Conflict Between Research and Ethics:

I think that I would have to personally review any experiments conducted by that person, to assure myself that they did not contain the same types of ethical flaws. Furthermore, I would report the person to their appropriate governing body, so that they would at least be aware of the potential ethical problems that could be created by the researcher. If I were to enter into management and discover that one of the studies under me was being conducted in a manner like the Tuskegee study, I would not immediately end the study.

Instead, I would order that all study subjects be given effective medication to treat their disease and then end the study. One ethical question that I cannot answer is whether I would inform the patients that they had been subjected to years of useless treatments and then try to convince them that I was going to give them something that really works, or whether I would simply have them take an effective treatment as part of the ongoing study, and then order the studys termination.

Needless to say, I would report the doctors involved to the appropriate ethics committees. Moreover, I think I would actually attempt to have them prosecuted for fraud, for using lies to induce the subjects to enter into and stay in the study, and for assault, for putting the patients through needless rounds of unnecessary medical tests.

References

Brunner, B. (2008). The Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Retrieved November 5, 2008 from Tuskegee University

Web site: http://www.tuskegee.edu/Global/Story.asp?s=1207586

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). U.S. Public Health Service syphilis study at Tuskegee: Home. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from Centers for Disease Control

Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/index.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). U.S. Public Health Service syphilis study at Tuskegee: Timeline. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from Centers for Disease Control

Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/timeline.htm

Office of Research Support. (2006). Ethical principles (the Belmont report). Retrieved November 5, 2008, from Duke.

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