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Medical Ethics and Informed Consent - Assignment Example

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Medical Ethics and Informed Consent

Researchers argued that the experimentation was to help develop an immunization for hepatitis B. The ethical challenges at hand are that yes, it is evident that research needed to be done on hepatitis at that time. However, children with mental retardation already have problems enough in their lives. This is like saying that their life has no value. In some cases, the parents did not consent. Depending on the level of mental retardation, a child can thrive but to deliberately expose them to hepatitis could greatly diminish their already lowered quality of life and the children have no say in it. They are the ones to go through the pain and struggle but instead were treated as though they were already discarded bodies. For the parents that may have consented to this experiment, they were subjecting their children to something that the effects were unknown. During a type of experiment like this, it is questionable as to what informed consent even is because what are the minimum standards for subjecting a person’s life to something that could be fatal for the sake of the medical industry? It could almost be envisioned as child abuse. Neither the researchers nor the publishing journals were responsible in making their decision to infect these children. It could be argued whether or not the publication of these editorials was ethical as well. The information about the research was disclosed that the children were at a particular school and that is an issue of confidentiality. Additionally, it was an experiment conducted on human beings. No one was to know the outcome. To publish the editorials was almost an intent to show that there was controversy in the medical field and to create a media inspired uproar. Abigail Alliance vs. FDA Majority Opinion Abigail was a terminally ill patient with cancer whom had undergone chemotherapy and radiation. She also had possible access to experimental drugs that her oncologist was suggesting. Though she could have possibly had positive effects and saved her life, the drug was only available for clinical trials. By the time that she was allowed to be entered into the clinical trial program, she was too ill to make the trip to see if the drugs would work on her and she died a couple of weeks later. The Abigail Alliance was created to help expand the availability for drugs that are only available for clinical trials to also be available to patients that are terminally ill. These drugs not only could have been helpful for Abigail but for many other patients just like her that were minimally competent and would have had the ability to make the decision for themselves had the FDA not stood in their way of obtaining these drugs. The FDA, though it makes regulations about drugs in the United States, has to conduct research on these pharmaceuticals to test to ensure that they are safe. For someone that is terminally ill, it could be a method of helping to create a better quality of life or even improve their longevity. These patients were not given the right to access treatment but the FDA looks at it from the perspective of being a liability if their organization allows just anyone to take these drugs ...Show more


Your F. Name 3 November 2012 The Willowbrook Letters The issue of the research was to infect students at a school for retarded children with hepatitis as an experiment. Many editorials published this information recognizing the researcher for his line of work at the Willowbrook State School but not acknowledging that there was a possible ethic problem with this type of experiment, treating the retarded children merely as lab rats rather than as people…
Author : keenanhirthe
Medical Ethics and Informed Consent essay example
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