Why Is Preventive Medicine Exempted From Ethical Constraints?
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1990 Dec; 16(4): 187-190.
It is a paradox that medical experimentation on individuals, whether patients or healthy volunteers, is now controlled by strict ethical guidelines, while no such protection exists for whole populations which are subjected to medical interventions in the name of preventive medicine or health promotion. As many such interventions are either of dubious benefit or of uncertain harm-benefit balance, such as mass screening for cancers or for risk factors associated with coronary heart disease, there is no justification for maintaining the ethical vacuum in which preventive medicine finds itself at present.
Cancer; Costs and Benefits; Consent; Disclosure; Disease; Drugs; Education; Ethical Review; Females; Guidelines; Harm; Health; Health Education; Health Promotion; Heart Diseases; Informed Consent; Illness; Mass Screening; Medicine; Moral Policy; Nontherapeutic Research; Nutrition; Patients; Policy Analysis; Preventive Medicine; Public Health; Research; Research Subjects; Review; Risk; Risks and Benefits; Volunteers;
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Skrabanek, Petr (1986-01-18)The author, a member of the Department of Community Health at the University of Dublin, argues that "the issues of preventive medicine have little to do with science, relative risks, and risk factors" and "could be more ...