There have been a number of issues however that have been raised when dealing with medical experimentation especially when the test subjects are human beings. This has to do with medical ethics and the right of going about seeking test subjects as well as the process of the experiments themselves. One of these issues is the matter of using prisoners to conduct medical experiments on various diseases such as AIDS and Hepatitis C when seeking cures.
The argument behind the use of prisoners for the conducting of medical experiments in these areas is the fact that there is a higher prevalence of these diseases in the prison populations as compared to other groups and thus it is generally a convenient approach whilst seeking test subjects (Epstein, 2009, pg38). However, it has to be considered whether it is right to use prisoners as guinea pigs for medical experiments, or is it a type of discrimination on the part of the medical researchers (Tauber, 2005, pg18). This subject can be said to have both pros and cons when put into, and the issue is if the pros outweigh the cons considerably enough to win the day.
There are a number of advantages to be considered by using prisoners as test subjects for new drugs to combat these diseases. These advantages have to do with the situation at hand and the potential positive outcome should the drugs be successful. They include:
Situational advantage – Prisoners are in a position where they reside in a controlled environment and thus this would make it easier for researchers to ensure that the test subjects are placed in a conducive environment for the conduction of the research (Lakhan et al, 2009, pg 12). For example, this is to say if the subject is not supposed to take any alcohol during the test period, this would not be a problem as they have no access to any liquor. Since the test subjects are all located in one area for the entirety of the test period, observation also becomes a simpler process as ...
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