Should a Human Life Be Sacrificed to Save Many

Topics: Human rights, Sacrifice, Morality Pages: 3 (916 words) Published: February 23, 2013
Question chosen: Do you agree that a human life can be sacrificed in the research to save many? To me, a human life is easiest to define according to the time mothers lose their right to abort their baby, which is when the foetus is 25 weeks old. As for sacrifices, it encompasses all acts that take away or use an integral part of a person’s life or body unnaturally or prematurely, regardless of the persons’ consent. My stand is that human lives should never be intentionally sacrificed, regardless of whether the subject gives his/her consent. Even if that sacrificial act can save many, it is wrong as it goes against the fundamental morals of human nature.

Firstly, scientific research is fallible; there can never be a full guarantee of success. If the results of the research fail to yield beneficial and accurate results, the high price at which the research was conducted – the sacrifice of human lives- would have been in vain. In 1915, a doctor working for the U.S. Public Health Office injected twelve Mississippi inmates with Pellagra in an attempt to discover a cure for the disease. Eventually failing at his experiment, the twelve inmates suffered through a slow and painful death during which approximately 132 methods of treatment were tested on them, none of which made any useful contribution to finding an effective cure for the disease. This also goes against articles 2, 5, 6 and 10 of the Nuremberg Code, which states that “Permissible medical experiments should yield fruitful results, and should not cause death or disabling injury. In the event that the experiment is likely to cause disabling injury or death, the process has to be halted immediately. Scientists should never value the importance of beneficial scientific results above risk.” Since there is always a margin of error in scientific research, there will always be a chance that human lives will be sacrificed in vain. Sacrificial acts, especially ones that involve something as sacred as human...
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