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December 20, 1995

The Ethics of Animal and Human Experimentation

Author Affiliations

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Georgetown University Washington, DC

JAMA. 1995;274(23):1889. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530230073039

The title of this book suggests that there will be ethical discussion of both animal and human experimentation. This expectation is only half fulfilled. Much of the discussion of human experimentation is informative, but the discussion of animal experimentation does not begin to address the most serious ethical issues.

The book comprises 29 essays by more than 30 persons of various nationalities, mainly Belgian, Dutch, and American. Topics range over general reflections about the conduct of biomedical science, legislative controls, ethical problems of randomized clinical trials, and special cases of particularly vulnerable human groups such as the mentally disabled.

The book's major strength lies in the breadth of thoughtful essays written by clinicians who are grappling with dilemmas in their own day-to-day experiences of conducting research on human subjects in combination with their therapeutic mission. The book provides insight into the moral problems that clinician-researchers face every day in balancing

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