Ethical Issues in Pharmacy Research

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Ethical Issues in Pharmacy Research Reflection
There is abundant evidence showing how easy it is to exploit individuals in the history of medical research in the twentieth century. It was not until the early 1960s when the public began to take notice of the ethical neglect that researchers had for their subjects. The exposure of gross abuses in medical research generated a public furor that was finally noticed by those who administered research funding which enabled changes to policy to begin to take place such as the Declaration of Helsinki which addressed the issue of independent review of research protocols by a committee not associated with the project. It is enough to make one sick when you look at the unethical medical research that has taken place in the United States alone. In the name of “research” there has taken place many clinical experiments that have been done unethically. In the 1940s several “research” studies where done using either patients from state insane asylums or from prisons. These studies ranged from injecting patients with experimental flu vaccines to malaria and hepatitis. All of these studies were federally funded. The “Nuremberg Code” was established as a set of international rules to protect human test subjects after the prosecution of Nazi doctors in 1947. However, many American doctors ignored them, arguing that they applied to Nazi atrocities, not to research they were doing. By the 1960s, more than half of the states allowed for prisoners to be used as human guinea pigs for medical research. However, two studies would come to light in the 1960s which would turn public attitude about the use of humans in research. The first study was done at Brooklyn’s Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital in New York.1 The researchers injected cancer cells into 19 old, debilitated patients to see if their bodies would reject them. The patients were not told what they were being injected with because the researchers believed the cells harmless....
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