Academic Regulation of Research: Human Subjects restrictions

Anita Mage mage at
Sun Aug 27 11:15:41 PDT 2000

Hi LBOtniki -

Chuck Grimes quoting Nathan, wrote:

>So the research is attacked and restricted, while the coercive
>structures that intimidate welfare recipients in the first place are
>left in place.
>Which is exactly the point of my objections.
>I don't like or approve such abuse, but I think it is the worst form
>of liberal self-deception to think that gains are made repressing use
>of power for research, yet leaving it in place for everything else.
>Nathan Newman
>- -------------
>I don't believe that was my point. But, we can pretend to have an
>argument if you insist.


>As for academic research into the uses of research for the benefit of
>the political and police machinery of oppression in government and
>academia, I think I can safely bet your favorite drink, that that kind
>of work will never appear in peer reviewed academic journals.

A good part of research in medical history is just this kind of work.

I don't mean to ruin the bet, but since Chuck Grimes wrote he is just pretending to have an argument, let me point out, just as an example,

Jochen Vollmann, Rolf Winau, Informed consent in human experimentation before the Nuremberg code, British Medical Journal 313 (7 December 1996);1445-1447. < >.

The authors conclude that

"at the turn of the century informed consent was already a legal doctrine in medical experimentation in Germany, being based on "unambiguous consent" of the subject after "proper" information had been given by the doctor, including negative consequences and side effects. Interestingly, the regulations were not initiated by doctors or research institutions but were issued by government authorities. However, it remains an open question how informed consent was applied by doctors in research and clinical practice and how it shaped the individual doctor-patient relationship."

And further:

"Though a system of public health insurance existed in Germany in 1931 [when the Reich gov't. issued new guidelines on human experimentation in context of "political reform of criminal law"] and provided good health care for all citizens, issues of social justice and the protection of poor people in medical research were regulated. We question whether the healthcare system in the United States would meet these regulations, many patients without health insurance having no access to regular medical treatment. In order to obtain medical help these patient [sic] must rely on free experimental treatment in research institutions without having a choice whether to give free and autonomous informed consent.

"Though present conceptions of informed consent differ from those in the Prussian directive of 1900 and the Reich government's guidelines of 1931, some basic elements can be identified in postwar regulations....together with many ethical issues of human experimentation.....Our primary objective was to show that the basic concept of informed consent was developed long before the second world war and before Nazi crimes in Germany, not on the initiative of the medical profession or research community but as a legal doctrine by government authorities. The guidelines of 1931 were not annulled in Nazi Germany, when unethical experiments were performed by German doctors in concentration camps. Though no other nation seems to have had such ethically and legally advanced regulations at the time, these did not prevent crimes against humanity by part of the German medical profession."



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