“Studies in which people are intentionally exposed to toxicants, which are conducted generally to make the case for setting a less stringent exposure standard, are intuitively troubling and even repugnant to many people. Such studies seem to be ethically wrong—“It’s wrong to poison people”—and further discussion does not even seem necessary. The committee took note of these responses but sought to examine closely how toxicant studies are similar to, and different from, other human studies, so that the wide experience could contribute to its deliberation about which kinds of studies are ethically defensible in light of the available evidence and society’s basic moral values. Understanding that virtually all chemicals can be poisonous to humans at some dose, the committee compared studies that involve the intentional exposure of humans to toxicants with studies that involve deliberate exposure to other kinds of chemicals. This analysis noted some important similarities, along with several differences, between intentional human dosing studies and Phase 1 pharmaceutical testing, especially because neither offers a reasonable prospect of direct benefit to the research participant. In fact, the Phase 1 study is more likely to provoke adverse effects. Both types of study should be evaluated according to prevailing ethical standards, in the Common Rule and elsewhere, for assessing human research protocols. Neither kind of study can be ethically justified unless it passes rigorous scrutiny on both scientific and ethical grounds.5”
The motives of the different sponsors also may be similar: both a pharmaceutical company and a pesticide company, to take these two examples, may be motivated primarily by a desire for increased revenues. One seeks to get a drug approved for sale, and the other seeks a higher tolerance level to increase the sale of pesticides. These motives may be primary or secondary and may be accompanied by various additional motives. In any case, neither motive necessarily disqualifies the research on ethical grounds. However, the presence and perhaps primacy of these motives underscores the need for stringent standards and procedures to protect the rights and welfare of research participants.”
This seems ethical until you view this with a political lens.
“Technology tends toward avoidance of risks by investors. Uncertainty is ruled out if possible. People generally prefer the predictable. Few recognize how destructive this can be, how it imposes severe limits on variability and thus makes whole populations fatally vulnerable to the shocking ways our universe can throw the dice.”
― Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune
So where do we find research participants? Could there be any logical reasons behind unscientific diagno$i$?
“Children Labeled ‘Bipolar’ May Get A New Diagnosis”-Alex Spiegel NPR
“Accountability in Research Using Persons With Mental Illness”
Adil E. Shamoo* and Dianne N. Irving**LifeIssues
“The Ethics of Research With Human Subjects Who are Mentally Ill”
Author(s): Stuart J. Youngner, MD and Atwood D. Gaines, Ph.D., MPH -Online Ethics Center
“It is not possible for us at this time fully to investigate exactly
who fell within the broad definition of insects’, the population of
Russia was too heterogeneous and encompassed small, special
groups, entirely superfluous and, today, forgotten. “
-The Gulag Archipelago