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Human Guinea Pigs Essay

2281 words - 10 pages

Since the beginnings of society’s division into a hierarchy of man’s importance, the bottom of the social pyramid was always those seen as lacking morals. Whether immoral qualities were synonymous with skin color or occupation, a supposed lack of moral integrity allowed for those higher in stature to impose at times grueling oppression upon the degraded. As society evolved many advances pushed for equality among the masses so that each man or woman was allowed the freedom of bias or judgment. However, no matter how advanced the human race, there is still a hierarchy and at the lowest of its levels lies prisoners. Prisoners in modern times are often seen as morally deficit and depraved monsters that deserve the worst of punishments to repent for their crimes. Consequently, since prisoners occupied the lower levels of society’s class division history suggests that they are to be subject to the oppression of their proclaimed superiors, the unchained population. The use of prisoner’s for medical research has gone from something that has been considered adequate to something that is unacceptable and inhumane.
The use of prisoner’s for medical research is absolutely cold-hearted. To force anyone to be experimented for medical research without his or her informed consent is both illegal and immoral. Medical ethics requires doctors or pharmaceutical companies to conduct their experiments with the informed consent from patients or volunteers, meaning that an individual should be fully informed about the potential harms or benefits experiments would like to bring. There's no point that such a basic moral principle could be tramped, this should be applied equally to both general public and prisoners, for the latter group although being deprived of their freedom or life, there's no justification why they also deprived the right to manage their own body. It should be a basic working ethics abide by doctors and pharmaceutical manufactures.
The Fourteenth Amendment of the United States, states that all citizens should have equal protection rights. Although prisoner's are often times deprived on their right of liberty, for death-row prisoners their right of life as well, they should not be deprived for their basic human rights, including freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom to sue the prison or government, etc. if they are being unfairly maltreated. The prison and government still have the obligation to provide them with food, clothing, and in some cases the opportunity to work and even learning. Of course we understand that for the case of death-row prisoners, debating might sound too fancy but the point here is that they should not be excluded the basic human rights as mentioned above regardless of what sentence they got. In the case of medical treatment, they should have the basic right of informed consent. One fact is that, prisoner's rights are most likely to be ignored because of the stereotype mindset that criminals don't deserve...

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