Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.
In Sinclair Lewis' 1925 novel about the training of an early 20th-century
physician, the young Martin Arrowsmith, a man just beginning to feel the ecstasy
of the "drug of research," is instructed by his mentor in the proper attitude
of the scientist: "Be sure you do not let anything, not even your good kind
heart, spoil your experiment. You must pity, oh, so much the generation after
generation yet to come so that you can refuse to let yourself indulge in pity
for the men you will see dying." This advice certainly captures the truth
that all therapeutic interventions are untested at some point, and sentient
beings, human and animal, are put at risk during development and testing phases.
Gluck JP. History, Research Ethics. JAMA. 2004;291(17):2133-2134. doi:10.1001/jama.291.17.2133