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Old 06-19-2019, 08:24 PM
MaxTheVool is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Santa Clara, CA
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My wife and I watched it. I thought it was good but not great, she was very irritated by it. In particular, she had the same reaction that some in this thread did, that it staked out a pretty-strongly anti-science stance. She basically thought the research was ethical.

My feeling is that it's not ethical, but I think it's a complicated enough issue that they really should have explained WHY it was not ethical, rather than just kind of taking it for granted. I mean, sure, it feels kind of ooky, but "feels kind of ooky" isn't recognized by any major code of medical or scientific ethics.

My feeling is that those giving the babies up for adoption, and the scientists themselves, were taking advantage of a loophole, which is that normally one asks a subject for consent to be studied, and if the subject is a child, one asks the subject's parents. But the studies were begun while the child was between parents. So they had no reason to think that the children, once they grew up, would actually retroactively be OK with what was done to them. And they had no reason to think that the new adopted parents would be OK with what was done to the kids. But, fortunately, they didn't have to get permission from either of those people, so, hey, ethically they were in the clear, hurray!

(And while I don't have the necessary background to really dive in here, I do think that any time you're studying a subject, and you know a massive life-changing secret about that subject's life that they would absolutely positively want to know, and would be LIVID if they found out you were concealing from them (ie, that they were one of triplets and you were about to go study their two identical siblings), and you conceal it from them, and they in no way ever consented to that imbalance of information... well, I think that's a pretty good sign that you're on shaky ethical ground.)
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