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Crimes by Government in Medical Experiments, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 636

Essay

Medical experimentation has been under critical examination with regard to the ethics behind the use of human subjects in the course of research. In many occasions, researchers have opted to conduct radiation experiments for example in majority of the government agencies as well as the military in which case human beings have been used as the subjects of experiment. The government and the researchers choose ordinary citizens most of whom are the poor, retarded children, personnel in nuclear facilities, among other vulnerable groups. In the course of the experiments, the victims are never accorded the necessary dignity required of human beings and are only treated as laboratory animals. These are acts of heinous crimes in the medical profession that depicts denial of the human dignity (Shamoo & Irving, 1993).

The victims are not even informed about the consequences or potential risks that are associated with their participation in the experiments. It is an ill advised procedure to ignore the rights of the participants to be given their respectively informed consent for the purpose of participation in the medical experiments. The right procedure ought to account that the participants should be informed prior to the research, the purposes, the potential benefits as well as the risks that might be associated with their participation. In these kinds of experiments, it is an ethical requirement that all the participants are made aware of the ethical standards that are associated with the process of the procedures of the research (Brady & Jonsen, 1982).

These issue are never taken in to consideration and there has been no record of any government researcher who has ever been prosecuted in connection with carrying out research using human beings as the subjects. Further to this, there are no records of compensations to the victims of these experiments or even at least any form of acknowledgement towards their role in the experiments. Other researchers have made use of prisoners in their medical experimentation and this is considering them to be cheaper relative to chimpanzees. In case the result of their trial turns out to be unfavorable, this is never noticed and in case it is noted, then the researchers care less (Harkness, Lederer & Wikler, 2001).

The moral judgment associated with the ethical principles has been a contentious issue coupled with the need of holding the government officials as well as the medical researchers responsible for their ill actions of failing to offer substantial protection to the human subjects used in experiments. Any experiment involving human subjects is supposed to stick to some basic principles so that the moral dignity of the human being is not violated. It is the duty of the researcher to appreciate the fact that the human subject is exposed to similar chances as those ones accorded to any patient in consideration of a standard therapy. The selection of human subjects should also be done in an equitable manner (Barenblatt, 2003).  Vulnerable populations should not be the target and the use of money to induce the participants is also an unethical act. The participants chosen should be given an informed consent. This is achieved through providing them with an appropriate document that gives a detailed account of the procedures, potential benefits as well as associated risk of participation in the experiment. The researcher should also put in to account that provision of informed consent is not a shield against observing ethical obligations in the course of the experiment.

References

Barenblatt, D., (2003). A Plague upon Humanity. London: HarperCollins.

Brady, J. & Jonsen, A., (1982). “The Evolution of Regulatory Influences in Human Subjects Researc “. NY: Plenum Press.

Harkness, J., Lederer, S. & Wikler, D. (2001). “Laying ethical foundations for clinical research” Bulletin of World Health Organization 79 (4): 365–366.

Shamoo, A. & Irving, D. (1993). “Accountability in research using persons with mental illness”. Accountability in Research 3 (1): 1–17.

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