Essay about Should Researchers be Upheld to Universal Standards?

1017 Words 5 Pages
Offering the rarest of human conditions, third world countries have become the new proverbial Petri dish of biological experimentation. Researchers working in remote locations with impoverished populations would never be able to find in their home countries, but this only serves to highlight the problem that inherently faces all research studies, the protection and rights of research subjects. The Belmont Principles were intended to provide ethical standards that apply universally to all research subject regardless of where they were located. But is it rational to use the same applications in certain countries where an economical imbalance between what is possible and what is not can be the largest hurdle to overcome? These are key issues …show more content…
Researchers are ultimately committing the same mistake as Tuskegee argues Marcia Angell, M.D. in her article “The Ethics of Clinical Research in the Third World”, stating that it is only ethical to use placebo-controlled studies “when there is no known effective treatment” (847). The current treatment consists of lengthy follow-ups with a costly regiment of drugs, but Angell argues that despite the logistics, beneficence still applies, and the available treatment should be the standard to which all others is measured against. There is also the Belmont's guiding issue of justice, and humans are no less equal when in impoverished locations. Yet, the available treatment is being withheld, on the basis that is not an equal population due only to the context. The justification given by researchers claims that the placebo-group would not be receiving the necessary treatment anyway, so they are simply observing the natural manifestation of the infection in the mother and infant that would occur regardless of the study. Yet, if there is a shift in ethical reasoning from what is “best” to what is “local”, vulnerable populations will be open to further exploitation by researchers (848). The practice is ultimately a direct violation of the guidelines set forth by the various public and global health organizations which all require equal protection to that received in

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