In this work, Wolfgang Weyers, a physician himself, cuts a swath, profoundly, through the history of unethical experiments on humans, from the first intentional inoculation of a patient with syphilis and gonorrhea in England of the late 18th century through the infamous Tuskegee Study about which revelations resulted in the establishment of modern guidelines for research involving human subjects in the United States to the exploitation of orphans and prisoners as human guinea pigs in studies undertaken by dermatologists at the University of Pennsylvania on behalf of the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry and that, in the process, become an industry itself. The scope of Weyers’ erudition includes the East, as well as the West, and spares none of import who engaged in these unconscionable practices. Dubious medical experiments on humans continue to be carried out. Only by study of the history of such experiments can sensitivity be enhanced in regard to limits ethically of research on human beings. Without heightened sensitivity, researchers of today, and tomorrow, are at risk of repeating the breaches and offenses of the past. This volume of Weyers, unique in its scholarship, insight, and commentary philosophically, should be mandatory reading not only by researchers, physicians in general, and every medical student everywhere, but by an informed laity, each of whom is a potential victim of the abuse about which Weyers writes so comprehensively, poignantly, and eloquently.
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