Clinical Research Reflective Journal

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Reflective Journal: The ethical standards of working with vulnerable subjects Ethical Guidelines (a)Clinical research aims at increasing knowledge that will ultimately improve human health and develop understanding of human biology. Human subjects who participate in clinical research make it possible to secure that knowledge. In order to determine if a new drug or treatment is safe or effective, for example, it has to be tested on patient volunteers. By placing some people at risk of harm for the good of others, clinical research has the potential of exploiting patient volunteers. The purpose of ethical guidelines is thus to protect patient volunteers and to preserve the integrity of the science. The ethical guidelines in place today were primarily…show more content…
As a chaplain who works with the homeless in Philadelphia, Dr. Carl Elliott said: “These guys have no job, no home, and an illegal drug habit. You have people at their lowest state and they’ll say yes to anything.” In the notorious research scandals of the 1960s and ‘70s, the common element was exploitation. With the Tuskegee syphilis study, it was exploitation of poor black men in Alabama; with the Willowbrook hepatitis study it was exploitation of the disabled, institutionalized children; with the Holmesburg Prison experiments it was exploitation of prisoners. In each case, researchers with power took advantage of vulnerable populations, getting them to “volunteer” for studies that most people would refuse. Offering desperate people money to take risks to their health may be wrong, but nobody is being forced. No one is threatening to harm people if they refuse to become test subjects. One parallel would be factory labor. The ethical problem is not that people are bullied into working in factories — people are desperate to work there, under horrific conditions, for pennies. The ethical problem is whether it is acceptable to take advantage of their…show more content…
On an ethical level some groups are still exploited by pharmaceutical companies. Maybe more stringent laws and regulations are required? Unfortunately poor economic circumstances like poverty will always leave some level of opportunity open to “abuse”. (a) (b) trials-raises-serious-ethical-issues-u-bioethitist-says (c) (d) Arteaga CL, Osborne CK. Growth inhibition of human breast cancer cells in vitro with an antibody against the type I somatomedin receptor. Cancer Research 1989; 49:6237-41. (e) Pollak M, Costantino J, Polychronakos C, et al. Effect of tamoxifen on serum insulin-like growth factor I levels in stage I breast cancer patients. J Natl Cancer Inst

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