Term Paper: Ethics -- Roche Clinical Trials

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Ethics Case Study -- Roche Clinical Trials in China

The Utilitarianism vs. Right-based Ethics Approach

From the strictly utilitarian perspective, continuing clinical trials in China is perfectly ethical because it provides such a valuable benefit to society. Even if it comes at the expense of the rights of a relatively few prisoners, the product of the research involved will improve the survival rates and quality of life of such large numbers of patients in the future that the value of that research to society is too great to give up. From the rights-based ethical perspective, continuing clinical trials in China is completely unethical, regardless of how much good might eventually come out of it. That is because it is ethically impermissible to ignore the fundamental rights, such as the right to personal autonomy over one's body and over one's physical remains. There is no justification for using the organs of anybody without permission.

The rights-based approach is much stronger and more reasonable, largely, because the utilitarian approach ignores the entire concept of individual rights. In principle, there is almost nothing that could not be justified by utilitarianism as long as the conduct at issue ultimately provides a benefit to more people than the number of people to whom it causes harm. Utilitarianism would justify the tyranny of the majority over the minority without any regard or recognition for any objective rights of individuals.

Objective Ethical Analysis

From a purely objective point-of-view, the only valid ethical objection to the Chinese… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Ethics -- Roche Clinical Trials."  Essaytown.com.  January 30, 2012.  Accessed August 19, 2019.