Danny Taggart's Blogarama

A more-or-less daily dose of news, politics, techmology, and any random thoughts that pass through my head.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Bad reasoning by some RU-486 foes

This article is not very informative. It mentions seven deaths due to RU-486, but does not mention the overall number of people using RU-486. I don't know the numbers, but 7 deaths from potentially millions of users doesn't seem significant. The article also does not compare the death-per-use rate of RU-486 to that of other drugs on the market. All drugs are essentially a tradeoff between the illness/symptom and the risk of adverse side effects, including death. Evaluating this tradeoff is a prerequisite to evaluating the usefulness of a drug, yet this article doesn't bother with it.

The argument "let's ban the drug because it killed some people" isn't reasonable because it would also mean banning life-saving drugs which nonetheless carry some risk of death. There may be other reasons why RU-486 should be banned, but this is not a good one.