The researcher of this paper tends to maintain that human beings can be treated as means provided that the experimentations par with the ethical perceptions and medical research law and practice although there are arguments for and against. …
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This paper begins with the purpose of medical researches that is to invent new medicines for addressing ailments. If such medicines are tested in animals, we may fail to accurately predict the exact repercussions of such medicines on human beings. It is not sure that all medicines that work on animals should work on human beings. Moreover, a positive dimension of this is that it reduces the unethical treatment of animals in the name of medical research. For, human beings and other animals have equal importance in this world. Therefore, an experiment for the betterment of his race must be done on himself. One may say that all experimentations carried on in medical field intend the common good of the mankind and hence there is no problem in taking a few as the means to reach the end. However, humanitarians are always against treating man as means. The exponents who argue that man must only be treated as an end may put forward the following arguments. If a person participates in a new drug application trial, his primary reason can be that he gets an opportunity to get extra money. He believes that the doctor will do his/her part well and no harm will be caused to him. In fact, if that person meets with any serious disaster during the trial, no one will be responsible since the individual has taken the decision at his own discretion. Therefore, it is not ethical to deploy human beings for such dangerous experiments. The reason lies with the fact that a physician always tries to save one’s life by all means whereas, a researcher tries to generate knowledge experimenting with the patients. (Boomgaarden & Louhiala, 2003, p. 101). Evidently, the subject’s life is put in danger. At this juncture, the ethical perception of a researcher is set in dispute. For, the researcher will not act as a physician but only a researcher; and nobody will be found responsible for a damage caused to the human life underwent experimentation (ibid). In addition, since man is superior to all, his security and wellbeing must be given prime consideration. If samples of trial medicines are first tested on animals there is a privilege of identifying the likely bad effects on man. Hence, potential risks against the subjects can be eliminated that way. In the same way, it is highly unethical to use captivated person, mentally retarded persons and persons who are regarded as less worthy as subjects without their consent. For example, the Nazi experiments conducted in Concentration Camps during Second World War (Standler, 2000). It must be noted that, as an individual, the doctor cannot take any measure or try any course of action without the assent of the person captivated or compelled to undergo experimentation. Moreover, due to the application of the untested medicines the survivor is likely to give in for other kinds of ailments though he is not directly affected by the experiment shortly (ibid). On the other hand, it is not always possible to use man as end due to a number of constraints. Therefore, according to this opinion, man must be used as means as well. Such trials are usually conducted on relatively small number of healthy volunteers.
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