The follow by that are centered around patient

The concept of biomedical
ethics is not a new term by any means. Ethics dates back all the way to the 1800s
when Thomas Percival published his own code of ethics. Following this was the American
Medical Association’s code of ethics created in 1847. While this code of ethics
has remained an integral part of regulated ethics, historical events and
advances in technology have caused the general code of ethics to change.
Current ethical policy is full of regulation and specific requirements when
dealing with biomedical advancements. It brings in the moral of the individual
and the moral of a society as a whole. Old ethical guidelines like the Nuremberg
code, the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Belmont report have all paved the
way to what the current guidelines look like. However, there are shortcoming to
these reports and shortcomings to current regulations.  

A major stepping stone in
the advancement of bioethics was the creation of the Nuremberg code. After the
holocaust judges were faced with the difficulty of trying Nazi doctors who had
tortured and experimented on numerous prisoners. The trial was difficult
because they had no precedent to follow other than the Hippocratic oath. Due to
these unprecedented issues the judges felt it was necessary to create a code
that specified research ethics; this lead to the creation of the Nuremberg
code. The Nuremberg code consists of 10 codes to follow by that are centered
around patient consent and combined principles from the protection of human
rights and Hippocratic ethics. While the Nuremberg code is one of the most
important documents in bioethical conduct it has its flaws. One major flaw is
its ambiguity. For example, part two which states that the experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good
of society is a very vague statement that leaves for many different
interpretations of what fruitful results would be. Another source of ambiguity
comes from statement six which states that the humanitarian importance
of research must be higher than the risk. Again, this statement leaves for
different interpretations of what kind of research would be claimed as being
higher than the risk and different people may view one experiment as being better
for the society no matter the risk while another may disagree. The Nuremberg code
also leaves way for loopholes. The second half of principle five which states
that no experiment that endangers the life of a subject should be conducted
unless if the physicians also serve as subjects provides a major loophole. It could
be understood by the researcher that it is okay to risk the life of another as
long as he or she is also risking their life which sounds like an unremorseful
exchange of one life for another life.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

The Belmont report which
was published in 1979 further specifies three principles for ethical conduct. The
three principles include beneficence,
justice, and respect for persons. The report specifies that subjects
should be protected in clinical trials and researchers should put the subject’s
safety first. It further inspired following ethical guidelines; one example is
the creation of the common rule which guidelines research at universities. While
keeping the principles of the Belmont report in mind can help clear up research
issues, in some cases the principles can clash with each other and cause
further confusion. This confusion is mainly due to the vagueness of the
principles in the report and how to apply them. While the report provides a
general optimistic view of how research should be viewed it does not apply any
specific ways to insure this is always the case. Conflict can arise when the
interest of an individual participant interferes with the interest of the
society. Lastly, nowhere in the report are the three principles tied in. Their
relationship to each other is never clarified. For example, neurocognitive enhancement
drugs have been used widely and are increasingly becoming more popular. And
recently these drugs that were seen so unhealthy to be used by nonprescribed
patients are now being investigated for the use of surgeons to enhance their
focus during long and tedious hours of surgery. If this controversial topic was
to be tackled by just the Belmont report it would be insufficient in providing
enough background as to what the ethical choice would be. There would be no clear-cut
right or wrong answer because while the use of these drugs by surgeons may be
seen as inhumane the effects could produce extraordinary results and possibly
save the lives of thousands. Another doctrine that influences ethics in
medicine is the declaration of Helsinki. The declaration of Helsinki was
established by the world medical association and lays down ethical guidelines for
physicians in the practice of medicine. It sets guidelines for many aspects of
research. However, some of these guidelines are contradictory and the language
can be confusing at times. One way that the declaration of Helsinki advances in
that it is regularly reviewed, keeping up with current biomedical issues and
molding to the new times.

Today, the Nuremberg
code, the declaration of Helsinki, and the Belmont report still aid as relative
blueprints of ethical conduct. For a practice to be viewed as ethical it must
respect the four principles of beneficent, non-maleficence, justice, and
autonomy. Many more regulations are now put in place for ethical conduct during
research; not only is informed consent required but prior peer review from a
committee is also required. States also have their own rules set in place to
protect human rights. While these regulations are put in place, ethical conduct
in general is hard to lay down in specific play by play writing. Ethics is
always evolving and there are numerous unprecedented issues that require
different aspects to be considered. This is especially relevant in all the new
technologies that are being created and new advancements in biomedical
research. General morals can also change over time leading to revisions needed
in conduct. The only way to fulfill any time of research standard is by
changing ethical guidelines as new advancements are made. Sticking to just one
concept or one code of ethics wouldn’t work in the long run and in many situations,
it’s hard to say exactly what the so called right thing is to do. One issue
that seems solvable by one person may not be seen solvable by another.
Biomedical research is ever changing and with this follows ever changing


I'm Victor!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out