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Sept 25, 1967

Ethical Experimentation In Human Subjects

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1967;201(13):1053. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130130079031

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To the Editor:—  Much publicity has recently been given to the ethical problems of human experimentation. This, at least, has had the laudable result of making physicians concerned with these matters think carefully before planning even such minor procedures as venipunctures or administration of tracer doses of 131I in normal subjects. It is therefore particularly shocking to read (199:897, 1967) that, in healthy young college women, "about one sixth of the blood volume was removed each week until the hemoglobin concentration remained below 10 gm/100ml."The inconvenience or harm to which the subjects are exposed cannot be dissociated entirely from the anticipated benefit to the community. Without the inoculation of volunteers with malaria in Australia, our war effort in Southeast Asia would have been largely nullified. With these considerations in mind, I quote from the article in question:After being made anemic by repeated phlebotomy, the anemia was