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SOAN 2120 Lecture Notes - Nuremberg Code, Syphilis, Clinical Trial

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

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Lecture Notes Mon. Mar. 4th 2013
The Ethics and Politics of Social Research
Ethical & political consideration
-ethical considerations
-not always apparent to us
-norms that describe what’s ethical and what’s not
-political considerations
-subtle, ambiguous, arguable
-political norms
-e.g. use of stems cells in research (ethical and political)
History of research ethics
1. nuremberg code
-10 items
-from the Nazi war crimes
-“the voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential”
2. thalidomide (1950’s)
-not relate to an experiment so to speak, a medical drug
-approved as a sedative in Europe (1950’s)
-drug prescribed to control sleep and nausea throughout pregnancy
-found to cause severe deformities in the fetus
-many patients did not know it was not approved by the FDA nor did they give
informed consent, 12 000 babies were born with severe deformities
-did not effect mental capacities, affected limbs
-doctors etc. that should have known better were prescribing this drug to ppl
3. declaration of Helsinki (1964)
-world medical associations declaration of Helsinki replaces the Nuremburg code
-research with humans should be based on the results from laboratory and animal
-research protocols should be reviewed by an independent committee prior to
-informed consent form research participants in necessary
-risks should not exceed benefits
4. tuskagee syphilis study (1932-1974)
-started as a US public health project
-600 low-income African American males, 400 of whom were infected with
-“free medical examinations” promised to them and families but not told about
having syphilis study (did not know the true study project)
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