Clinical Trials: A Kantian and Utilitarian Point of View Essay

965 Words 4 Pages
The first article is entitled “of mice but not men: problems of randomized clinical trials,” is written by Samuel Hellman and Deborah S. Hellman discusses the issues of randomized medical testing and experiments on patients. The article describes the role of the personal physician and how the physician can take an ethical or unethical path of treating his/her patients. The relationship between the patient and physician is greatly emphasized because according to the article trust is very valuable in medicine especially when a patient’s life is at risk. A Kantian and a Utilitarian view of randomized clinical trials are debated but the authors clearly steers towards a Kantian point of view.
The author explains how randomized clinical trials put physicians in ethically intolerable positions of choosing between the good of the patient and that of society. A kantian argument is formed when the author explains how the physician has the duty to tell the truth and not use the patient as a mere means to satisfy the needs of a majority. The well being of the patient is far more important than that of the society when it comes to treatment by personal physician, the Author suggests that there should be alternatives to randomized clinical trials to deal with observer bias and patient selection. The overall message of the article stresses the importance of a patient’s well being over the well being of a society because the physician has the duty to help the patient improve his/her…