obviously, is not a conventional view of bioethics. It is supposed to protect
and save people. However, an article in
the Journal of Internal Medicine contends that ethical regulation
for medical research “slows, discourages and stops life-saving research,” and
that as a result, “lives are lost that would otherwise have been saved.” The
researchers, S.N. Whitney and C.E. Schneider, point out that regulation delays
clinical trials by interrupting them, and then by delaying start dates and
delaying progress. The lack of cost-benefit analyses of regulation is
“disturbing, since regulation that does more harm than good is itself
regulation also has other negative effects: it “has sometimes prevented
research altogether”, it “can affect the quality of research”, and it “may also
have a chilling effect that causes researchers not even to attempt some kinds
of research.” S.N. Whitney, of Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, and C.E.
Schneider, of the University of Michigan Law School, also argue that as many
researchers are also members of review boards, ”ethics regulation reduces the
time they have to do their own research”.
In response, Søren Holm, editor of the Journal
of Medical Ethics, acknowledged that all regulation comes with a price tag.
However, he writes, “performing... research without consent is not a trivial
matter”. Furthermore, patients need protection from well-meaning researchers.
“If we have learnt anything from recent studies of the effects of con?ict of
interest, it is that even the best educated and most upright researchers are
not immune to the pernicious in?uence of such interests.” ~ Journal of Internal
Medicine, Vol 269, Issue 4