Ethical Issues of the Use of Human Test Subjects in Research

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Patient Rights

This paper discusses the importance of two documents in ethical issues of the use of human test subjects in research. The creation of these documents came after acquiring knowledge of unethical methods being used in human research. This also proves that people learn from past mistakes, and those mistakes will shape how the same situations could be better handled in the future. Ethical standards need to be regulated for the sake of all human civilization.

Patient Rights
Patient rights are also human rights. Every patient deserves to be treated respectfully and with every intention of helping patients improve their health. Due to past historical events, there was a need for the creation of two documents that give patients protection and rights when it comes to clinical experiments. These events were experiments that were conducted unethically and violated human rights. The names of these documents are: The Nuremberg Code and The Belmont Report. The first one that was created in the 1940’s was The Nuremberg Code which relates to the events that happened during the holocaust. Nazi physicians were responsible for performing malicious experiments on prisoners in the concentration camps. The Belmont Report was created later after the discovery of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. In this study, which was conducted from 1930-1972, African American men were deceived into thinking they were being treated for syphilis when they actually were not. Even after the discovery that penicillin was an effective treatment for this disease, many men were still left untreated and left to die unnecessarily.

The “Doctors’ Trial” was one of the main trials conducted after World War II in Nuremberg, Germany. This was an international trial made up of judges from the United States, Britain, France, and the former Soviet Union. This trial involved 23 defendants, 20 of them being physicians, all accused of torturing and murdering prisoners in...
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