Outdated Ethics Codes?

Clicking the link above should open a site that lists a variety of ethics codes relating to humans and research.

What I find particularly absent from these codes, is in my estimation, the only line of code that gives it any substance other than lip service.

I’ll list the two amendments that I believe are necessary for any ethical experimental research code. I don’t consider the wording of codes in this post as final product, just a general idea.
1.) Before a consent waver is signed, the experimenters must have the means to revert the signer to the state of progression before the experiment occurred, at around the time of signing.

The key topic here is reversion.

This entire concept is missing from any international code of ethics that I know of. It is even conspicously missing from all of those versions of the golden rule in every culture, a rule which is already known to fall prey to inversions like masochism.

The main reason I object to the ommission of this amendment, and consider this amendment to be critical to the ideal is:

If you happen to fall into that 0.000001 percent of known error rate, I really don’t think you can truly have made an informed consent. I just don’t buy it. What does it really mean to someone, to be told something like, “You have a one in a million chance to go crazy.”? Chances are, they couldn’t be crazy if they spend a lifetime trying to act crazy, and really have no conception of what they are actually consenting to.

When they do go crazy, the choice will seem obvious in retrospect, “I should have NEVER joined this research experiment!”. BAM!! Consent violated, end of story.

Where is the reversion mechanism?!? If there are not substantial reversion mechanisms in place for a research experiment, it’s my opinion that the researchers are looking to cut corners and really don’t have much of a grasp of what they are working with in general, even on the theoretical level. I think the entire society suffers from not having a reversion clause embedded into ethical code.

2.) Euthenasia

What if you are crazy or damaged in a means that there is no known workable reversion, a totally unexpected life-altering negative side effect?

It is my estimation that the service of euthenasia should be provided in all research experiment consent waivers. Sure, a researcher might love the chance to build a case study from some ‘way out there’ malady resulting from their experment… but that violates the whole point of and purpose of drafting codes of ethics in the first place.

If this issue is not addressed the problems become major. There may be a phenomenon that someone wants to study that they wouldn’t recieve consent for, so instead the phenomenon being studied is renamed decptively so that researchers can study the actual known side effect… the intent of the research project from the researchers point of veiw. If you trigger anxiety in a poor patient, the last thing they are going to want to do is leave the researcher! “Make this go away!! You started it, make it go away, how do you make it go away?”

The current code states that the person being tested can leave an any time. This is a joke in many instances of side effects we are currently seeing as a result of pharmacology, cybernetics or even virology. It can even get worse with nanotech. It’s totally pointless to have this ‘freedom to leave’ clause if the side effect is so traumatic that you will not want to leave or that you will no longer function in any consenting capacity close to the point of signing the waiver.

I do not see how this can be avoided by excluding euthenasia from the code.

In summary,
Regression whenever possible, and I mean it literally.
Euthenasia as the back-up for a “meteor from nowhere” result from one of these experiments.

Without these amendments, these codes practically beg for capitalism at the expense of consent. I want to say that the current codes aren’t strong enough, but in reality, I think that they are fluff, and a joke in seriously poor humor.


Say that you sign a waiver so that you effectively cannot sue the researchers for whatever may potentially go wrong.
Now say that one of the potential known side effects is that you will go completely insane, but you only have a 1 in a million chance of it occurring.

I do not think that it is possible to consent to something like insanity, severe anxiety disorders and the like. These issues are the epitome of severely impairing or destroying the ability to possess a consent after the fact, arguably it just binds you to a life of severe suffering from that point forward, a loop of infite regress for living in a nightmare until you die. You spend the rest of your life thinking of nothing else except wanting to be cured of the side effect, and you literally are incapable of any other motivation other than this or being dead… spending a life-time weighing the odds each second; relentless stress for decades with no known cure.

You just end up in an endless loop from the point of the experiment until you die, a loop of wishing you had never participated in the experiment. That precise loop is unacceptable.

That this has and does occur to human beings ‘consenting’ for a research experiment, presents some serious conflicts with the current existing ethics codes on the topic.

