Who is my brother's keeper?

Journal of Medical Ethics 28 (1):24-27 (2002)
Clinical and research practices designed by developed countries are often implemented in host nations of the Third World. In recent years, a number of papers have presented a diversity of arguments to justify these practices which include the defence of research with placebos even though best proven treatments exist; the distribution of drugs unapproved in their country of origin; withholding of existing therapy in order to observe the natural course of infection and disease; redefinition of equipoise to a more bland version, and denial of post-trial benefits to research subjects. These practices have all been prohibited in developed, sponsoring countries, even though they invariably have pockets of poverty where conditions comparable to the Third World prevail. Furthermore, the latest update of the Declaration of Helsinki clearly decries double ethical standards in research protocols. Under these circumstances, it does not seem appropriate that First World scholars should propose and defend research and clinical practices with less stringent ethical standards than those mandatory in their own countries. Recent years have witnessed frequent reports of less stringent ethical standards being applied to both clinical and research medical practices, for the most part in the field of drug trials and drug marketing, initiated by developed countries in poorer nations. Still more unsettling, a number of articles have endorsed the policy of employing ethical norms in these host countries, which would be unacceptable to both the legislations and the moral standards of the sponsor nations. Also, these reformulations often contravene the Declaration of Helsinki or one of its updates. This paper is not so much concerned with the actual practices, which have been subjected to frequent scrutiny and publicly decried when gross misconduct occurred. Rather, my concern relates to the approval and support such practices have found in the literature on bioethics from authors who might be expected to use their energy and scholarship to explore and endorse the universalisability of ethics rather than to develop ad hoc arguments that would allow exceptions and variations from accepted moral standards. To this purpose, issue will be taken with arguments in three fields: medical and pharmaceutical practices, research strategies, and local application of research results
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/jme.28.1.24
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,178
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Vulnerable and the Susceptible.Michael H. Kottow - 2003 - Bioethics 17 (5-6):460-471.
Should Research Ethics Triumph Over Clinical Ethics?Michael H. Kottow - 2007 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 13 (4):695-698.
CQ Sources/Bibliography.Bette Anton - 2009 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 18 (2):155.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Am I My Brother's Keeper? The Ethical Frontiers of Biomedicine.D. Lamb - 1999 - Journal of Medical Ethics 25 (3):283-283.
Why Am I My Brother's Keeper?Donald Regan - 2004 - In R. Jay Wallace, Samuel Scheffler & Michael Smith (eds.), Reason and Value: Themes from the Philosophy of Joseph Raz. Clarendon Press.
America's Need for an 'Ethical Renaissance'.Mark O. Hatfield - 1982 - Journal of Business Ethics 1 (2):99 - 108.
Am I My Brother's Keeper? Grounding and Motivating an Ethos of Social Responsibility in a Free Society.David Thunder - 2009 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 12 (4):559-580.
Keeper of the Keys.William F. Gleeson - 1947 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 22 (1):189-190.
Am I My Brother's Keeper? On Personal Identity and Responsibility.Simon Beck - 2013 - South African Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):1-9.
Nature's Keeper.Joseph DesJardins - 1998 - Environmental Ethics 20 (2):211-213.
My Sister's Keeper.Laura Newhart - 2005 - Teaching Philosophy 28 (4):382-384.
Am I My Parents' Keeper?Norman Daniels - 1982 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 7 (1):517-540.
Heraclides Ponticus, the Snake Keeper.E. Schütrumpf - 2008 - Classical Quarterly 58 (02):673-.
The Zoo Keeper's Strife: Will Self's Psychiatric Fictions.Jason Lee - 2012 - Philosophy and Literature 36 (1):196-208.
Financing Long-Term Care for the Elderly: Am I Your Parents' Keeper?Marshall B. Kapp - 1985 - Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 13 (4):188-189.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

3 ( #693,688 of 2,163,707 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #348,043 of 2,163,707 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums