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Medical Ethics and Informed Consent
Pages 3 (753 words)
Your F. Name Professor Name Course 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…
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. ...
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