The Price of Preemies
And other news from the techno-frontier.
Liberal spin: This cuts the scientific legs out from under what was really a political decision. Now give us the pill.
Item: The FDA will let some terminally ill people take Ecstasy.
Source: Food and Drug Administration
Gist: The FDA has approved a study to see whether Ecstasy can help terminally ill cancer patients mellow out, connect with their families, and find spiritual transcendence. Another study is testing Ecstasy on post-traumatic stress disorder. Two others are testing psilocybin ("magic mushrooms") on obsessive-compulsive disorder and terminal cancer.
Positive spin: 1) Maybe we're finally admitting it's OK to get high. 2) Psychedelic drugs and FDA-approved antidepressants affect the same parts of the brain. Why allow one but not the other?
Negative spin: The study still needs approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Good luck.
Will Saletan covers science, technology, and politics for Slate and says a lot of things that get him in trouble.