WASHINGTON -- The consumer watchdog group Public Citizenon Friday asked an appeals court here to reverse a federaljudge's decision not to block the military's use of unapproveddrugs without informed consent.

The judge ruled Thursday in response to a lawsuit filed byPublic Citizen on behalf of a soldier stationed in Saudi Arabiaand his wife. Public Citizen claims that the Department ofDefense's (DOD) use of experimental, unapproved drugs withoutinformed consent violates a soldier's Fifth Amendment right todue process.

The judge ruled that the courts did not have authority toreview military decisions. The drugs the DOD intends to usewithout consent are a pre-treatment to protect against theeffects of nerve agents, a vaccine against bacterial poisoningfrom biological weapons and a topical cream to protect againstblistering agents. -- Rachel Nowak

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.

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