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Is It Ethical For Parents to Use Children in Experiments?

A number of moms and dads allow their offspring to participate in studies, but they aren't usually the ones conducting the research. However, some scientists and medical professionals use their children as experimental subjects to gain further insight in their field. Do you think this is ethical?


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laurelm laurelm 8 years
I guess it would be unethical, since it is considered unethical to treat your relatives. Plus, you are adding a variable to the experiment that could hurt it, I am sure objectivity is affected, so the "results" of the experiment would be flawed.
kia kia 8 years
It depends on the subject being studied. If it involves an after effect of being harmful such as with something to consume that can make them sick or with behavior that could have lasting detrimental reinforcement then that is cruel. However if it is a curiosity where the parent does not think the effect can be harmful then I see no harm in it.
schnappycat schnappycat 8 years
Holy run-on sentence. Oops. It should have a period after "subject." That's what I get for multi-tasking!
schnappycat schnappycat 8 years
My son is enrolled in a long-term medical study and my husband is a doctor, but the two aren't related. We just feel more compelled to help further research because he is a scientist. I didn't read the entire article, but I'm not sure there is anything truly unethical about using your own child as your subject, it seems it may be a conflict of interest and even the best intentioned scientist/parent might unknowingly/unwittingly treat their subject/child differently which could cause the data to be skewed. So I don't think it's probably a great idea from a scientific perspective. That being said, I know my husband would obviously treat our son well and take great care to ensure his safety and comfort, so that wouldn't concern me. But generally, I don't think it's a wise idea.
foxie foxie 8 years
Ha! Before I read the entire headline, all I saw was the picture and I thought it said "Is it ethical for parents to give their children crazy haircuts?"
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