Is it possible for a person who now has a severe chronic anxiety disorder to actually leave the experiment if they end up spending their whole lives wishing they had never done it, regretting that they did it? How do they get cured, where do they go, who understands them? Well, they stay with their first experimenters or go to people who like to experiment on people with severe anxiety disorders. You went from being a free person, to a permanent test subject against your consent, even though you signed a consent waiver - you are now hopelessly dependant as a permanent test subject! A slave, aquired for free, who actually desires to be with you so that they can be cured, when there never was an intention to cure them, or the cure is unknown.

An entire experiment may only exist for the sole purpose of studying the low incidence side effects. Since hardly anyone will consent to them overtly, it makes sense to do it this way.
The idea that a patient has the freedom to remove themselves from the experiment when they want, becomes negligable in instances where severe trauma is a possible side effect. In this means, you can manufacture consent because the ethics code and the waiver are coded so poorly.

To addrsss this issue, expermients on human subjects require a reversion clause. The experimenters have to have a means with which to revert the side effects to the state at the time of signing the consent. This is observed in refunds, guarantees and the like in products. The military calculates redundancies and contingencies for reversion before any attack. If you look at it in terms of war, the military doesn’t act itself without a reversion clause, but will accept contracts that don’t have them. The military also uses euthenasia, which touches the second amendment that I addressed.

Since it is clear that a researcher can bind a subject to them for life-long observation of a state against the subjects consent, it should be made clear in any consent waiver that the subject has the right to painless euthenasia. Why?

Without the test subject having this option permanently available to them, the researcher is holding all of the consent cards in the most extreme cases, cases intentionally made extreme so as to bind the test subject to the researcher against the subjects consent.

I don’t see how these codes address the topic of experimental side effects that cause the patient to wish for the rest of their life, every waking moment, that they had never signed that consent form.

It is irrational to suggest that a person can consent to an infinite loop of wishing they had never consented to that infinite loop.

There need to be clauses to address this issue in ethical code.

Without addressing these issues, research experiments become a game of “haha, I got you! I win, you are mine now!”. To a large degree, I see this as the case with industries that supply the very symptoms they profit from aiding. They either recieve a public consumer market or private research grants to determine how to isolate the side effect so that it can be distributed more reliably.

With the ethical code not addressing the issue of dependancy, it feeds an entire research psychology that seeks to procure this pointless loop just so they can have a disease as back-up in case they cannot find an immediate cure, a cycle that perpetuates unconsciously to a large degree.

Deffinitly and equiviocally no. This would destory the whole concept of consent and contracts. You say that they could go insane, but what about alcholics suing bars, using their logic they could not consent to losing their famillys/jobs/money to alchol. Or if someone sued there sexual partner for making them pregnant, saying that they could not consent according to your logic.
Secondly Euthanasia is illegal in this country, or at least the state I live in.

Consenting to an infinite loop of wishing you had never consented to that infinite loop, when a contract between two people is involved is IRRATIONAL. It is that irrationality that destroys the whole concept of consent and contracts.

Until that irrationality is addressed in the contracts themselves, the contracts cannot calculate a consent, using simple logic.

Not all actions are reversable. This is at least obviously true by inspection. While reversion, then, is not possible, one can indeed consent to accept specified compensation for harmful effects of signing onto a contract.

At the very minimum, reversion is in principle impossible: one never gets back the time spent under experimentation/general obligation. Yet the entire idea of consenting to such behavior is that the compensation and analysis of benefits versus risks makes the situation worth doing.

Consider something non-experimental. A number of women on birth control, for example, will get pregnant. Obviously if a woman gets pregnant while on the pill she will say something analogous to your hypothetical person: “I might as well have never taken the pill, I was spending money for nothing!” Yet would you say she wasn’t “actually” aware of the potential for pregnancy?

How would you gauge something like being actually aware of the consequences of behavior in a manner that allows for meaningful consent of anything? Try less extreme examples than permanent insanity and work the idea out. The principle, if sound, should apply analagously to all levels of decision-making.

By your posts, you seem to indicate that a person can never consent to their own death (living wills demanding plug-pulling, or suicide by other means) because the results of that are not reversible. Myself, I’m not convinced by what you say that a person cannot consent to suicide or other forms of death.

