The phenomenal advancement in medical sciences today could only be achieved through continuous research and medical experimentation. However, in course of such experimentation patientís rights were given a go bye in many cases. Even concerned patients were kept totally unaware of the experimentation carried on them in gross breach and utter violation of human rights.
Since legitimate experimentation calls for informed consent from the concerned individual, experiments were commonly carried in oppressive and repressive settings on the inmates of prisons, mental institutions and homes for the spastics and disabled.
To ensure transparency doctors are under an obligation to disclose the risks, hazards and benefits from the proposed experimentation while seeking consent from the patient.
There are disgraceful instances of mentally retarded children being infected with hepatitis to test potential vaccines. Terminally ill hospital patients were injected with live cancer cells to find out their immunity response.
Doctors frequently request patients in teaching hospitals to participate in research programmes.
Federal regulations require that there should be Institutional Review Boards (IRB) in all hospitals that receive federal funding to monitor human experimentation. The accent is on transparency, obtaining informed consent by covering specified mandatory items and proper documentation to ensure compliance with the guidelines in this regard.