The Willowbrook Hepatitis Experiment

656 Words Mar 15th, 2012 3 Pages
“The Willowbrook Hepatitis Experiment"
CCase Study
[Author Name]

Upon doing this case study I’ve learned there are different ways to analyze this experiment. First, I will state the facts about this case. Then I will give my opinion as to weather or not I find this experiment ethical or unethical. Finally, I will give some ways that maybe this experiment could have been changed to meet ethical or unethical guidelines.

Facts: Willowbrook is a State School in Staten Island, New York. The facility was built in the 1930’s with the plan to house mentally retarded and disabled children. However, until the end of World War II it was used for injured and
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Krugman and Giles felt justified in their decision by say, “It was inevitable that susceptible children would become infected in the institution”. Meaning any child who came to Willowbrook would contract hepatitis within the first six to twelve months of being a resident at Willowbrook. By the early 70’s Willowbrook had become the topic of discussion because of their deplorable conditions and for all the abuse that had been cause by the institution to the residents.

In my opinion, I find what Krugman and Giles did very unethical. I believe Krugman and Giles didn’t care about all the children whose parent that didn’t give consent. I feel that Krugman and Giles treated these children as if they were animals, because they were mentally ill. However, that didn’t give them the right to infect healthy children to farther their research. That research should had only been done on the children who already had hepatitis. If I were one of those parents I would have never consented to the research. Krugman and Giles made those parents believe it was the only way their child would get into Willowbrook faster by consenting to the injection. To me that’s like bribery, you do this and we will accept your child here. No research justify involving healthy children without letting a parent know what is going to happen to their child if they consent, and to me Krugman and Giles did not do

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