Research: The Ethics of Human Experiments

I will follow that system which . . . I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous.

—From the Hippocratic oath

The ethic of that ancient oath "by Apollo the Physician" is one that all doctors have sworn to and still swear by. Do they live up to it? Not always, is the grim conclusion of Harvard's Dr. Henry K. Beecher after a ten-year study of medical experiments recently performed on human subjects. Dr. Beecher has no quarrel with the physician who tries a new...

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