Can you say UNETHICAL?


If you are in the mood to read about some unethical ways to treat humans, you should read Syphilis Experiment/Study in Tuskegee and Guatemala. I first heard of this same story in my Psychology class when we were talking about conducting research and experiments and I couldn’t believe what my professor was saying. I mean who would do that to another human being? According to NIH, the Tuskegee is considered unethical because the experiment was inflicting pain on the subjects, these men were also recruited without informed consent, and there was an antibiotic out which could have saved their lives, but the subject’s didn’t know about the antibiotic that will save their life. The Guatemala experiment was unethical in the same way, but it even went further. The NIH states that the Belmont principle of respect for persons states, in part, that individuals with diminished autonomy may need additional protections. These people include pregnant women, human fetus, prisoners, and children. The Guatemala did their research on prisoners. How could they do these two experiments ethically? Well to start off, they should have told the patients what they were doing, that they had an antibiotic that could save their life, that they can opt out at anytime, don’t inflict pain, and follow the three principles essential to the ethical conduct of research to humans which are respect for persons, beneficence, and justice.


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