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Historical events in bioethics
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Historical events in bioethics

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Human being come to this age, we have many discussion about bioethics, but actually this is not suddenly we know or we born with the knowledge of bioethics. Human being have gone through many many sufferings, many people died because of unethical research decisions in bioethics. So, right now we want to look at The monumental events in bioethics. These events because the events, because the people or a lot of suffering in these events, so now today we come to these ages, we have a very sophisticated principle of bioethics. So, start from 2500 years ago, The Hippocratic Oath. Hippocrates is a physician,
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actually he is the father of modern medicine. He has an oath, it’s very important bioethics or medical ethics document, we will look at it later. 1945 after the second world war,
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there is a trial called Nuremberg trials very important, and there are several principles come up from the trial. And, After the trial, 1947 Nuremberg Code was out. 1948 Declaration of Geneva. And 1964 Declaration of Helsinki. Everybody know the famous documentation of Helsinki in the medical research. 1966 Breecher published an article called “Ethics and Clinical Research” that really shock the medical research and people started to reflect what’s going on here. 1972 the scandal of The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was exposed in the media and this is a very important monumental event that made the American government to start to establish the national commission for the protection of human subject of biomedical and bio-behavior research which is established in 1974 after the scandal.
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1979 Belmont report very important bioethical report,
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it mentioned three principles: respect for person, beneficence, and justice. In 1979, the same year, there is a book published, called “The Principles of Biomedical Ethics”. The author listed four principles in the bioethics. And the four principles become the major principles in bioethics today. They are autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. And 1981, there is a declaration of Lisbon, we are going to look at each one, one by one. The Hippocratic Oath. This is the picture of Hippocrates, he also called the father of medicine or the father of modern medicine. He was born around 460 BC. in the island of Cos in Greece and then he died around 375 BC. So, he lived around like 90 years old.
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He is the ancient Greek physician who lived during the Greece’s Classical period and is traditionally regarded as the father of medicine. It is difficult to isolate the facts of Hippocrates’ life from the later tales told about him or to assess his medicine accurately in the face of centuries of reverence for him as the ideal physician. About 60 medical writings have survived that bear his name, most of which were not written by him. And he has been revered for his ethical standard in medical practice. The very familiar Hippocratic Oath is a document on medical practices, ethics, and morals.
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Originally, Hippocrates was credited with composing the oath; however, newer research indicates it was written after his death by other physicians influenced by the medical practice in the Corpus. Though not applied in its original form today, the many modernized version that exist serve as foundation for the oath and for medical graduates take at the start of their careers. Some of the basic tenets of the oath include practicing medicine to the best of one’s ability, sharing knowledge with other physicians, employing sympathy, compassion and understanding, respecting the privacy of patients, and helping to prevent disease whenever possible. These are very important principles even in modern medicine today. And this is the whole document of the Hippocrates oath.
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Then we’re looking at the 1945 Nuremberg trials.
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This is the possible scene and this is done after the Second World War. This trial is to accuse the Nazis military general, military officials. They implement unethical experimental research on the people that are not captured by Nazis army. And, they have implement a lot of research, human body research, in a very extreme situation. For example, they put the subjects under very hot, high temperature or they put them in very cold temperature to try to observe the reaction. So, after the trial, in 1947, the Nuremberg Code came out. So, in 1945 the November 19th is the International Military Tribunal which is I just mentioned.
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So, 23 physicians from the German Nazi Party were tried for crimes against humanity for the atrocious experiments they carried out on unwilling prisoners of war. And for the Nuremberg Code, actually the ten of them are the most important ethical principle is provided here. The number one, voluntary consent is essential. Number two, the result must for the greater good of society. Number three, the study should be based on previous animal experiment. Number four, the research should be considered by avoiding physical or mental suffering and injury. Number five, no experiment should be conducted if it is believed to cause death or disability. Number six, risk should never exceed the benefits. Number seven, adequate facilities should be used to protect the subjects.
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Number eight, Consider the research should only be conducted by qualified scientists. Number nine, subject should always be at liberty to stop at any time. Number ten, scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment when injury, disability, or death is likely to occur. So, these are ten principles from Nuremberg Code.

Ethical discussions have been around for years. Chiang goes through significant events that shaped today’s bioethics.

Key points

Historical events:

  • The Hippocratic Oath

  • 1945 Nuremberg Trials

  • 1947 Nuremberg Code

  • 1948 Declaration of Geneva

  • 1964 Declaration of Helsinki

  • 1966 “Ethics and Clinical Research”, Henry Breecher.

  • 1972 Scandal of The Tuskegee Syphilis Study

  • 1974 The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research

  • 1979 Belmont Report

  • 1979 “The Principles of Biomedical Ethics” (Tom L. Beauchamp and James F. Childress)

  • 1981 Declaration of Lisbon

The Hippocratic Oath states that:

  • Practicing medicine to the best of one’s ability

  • Sharing knowledge with other physicians

  • Employing sympathy

  • Compassion and understanding

  • Respecting the privacy of patients

  • Helping to prevent disease whenever possible

  • These principles are still relevant today.

In the 1945 Nuremberg trials, Nazis military general and military officials were accused of implementing unethical human experimental.

This gave birth to the 1947 Nuremberg Code, which states that for all human experiments:

  • Voluntary consent is essential

  • It must be for the greater good of society

  • Study should be based on previous animal experiment

  • Should avoid physical or mental suffering and injury of subjects

  • No experiment should be conducted if there is chances of death or disability

  • Risk should never exceed the benefits

  • Adequate facilities to protect the subjects.

  • Conducted only by qualified scientists

  • Subjects have the right to quit the experiment at any time

  • Scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment when injury, disability, or death is likely to occur

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Are there significant invents in your country that changed the way people view bioethics.

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