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How to Treat Persons$
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Samuel J. Kerstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692033

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692033.001.0001

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Medical Research

Medical Research

Chapter:
(p.193) 8 Medical Research
Source:
How to Treat Persons
Author(s):

Samuel J. Kerstein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692033.003.0008

This chapter specifies two kinds of cases in which using persons in experiments can amount to treating them merely as means and failing to respect their dignity, according to the Kant-Inspired Account of Dignity (KID). In the first, researchers obtain voluntary, informed consent from subjects to take biospecimens for use in a particular investigation. After the specimens have been “anonymized,” the researchers give them to another investigator who, without the subjects’ consent, uses them in a different study. In the second kind of case, pharmaceutical researchers obtain the voluntary, informed consent of citizens in a developing country to serve as subjects in a trial of a drug for a serious condition from which the citizens suffer. If a trial of this drug were conducted in a developed country, it would be active-controlled and all participants would receive effective treatment. But in the developing country, some subjects receive (an ineffective) placebo.

Keywords:   active-controlled trial, anonymized sample, biospecimen, dignity, informed consent, mere means, pharmaceutical research, placebo-controlled trial, medical research

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