Should Death Row Inmates Be Used as Test Subjects?

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Should death row inmates be used as test subjects? Half a century after the death of Adolf Hitler, the world has not forgotten him and his Nazi army. We still cringe at their crimes against the human race, especially their prisoners. We tremble remembering how these people were put to the limit of their tolerance, and sigh with relief that there is no more such atrocities. However, in this modern world, there are still people under the threat of such sufferings: the vulnerable and marginalised death row inmates. Despite certain benefits, it is unjustifiable for pharmaceutical companies to use them as test subjects without their consent. The death penalty, by its own right, has already been reserved only for the gravest offences. To most people, the loss of one’s life is the greatest loss. The time spent waiting in jail can be counted by months, years or even decade, especially in the USA where an average prisoner stays on death row for 15 years. It is a great suffering to watch the days passing by, wondering when they will end. Is it right to couple this sufferings with more physical pain? If the complications from the medical testing are dire, the helpless people have no way to escape from this torture. No therapy will be provided to alleviate their condition. Even if the pharmaceutical company decides that treatment will be supplied, it will probably be just another form of testing “under the name of science”, and no-one really knows if the pains will be aggravated instead. Although the inmates have infringed on others’ rights or even lives, their actions do not take away their identities as human beings. Recently, EU has banned the sale of animal-tested cosmetics. Therefore, testing on prisoners does not only deprive them of their rights but also indicate that their value is lesser than that of cats and mice. Around the world, the countries with

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