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What Price Knowledge. En Experimentation On Humans

831 words - 4 pages

Human BehaviorWhat Price KnowledgeI feel there is a definite need for knowledge in todays society, butthere is also a definite point when it has gone too far. It has gone too farby conducting experiments on people without letting them know theconsequences and side effects that will place upon them. It has alsoreached an extreme when the person becomes physically or mentallyimpaired after the experiments . I see this treatment as both immoraland unethical; there is no reason to harm a normally healthy person for someadvancement in scientific knowledge .In doing research for this paper I have found many examples wherehumans were used as 'guinea pigs' or killed. One example of thismisconduct was in 1959 it was a common practice for drug companies toprovide samples of experimental drugs, to physicians, who were then paid togather data on their patients taking the drugs. Physicians throughout thecountry prescribed there drugs to patients without their knowledge or consentas part ...view middle of the document...

Therevealing of the experiment served to make both officials and the Board ofRegents of the University of the State of New York, aware of theshortcomings of procedures in place to protect human subjects. They werefurther concerned over the public's reaction to revealing of the research andthe impact it would have on research generally and the institutions inparticular. After a review the Board of Regents disapproved the researchers.They suspended the licenses of Dr.'s Mandel and Southam, but since delayedthe suspension and placed the physicians on probation for one year.Another example took place during World War II. The new field ofradiation science was at the center of one of the most ambitious andconcealed research efforts the world has known Human radiationexperiments. They were undertaken in secret to help understand radiationrisks to workers engaged in the development of the atomic bomb. Followingthe war, the new Atomic Energy Commission used facilities to make theatomic bomb to produce radioisotopes for medical research and otherpeacetime uses. This highly publicized program provided the radioisotopesthat were used in thousands of human experiments conducted in researchplants throughout the country. The Government didn't really know if anythinghappened to the patients until the Advisory Committee did studies involvingchildren that had exposures to radioisotope that were associated withincreases in the possible lifetime risk for developing thyroid cancer thatwould be considered unacceptable today. The Advisory Committee alsoidentified several studies in which patients died soon after receiving externalradiation or radioisotope portions in the healing range that were associatedwith radiation effects.In these cases which I have researched, many committees haveimplemented to set a standard set of rules and requirements to keep humanexperimentation under control. This process is something I agree with and Iwould have liked to see developed some time ago. Having looked over theexamples above I can not get over what the government and researchers didto these innocent people in the past. I think the government and theresearchers should compensate the population that was tested in some form,be it money, apologies, etc..

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