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Influences in Ethical Guidelines for Research

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Describe a historical event that has shaped current guidelines and regulations for the ethical conduct of epidemiologic research with human subjects.

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Several historical events have contributed to the development of ethical guidelines pertaining to the ethical conduct of epidemiologic research. These include but are not limited to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study (1932-1972), German research on concentration camp prisoners (1939-1945), Secret U.S. research on effects of radiation on human beings (1944-1980s), Willowbrook State School research (1956-1980), Electroshock treatment research (1960-1961), and many more cases where human life and rights were disregarded in search of answers. Most people are aware of the more notorious cases of unethical behavior in research, such as exhibited in Nazi research and the Tuskegee ...

Solution Summary

Medical ethics has been formed as a direct result of inhuman treatment of individuals during research. Throughout history, atrocities against humans have been performed in the name of furthering medical research. This document looks at a case that spurred outcries for those involved in research and changed guidelines to protect humans from unethical research behavior. Almost 570 words.

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A survey conducted by Tufts University researchers and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2/02) queried medical experts who write guidelines for treating conditions like heart disease, depression and diabetes. The research found that nearly 9 out of 10 experts have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, and the ties are almost never disclosed.

Is this just a way for medical researchers to supplement bare-bones salaries?
Or does it place them in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry?
What are the ethical problems with this?
After all, if we require that researchers sever all financial ties, the field would be even less attractive than it is now. But, researchers may be unwilling or unable to bite the hand that feeds them. What do you think?

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