Friday, February 1, 2008

Anna's Topic on the Aids research in developing countries

To be completely honest, I do not know where I stand on the issue discussed in class on Wednesday, about research in Uganda. While reading the summary of the article presented, I noticed that studies in Third World countries were "equivalent" to sweat shops. Taking that idea, the research sounds absurd and completely unethical. However, the research in no way hurt the Ugandans. I might even venture to say that it helped them more than hurt them. Then there is the problem of creating a "double standard," which I do not think that I still fully understand that concept.

Another idea, however, caught my attention. "To allow [relativism] to seep into the international and national ethical standards will open the door to an idea that [condones] the possible abuse of those least able to protect themselves." (Clark, 2002) This idea jumped out at me because I hear "relativism" sometimes while discussing religion. To say that something is okay for one person, but not okay for another, is the relativity of that something. People tend to say that tolerance for one anothers' religions is important. Then to see relativism being bad with ethical standards (religion being as hard to define as ethics) seems to contradict the use of relativism. I agree that condoning a program that could lead to the abuse of people is bad. I also believe that relativism is not justifiable in religion, as well as ethics.

Clark, P. (2002) Aids research in developing countries: Do the ends justify the means? Medical Science Monitor, 8, 5-16.

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