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WHO: It's Ethical to Try Untested Ebola Medicines

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 8:06am
CIARAN GILES, Associated Press; MARIA CHENG, Associated Press

MADRID (AP) — The World Health Organization said it's ethical to use unproven Ebola drugs and vaccines in the outbreak in West Africa provided the right conditions are met.

The U.N. agency issued the statement Tuesday after holding a teleconference with experts Monday to discuss the issue.

In the biggest-ever outbreak of Ebola, two Americans have gotten an experimental Ebola treatment never tested in humans and two more treatments were reportedly on their way to treat two Liberia doctors. The developments have raised ethical questions about whether it's right to use untested treatments in people sickened by a disease that has no licensed treatment.

WHO said Tuesday that people can ethically receive such treatments but sidestepped the questions of who should get the limited drugs and how that should be decided.

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