So, if I wager my last $100 on a bluff in a game of poker and I lose, because I will always regret the wager, I should get my money back?

I decide to have an abortion, then regret it. I should get my fetus back?

I decide to marry a man then regret it. I should get to be not just unmarried but never married?

If you can just walk away from any contract, it isn’t a contract. If you never have to suffer the ill effects of your choices, you aren’t making choices. You’re just playing a meaningless game.

And how would researchers be able to reverse a drug if they are still studying what the drug does?

The OP just doesn’t make any sense.



I’m going to transcribe words in your mouth to establish where we are, for both our sakes.

I find this to be unacceptable:
Consenting to a contract that causes one to ultimately run an infinite loop of “I wish I never signed that contract”.

I assume you carry similar conviction on this objection.

It seems that you add a perspective of doubt when I take this line:

“unless this loop is proactively addressed in a contract, the contract cannot possibly calculate consent”.

Your doubt emerges in the form of:

(my words!!)
“It is true that this nullifies the consent. However, since the idea of reversion is impossible, you are arguing that a person cannot consent to anything… by making reversion a condition of this amendment. Doing this effectively negates your purpose for modifying a contract designed to calculate consent.”

Taken a step further, you might suggest that I argue against the use of contracts at all, in order to act consistently with the belief.

Maybe I’ll have to drop the idea of reversion completely, but I would like to juggle it for a moment.

Instead of focusing upon absolute reversion, how about defining the reversion in terms of the trend occurring at the time of signing. Since the absolutes are out, the trend would have to represent the loop that compelled the person towards the contract innitially.

The goal seems to be this:

If the loop that compelled one towards the contract, changes, as a result of the contracted actions, to an infinite loop of, “I wish I had never signed that contract”, then the goal is to restore one to the prior loop with the knowledge that this path does not work, bringing them full circle to informed consent.

Again, it is unacceptable to consent to an infinite loop that seeks to retroactively disable that consent. This is all in reference to two or more human beings. Your ‘contract’ with nature is always considered to be vulnerable to the risk of delusion, because nature doesn’t report back in the same manner that people do.
People claim to be able to provide something. Since adequate study produces reversion capabilities, and since we ultimately know that euthanasia is a possibility, we know that people can guarantee the reversion.

When you argue against the point of consent regarding euthenasia, euthenasia itself is the ultimate reversion that we know of. It actually follows from the double non consent of birth that euthenasia balances the consent tables.

The first non consent is being born.
The second non consent relates to any purposes that we individually use for our own quasi-birth consent, being dismantled.

Euthanasia is the bedrock of the contractual agreement of recognising the bringing into being of a being that will have to confront this decision and may choose against it.

With that primary security, the rest of the ethical contract depends upon the reversion technology, so as to eradicate the use of the euthenasia foundation. Suicide is not typically a ho-humm decision… that being the case, use of the euthanasia backbone suggests serious structural issues with the contract.
It suggests that the reversion technology is not sufficient to run the trials or circulate the contract.

This is the issue I just encountered with erislover. I ran an absolute on one end of the spectrum and erislover highlighted the absolute on the other end to argue against my proposal for drawing a hard line on the first one.

In your case this emerges with this statement:
“If you can just walk away from any contract, it isn’t a contract.”

The inversion for this is clear:

“If you can’t walk away from any contract it isn’t a contract.”

These two statements are a bit rediculous to begin, but we’ll try to intuit beyond that for the sake of time.

The primary issue is that in some cases, consent appears to be impossible with regards to contracts. I selected a possible perma-trip as an example of this. It is simply beyond the comprehension of any being not in such a state to realize that they will spend the rest of their lives in an eternal loop of “I need to find a way to go back and not sign that contract, I need a cure fast or else I really need to be dead right now.” You literally cannot be a person who has not experienced anxiety and consent with any type of informed manner to something that can produce an anxiety perma-trip. In this case, signing any contract that has this known side effect, cannot possibly be informed… as every living being on this earth who is in that state is trying to get out of it with life absorbing dilligence and extreme hyper-vigilant concentration, it’s nothing short of hell.

