Human Test Subjects and the Need for Guidelines

1190 WordsJul 10, 20185 Pages
Test subjects in medical experiments have always been a controversial topic, but this argument is often only thought of when animals come in to play. What about the humans who get tested on unwillingly, or people who do not possess the capability to consent to such procedures? They are also in need of someone to look out for them. Throughout time, many governments have done extreme testing to move forward their population’s health and for what they call the greater good. Yet, more often than not, these test have no rules or regulations. A moral code has been established slowly after many of these ghastly occurrences became known. Even to this day, we still have people trying to bypass ethical codes such as the Nuremberg code and the…show more content…
For example, the British Army tested on the Irish and the natives to see the effects of mustard gas on different skin colors. The United States tested infectious diseases on the army by contaminating them via injection. None of these incidents brought upon changes in laws or regulations. Only one main research abomination caused a set of rules to be established. It was 1947; German doctors conducted experiments on the concentration camps’ population. Experiments were often deadly or highly debilitating. After the war was over, these doctors were prosecuted. These trials came to be known as the Nuremberg Trials which allowed for the Nuremberg Code to be created and enforced world-wide. This code states that any subject who participates in an experiment must give voluntary consent and that it is absolutely essential for any medical trial to continue. This was a break-through in moral codes. However, in this day and age we still manage to see researchers finding loop holes in order to bypass this code. More scrutiny of testing rules must be applied. Often trails become controversial. When these court cases reach an end, people are either very satisfied or infuriated with the ruling or settlement that was determined. In the late 1990’s, a pharmaceutical company named Pfizer conducted trails on a new experimental drug in Kano, Nigeria. The drug was intended to be an alternative treatment to
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