Guatemalan and Tuskegee Syphilis Case

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Kevin Lee Ethical Issues in Science Mr. Getz Two incredibly unethical experiments were conducted by the same government research group. The Guatemalan and Tuskegee syphilis studies failed to conduct their research in an ethical manner. Both studies used populations susceptible to manipulation due to their illness or socioeconomic condition. Furthermore, the scientists forced inmates and mental patients to take part of their unethical experiment. I believe the Guatemalan case is drastically worse compared to the syphilis case. The participants in the Guatemalan study had all their civil liberties stripped away and are treated merely as lab rats. I can come to understand why the scientists have failed to treat imprisoned delinquents and mental patients as human beings. However, there is no exception for the unethical experiments conducted on the participants. The participants were forcefully exposed to the syphilis virus. Scientists “had bacteria poured on scrapes made on their genitals, arms or faces” without consent. The extreme violation of civil liberties in the Guatemalan Syphilis case is unacceptable and morally unjustified. The Guatemalan syphilis study violates many of the carefully premeditated guidelines set by the Belmont report. The Belmont report consists of ethical principles and guidelines that should assist scientists in resolving ethical issues when involving a human test subject in an experiment. Right off the bat the Guatemalan Syphilis study fails to follow the three ethical principles, which are Respect for Persons, beneficence and justice. Furthermore, they continue to violate the guidelines of the Belmont report when they dismiss all the principles, in part C, analogous to the conduct of research. Different ethical approaches can determine whether the Guatemalan syphilis study was immoral or not. The rights approach certainly

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