Unethical research is a term used to refer to research conducted in a way that violates the set standards of the same; violation of human or animal rights or simply taking advantage of individuals to get one's desired results. A good example is Nazi Research. In this research, the rights of multiple people were violated in the process. It is reported that victims of this particular research either died in the process or survived but with injuries.
The justification used by the researcher was that the victims were either way destined to die as they were criminals set for prosecution (Darton, Blohmke, Moorthy, Altmann, Hayden, Clutterbuck & Pollard, 2015). Approximately twenty children are recorded to have died at Neuengamme after they were used in research to find an immunisation drug for tuberculosis. Much as he made a difference in the medical field, his contribution does not in any seem to be enough compensation for the twenty lives lost prematurely.
The research method used in this particular research was qualitative. As a measure of life twenty is a big number but as a representation of the whole population, it is easy to conclude that it was just a sample of the entire community.
This particular research is considered unethical because it cost the lives of individuals, something that cannot be replaced once gone (Artal & Rubenfeld, 2017). The nature of the victims worsens the situation in that they were mere children; this means they were not mature enough to decide for themselves. Therefore, their consent was not sought.
The fact that they were in a concentration camp brings out the fact that they were likely disadvantaged children; homeless and without family to take care of them. This confirms that they did not have much of choice on whether or not they wanted to participate in the experiment. This is an evidence of coercion (Darton). The children were likely not well briefed about what they were getting into or probably not told at all that there was a possibility of them losing their or some would have opted out the arrangement.
It is clear from the results of the research that the researcher in question initially had no idea how the vaccine would react to the children's systems. He, however, might have thought of the possibility that fatality could be one of the resultant effects of introducing the trial vaccine to their system. The fact that he experimented on not one child but twenty, however, makes it impossible to give him the benefit of the doubt on whether or not he was genuinely concerned about the children's welfare or just about his glory after the success of the vaccine.
Some of the ethical issues raised in research include the possibility of harm to humans in the process. Providing inadequate information about what is to be expected in the process of the study to give the participants a chance to agree or disagree and the aspect of age. Participants must have reached a legal age in accordance to the particular country's constitution or at least have a guardian or a grown individual who can positively influence their decision making have a say over their participation (Artal). For this matter the researcher on the TB vaccines' case intentions was questionable; for using minors in research, minors who happened to be less fortunate therefore could not reason soundly. Also, they had no caregiver to look out for them making them look vulnerable.
Artal, Raul, and Sheldon Rubenfeld. "Ethical issues in research." Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology 43 (2017): 107-114.
Darton, Thomas C., et al. "Design, recruitment, and microbiological considerations in human challenge studies." The Lancet infectious diseases 15.7 (2015): 840-851.
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