In this case, the person CANNOT escape the contract, and there is no possible way that this contract can be signed with informed consent. There is a huge difference between a perma-trip of severe anxiety and the nervousness experienced by normal people as they wander through life.

I’ll submit, that if any contract has the effect of causing such a severely intense repetition of regret as chronic and acute anxiety, then it needs to be evaluated with the type of amendment I’m trying to formulate/propose.

As for abortion, there are multiple consents to calculate… primary to me is the childs consent, but at this stage, I think that’s a bit OT. I don’t see why you can’t have your fetus back, but I don’t think that’s what you really meant!! :smiley:

As for marriage, I ran into this with erislover. It came up quite rapidly that time is not restorable. The only work-around on this issue is serious life extension and body part replacement.
The same time, same space idea is not acceptable for reversion.

Marriage is complex. I would suggest that the critical thinking process in some individuals for certain circumstances can construct, reconstruct and simulate events quite well enough to be established in memory as tangible. To the degree that you aren’t defeated completely by hopelessness of wasted time, I don’t see how this would be substantially different than running the scenarios and simulations in your head and consequently deciding not to do it. Depending upon a persons visual abstraction abilities, the discernment between real and unreal is most likely a matter of that which cannot be reverted.

If your perspective can be reverted, your health, your beauty… I truly don’t see that the issue is the time itself. We dream all sorts of stuff in our heads that cause us to avoid decisions, or to make them. To the degree that it occupies your real life instead of your head, and causes you to seek a reversion, I think you should have the option for that reversion in the contract of marriage.

We don’t have the technology for this type of stuff right now, but there are other means of addressing this issue that can calculate consent proactively, to protect a person from the ever present peril of fraud. Consent calculations are really the only defense that humans have against fraud, it’s technology, and in the case of these moral codes, I think it needs a serious upgrade.

What you are in effect saying is that sane, informed people are unable to consent to contracts because they cannot revoke that consent at a later date. The problem is that this argument renders all contracts meaningless, since under it there is no such thing as informed consent.

That’s basically what erislover argued, except he actually attacked one of my premises for solution. As I stated more clearly in replying to jsgoddess, there are certain contract scenarios that sane people cannot consent to. My thinking is that these scenarios can be analyzed in order to develop a contract that cannot have this exception. My reason for this is to eliminate fraud in the contractual process. My hypothesis is that fraud in the contractual process results from not addressing the contradiction of infinite desire for reversion. In such a case, the contract CANNOT be revoked, and this is indicative of abusing the intent of a contract. I see as much structural issues with NEVER being able to opt out of a contract, as never having a contract that binds… both of these nullify the ability to call a contract, a contract with any sense of meaning. Whether the coersion is intentional or a result of ignorance, the appearance of the infinite loop “I wish I never signed this contract”, is undeniable evidence of coersion, no matter how delicate and graceful one may be able to make it look to outsiders.

There are certain things that you cannot inform consent to currently, because the contractual structure of our current ethics codes don’t address how to allow one to sign a contract with these probabilities in the list of side effects in the contractual agreement.

If this problem can be solved, then it is my opinion, that the ethical code has been sufficiently updated.

It’s not a matter of “well then we can’t consent, so what’s the point?”

That is the point! The contracts have a serious loophole, and if a person can still sign a contract containing these conditions, and still hold the evidence for consent, then the loophole has been patched, and contracts become meaningful with regards to consent for both parties. Otherwise, a contract is only a game of winners and losers… something that not only degenerates society as a whole, but also makes the use of contracts mundane in that they are a constant reminder of oppression… eventually reaching the point of having life itself be one manditory video poker game where the house always wins, and the general population has no clue with regards to any reasonable informed consent or option.

Okay, I’m with you there.

What exception are you referring to here?

I think this is where we differ. IMHO, a contract signed without an opt-out clause may be stupid, but is not meaningless.

I disagree with this. I see no reason why regret should revoke consent previously given. In the infinite regret situation, the individual, if sane, has only been coerced by themselves.

What distinguishes this ‘infinite loop’ form standard regret at the result of one’s actions (contract or not)?

Rather, one cannot consent at all if we accept reversion.

