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TOK Presentation

Final Presentation

Christoph Schmidt

on 20 March 2013

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Transcript of TOK Presentation

KI: What are the ethical implications of medical research?
When is research justified?
What are the risks?
Overall, we need a
between the Utilitarian and Kantian theories of ethics
we should aim to maximize happiness
but we need to adhere to a guiding principle of ethics that we cannot harm people and society
consider the human rights "one amongst others"
not fall subject to self-interest
good intentions with research
with the intention of to aid humanity
always purposeful
not with intetntions of gaining profit
not pointlessly risking lives in research
dissimilar to other natural sciences Medical Research Ethics Thalidomide, a drug used in 1950s as a sedative
Given to pregnant women for morning sickness
Teratogenic birth defects in babies born
40% died within a year
Revealed to not have undergone proper testing and reseach methods (due to economic incentives)
Drug banned
Has recently returned to treat leprosy and cancer Real life Example Was inconsistently tested on rodents

The warnings:
Caused deformities on some animals
produced an anti-hyperthyroid effect linked to birth defects before the 1950s
lack of extensive testing

But was released as "completely non-poisonous, completely harmless for infants"

The company "Chemie Grünenthal" acted like there was nothing wrong despite the warnings
"we can tell you that such disadvantageous effects have not been brought to our notice." The effects of Thalidomide Knowledge Issue What are the ethical implications of medical research? The Testing Real World TOK World In the case of thalidomide:
If we knew there was a chance of a teratogenic effect in the baby, would mothers risk it for morning sickness?

In the case of Cancer treatment:
If we knew there was a chance of treatment side effects, and death, or death due to cancer, would we risk it? the scientific method plays a large role in drug trials
how much testing should be conducted before it can be reasoned that a drug is safe?
99% margin of error (medicine) vs the 95% margin(science)
complicated to achieve the 99% margin, time consuming
years of animal/ human medical trials in which patients could have already received the potentially helpful/ harmful drug
Is it worth waiting that long for 4%?
when do the benefits outweigh the risks?
How and under which circumstances is it justifiable to alter the established pharmaceutical method ? Natural Sciences NO YES The possible outcomes determine our decisions, which is why we need proper drug testing methods. Too much testing? Taxol® a drug from the poisonous yew tree
Tested for more than 25 years
It always worked, and could have saved many more lives if it were introduced earlier Language Affects how we trust science:
"science" vs "experimentation"
"pharmaceutical industry" vs "drug companies"
"medicine" vs "drugs"
Positive vs negative connotations of words
Very trusted words
Leads to an authority worship of science
strong emotive meaning
Make science seem foolproof The Dangers of Authority Worship accepting without questioning
believes claims from science only because "science says so"
we should question science to a certain extent Conclusion

might ignore data, manipulate it or value it as insignificant
primary objective is profit rather than aid humanity
pharmaceutical companies are in fact just "companies" Confirmation Bias When is research justified?
What are the risks? Ethical Implications Kantian Ethics (Duty Ethics) Utilitarian Ethics Christoph Schmidt Marlous Schuilwerve Immanuel Kant argued that we can decided if something is to be our duty if it can be consistently generalized.
this relates to the idea of special pleading
making excuses to justify our behavior/decisions which we would find unacceptable coming from others
natural egoism
rules should generally be respected
however "I" am special, hence they do not necessarily apply to me
Golden Rule:
Kant believes we should adapt the concept in which we see ourselves as "one amongst others", not "me" 3- IB sciences will study sciences in university The utilitarian approach to ethics, presents the idea to seek "the greatest happiness of the greatest number" or "Maximize Happiness".

a scientific approach to ethics, for the sciences
actions are right if and only if they tend to increase happiness
actions are wrong if and only if they tend to decrease happiness
Happiness= sum of joy, Sadness= sum of pain

Problem: it does not leave any room for moral obligations or human rights will study medicine will study medicinal chemistry this makes our presentation about taking risks in the medical field important to us personally will make decisions about whether or not to prescribe certain drugs based upon information from research scientists will be conducting drug trials and medical research to help doctors do their work will have to deal with ethical issues about whether or not to research for my career or researching because it is the right thing to do When can/should we do research Science is a process by which we study the world to seek truths in order to improve our lives Why:
To better humanity
relief from diseases
sustainable energy
improvement of life quality
to improve our knowledge of the world in which we live When can we not:
out of self-interest and selfish reasons
getting published in a journal
to simply know without ethical boundaries Josef Mengele: "the Angel of Death" Conducted genetic experiments
on twins
created his own conjoined twins Wants to work for MSF Animal (Primate) Testing By Christoph Schmidt
and Marlous Schuilwerve less dangerous than testing on humans
gives us an indication of how drugs will interact with the human body
less unethical than other methods of testing
Lesser of two evils principle Shows we should not research without ethical constraints Emotion Medicines and Money Numerous pharmaceutical companies simply do not develop medicines for countless tropical diseases. BUT WHY although the demand is high
the target groups do not seem financially viable
raises questions about the motives of pharmaceutical companies
help humanity?
financial interest Important in science and ethics as they deal with human lives
other WOKs are affected by emotion
Language- used to slant language
Perception- emotional coloring
Reason- can prevent "open-mindedness " affects theories in science

It is said that emotion has no place in the natural sciences as it can affect all the WOKs
But emotion is necessary in ethics as it can help us decide what to do More Real Life Examples Ethical POVs Kant Utilitarian Principle of not harming life
animal testing
ethically unjust as it is life
but without conducting animal testing we will never know what benefits or harms it could cause in humans Maximizing happiness
animal testing will maximize happiness in the long run
ethically just
can do a little bad, as long as it does more good Risks of negative outcomes in research Limiting our progress in knowledge Too much testing in fear of negative outcomes
hinders progress in the medical field balance:
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