirm his identity, after the raid in early May.
Now, reports about this operation are sketchy, and the CIA didnít confirm anything.
But the story left us considering the ethical and public health implications of a program such as this, even when it is part of a successful operation that much of the world supports, such as the killing of bin Laden.
Today we put the issue to experts in bioethics and public health.
We talk with Eric Meslin, PhD, who prior to leading the IU Center for Bioethics, worked as a bioethicist in the Clinton administration.
We also hear from Stephen Jay, MD, professor of medicine and public health, who has worked for years in the field of public health policy.