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Testing Limits: Preventing Past Mistakes From Becoming The Future

1116 words - 5 pages

Advancements in medical technology can be associated in great part to human experimentation. It is widely known that medicine created for humans, in order to be proven effective, must undergo human clinical trials. When this form of experimentation is voluntary it benefits all of humanity. It just so happens that unfortunately, sometimes volunteers are misinformed of the dangers of the trial or are tested without their knowledge. This world wide issue has been attempted to be remedied through laws and regulations, but loopholes can still be found within them. Time has proved to the world that these laws are simply not enough. Stricter laws should be enacted to prevent the world's history of unethical human experimentation from repeating itself.
It is easy to forget just how serious is the issue of unethical human experimentation: most of the world lives in blissful ignorance of the tragedy of this practice or feel protected by the regulations put in place by state governments. Issues of human experimentation are usually glossed over or hidden. Covering up the issue, regulations, and public misinformation leads the majority to believe that corrupt human experimentation is no longer a danger. The reality of the matter is that immoral human testing happens in many countries, even those that are well developed medically. (Stobbe) In order to find wherein the problem lies, it is best to look at one of the most improbable places, the United States of America.
The land of the free is probably thought to be the least likely place to find malpractice when it comes to the well being of its citizens, but the United State's history proves that it can be a hotbed of unethical testing. The dawn of human experimentation for the United States began in the 1940's and lasted until the 1960's. There were little regulations when it came to human testing and the practice of medical research was still fairly new. Combined, these two factors led to many horrific incidents in the medical field of research. These incidents included many notable examples such as the Holmesburg Prison experiment and the Guatemalan syphilis study. During the time those trials had taken place, they were seen as necessary and appropriate because the tests were carried out against minority groups such as the mentally ill, African Americans, and the impoverished. (Stobbe)
Recently the Guatemalan syphilis study has been resurfaced. Five survivors of the trials have recently come forth to be examined for any latent effect of the trials. This reappearance has evoked a new public interest in the issue. More information on the trials has been revealed, Anita Allen of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical issues stated that "The researchers put their own medical advancement first and human decency a far second.”
The idea of the research being unusually cruel is becoming more popular since the trials reemergence. Perhaps some of the most shocking aspects of the syphilis trials is the...

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