Ethics: Medical Progress - Live! On CNN!

An experimental AIDS treatment tests the judgment of journalists

AIDS patients who tuned in last Thursday to Cable News Network and several other TV news shows had reason to feel excited. Reporting live from Atlanta Hospital, a CNN correspondent described an operation in progress aimed at ridding a 37-year-old man, identified only as "Tony," of AIDS by heating his blood to 108 degrees F. Heightening the drama was the presence on camera of Carl Crawford, 33, an AIDS patient who had received the same treatment four months ago and whose symptoms had apparently disappeared.

But there were some warning signals to alert the wary. First, results from the experimental procedure,...

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