Experimentation, Research and Consent

Experimentation, Research and Consent

Traditionally, researches contribute consistently to the scientific progress and the development of researches is an essential condition of the scientific progress. It is not a secret that the development of the contemporary science heavily relies on empiric researches, which often define the future development of science. At the same time, researches are particularly important for the contemporary medicine because the introduction of new medicaments and remedies needs profound researches and testing in order to prove their effectiveness and safety for human health. However, at this point, a number of ethical questions arise. For instance, the research should inevitably involve living beings, including animals and, on the last stage of research and experiments, humans. Naturally, in such a context, the question whether medical researches are ethically justified or not arises.
On analyzing the development of the contemporary science at large and medicine in particular, it is necessary to clearly define basic principles and outcomes of the research. In the field of medicine, ethics traditionally plays an important role for the major goal of healthcare professional is not only protection of health of patients and prevention of diseases, but also they should avoid any harm the treatment can potentially cause to patients. At the same time, the progress of medicine is impossible without researches and experiments, which naturally need testing of new medicaments which can be used in the treatment of various diseases.
In such a situation, the view of medical researches may vary consistently. On the one hand, it is possible to view medical researches from the utilitarian point of view. In such a context, experiments and researches can be easily justified by the ultimate goal of the researches because they are supposed to lead to the introduction of new medicaments or new treatments which can help many people and save lives of patients suffering from various diseases (Dickman, 2000). Consequently, the involvement of animals and even humans for testing medicaments and treatment can be justified. To put it more precisely, medical researches need to have reliable data on the possible effects of medicaments. Obviously, in order to get these data, researchers need to test them. In spite of the progress of the contemporary science, scientists cannot figure out outcomes and effects of their researches and new medicaments without the involvement of living beings, i.e. animals, while before the introduction of the new medicament en mass, its testing involving a group of humans is needed to ensure the safety of the medicament (Mossman, 1997). Otherwise, there is a risk of dangerous side-effects.
On the other hand, experiments and researches involving animals or humans, or both, cannot be ethically justified because for the sake of the survival of some people the life of animals is put under a threat without their consent, while even the involvement of humans is not always includes the conscious consent, because, as a rule, people, who involved in medical experiments, are in a desperate position and ready to accept any treatment they are offered.
Thus, it is possible to conclude that researches in the field of medicine can threaten to the health and life of living beings and such experiments can be justified from utilitarian point of view, though from a humanistic point of view such experiments re unjust.


References:
Dickman, R. L. (2000, March). Bending the rules to get a medication. American Family Physician 61 (5), 1563.
Mossman, K. L. (1997). Medical testing: Issues and ethics. Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy 12 (3), 90.
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