This sounds suspiciously like a rewording of the same thing: getting a person back to where they were materially or psychologically.

What else does this say than people expect a certain outcome but do not get it, then wish they had never participated? This is a larger phenomenon than just contracts. In the absence of coercion, all contracts should be just as sound as if there was no second party and the person simply decided on a course of action for themselves.

I would never have bought the hundred or so lottery tickets I’ve purchased in my life if I knew I wouldn’t win, for example. But you can’t win if you don’t play. So every few weeks I drop a buck down for a ticket. Do I not consent to this behavior simply because the lottery commission doesn’t refund my dollar? But then they don’t guarantee that I win. Neither, though, do experimental contracts guarantee one won’t suffer any side effects. Do they?

I think “h’uh?” sums this thread up nicely. Every time I see “infinite loop” I’m reminded of good ol’ Justhink and his tendency to re-use (but never completely define) terms like “consistancy” and “virtualize”.

I didn’t want to say it.

Here’s a loophole for certain clinical trials:
The question is… how to eliminate these loopholes, and the self referrential loopholes.

‘infinite loop’ - this term doesn’t work. Infinity doesn’t relate to frequency between each occurance, which is one of the ideas I was trying to convey. Back to the drawing board I think.

The patient signs a consent waiver for clinical trials on a drug from one of these long operating pharmaceutical companies.
Supposedly, none of the side effects are known.
The patient as a result, ends up in a state of anxiety, paranoia, suffering, depression, insanity and suicidal behavior and desire.
Unless this patient is reported, the company can supposedly get sued if the patient actually commits suicide. While a company is considered a person legally, it cannot be executed or imprisoned, so prison is out of the question.
So the company, being the ‘good’ people they are, reports this.
If the person who recieves the report does not restrain the patient in a facility until the suicidal behavior goes away, they get sued and/or sentenced to prison.
So this person gets the patient into a restraining facility.
Fast forward >> The patient is never helped. They had a miserable life as a result of participating in that trial, and died.
Back<< This patient is difficult to treat, so the company that caused this to happen, donates a huge facility to help study the patient and cure them. This is really a nice gesture and the community is proud of the company. This facility cost the company 50 million dollars and costs 20 million to maintain annually.
The company is a vital business, increasing profits by 4% each year, currently pulling in 980 million per annum.

What the public doesn’t know, due to the wonders of specialization, document shredding, game theory and trade secret law is that the company discovered 3 decades ago a series of 100 chemicals that causes the population to go insane 1/8000 to 1/12,000 depending upon which one of the 100 is used. It is completely inert for anyone else. The discovery was a fluke from a clinical trial that was wholly insignificant to those who study clinical trials, and nobody would bother to reproduce it who had the finances to run a trial. This class of substance is considered pointless and inert for the purposes of making profit, or so the research community is led to assume by the study.

Every other drug that this company produces, has the effect of making someone insane 1/8000 to 1/12000. Aparently, it’s an unsolved problem in human biochemistry that all of these types of drugs seem to do to some portion of the population. The company doesn’t even have to report a side effect of this level, legally.

It turns out, that this company runs a black ops fund out of the top dogs absurd salaries. The CEO alone drops 33 million per year into this fund, as it is private money. This is the war chest that operates below trader scrutiny. This money is used for two purposes.

1.) To insert this agent into each drug that the company releases, so as to insure a steady flow of patients that can be legally restrained. These patients would be impossible to gather otherwise, and are vital to the research facilities development of drugs that are beneficial and profitable.

2.) Since the company can always be sued for hunderds of millions of dollars, the rest of the black funds are used to run mock trials on itself in order to set legal precidence through individual decisions and class action decisions. The defense sector for this trial arm comes from the public fund. The black op prosocution sector is afforded 40 million a year just in salary.

The entire lottery with regards to symptoms from drugs is contrived. As such, consent was not informed.

Well, that’s an… interesting… scenario.

In any case, since the patients were not informed of the previously known risk of insanity, their consent is not informed. End of story.

But you are claiming that the side effects are known. In other words, you aren’t complaining about consent, you’re complaining about uninformed consent.

And no, not thinking it will happen to you doesn’t make consent uninformed.