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Essay: Flowers Of Algeron, Was It An Ethical Experiment

1702 words - 7 pages

Flowers For AlgeronEssay: Was this an ethical experiment?The experiment performed in Charlie Gordon is not an ethical experiment and this is seen in the text Flowers For Algeron. An ethical experiment is defined in The World Book Dictionary and Ethical Intersections: Health Research, Methods and Researcher Responsibility , as an operation for the purpose of discovering something unknown using morally acceptable methods of data collection and analysis. Morally acceptable methods are defined as research carefully planned to avoid the possibility of inflicting harm or, where this possible, any possible harm should be carefully explained and justified. Charlie Gordon is a mental handicap who underwent a neurological operation which tripled his IQ within a short period of time. However, as a consequence of the operation, his IQ deteriorated at the same rate it had risen. The experiment performed on Charlie Gordon is not an ethical experiment because Charlie, in light of the text, did not fully understand the whole package about he experiment such as the consequences and was not given a consultant to explain to him. Although, he had voluntarily accepted the experiment, his competence which includes maturity and responsibility should not have been readily accepted as that of a normal adult and he did not know the full information about the experiment. ane ethical experiment is thought to be one in which the costs are equal to the benefits. The costs of the experiment in regards to Charlie's health outweigh the benefits.In light of the text, Charlie Gordon did not fully comprehend what the experiment was about and what was involved such as the risks or benefits. Form the text, all the readers knows, the that the experiment could make him smarter. Throughout the beginning of the experiment, Charlie did not understand what was happening to and around him such as the Rosarch tests, races with Algeron and listening to televisions at night. Because of the fact that Charlie is a mental handicap , he should have been given a consultant to explain to him about he whole experiment in order for him to understand. However, this did not happen. Although, we can assume that Miss Kinnain or the tow conductors of the experiment, Doctor Strauss and Doctor Nemur to undertake the role of a consultant to Charlie. However from reference book, Ethical Intersections: Health Research, Methods and Researcher Responsibility, 'Patients, in particular, are trusting of medical researchers and will volunteer for experiments, drug trials and innovative treatment without understanding the possible impact of a study on their lives. They need the protection of people who have no investments in the research'. Therefore, one cannot accept Miss Kinnain or the conductors of the experiment as being Charlie's consultants. Because of a lack of understanding in the experiment and profound trust in the two conductors of the experiment, Doctor Strauss and Doctor Nemur, it is possible that Charlie...

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