Criteria for Ethical Scientific Research? If So, What are They?
With President Obama reversing the presidential order of President Bush from 2001 regarding federal funding for research with embryonic stem cells, the question arises with regard to how far should scientific research be separated from political, moral and religious views. Can scientific research be ethical simply because the goal is to cure devastating diseases of humans despite treading on the religious and moral views of some against that the use and destruction of human embryos? Some may readily argue that scientific research cannot be ethical simply because it is of great human benefit despite the methodology. The supporting arguments for such an argument could be the experience with the Tuskegee syphilis studies or the human experiments in the Nazi era. And where does politics enter the equation? Should politics which considers views of part or the majority of the population affect the direction or support of scientific inquiry? If government finances research should government set the standards for research? Should scientific research with the goal of human beneficence as the result be ethical by itself and not restricted, hindered or diminished because of political, moral or religious issues? Or should the studies be defined as ethical only based on specific criteria? If so, then what criteria should society use when considering whether any scientific research is ethical? ..Maurice.
Graphic: A Balance constructed by me with ArtRage.