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Ethics in Research

In this assignment, you will analyze the legal aspects to consider in research and the cost and benefits of making ethical choices.

Using the Internet, research the following:

  • Unethical aspects of research
  • Legal aspects of research


In 1972, Jean Heller reported the unethical features of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, a forty-year project in Macon County, Alabama in 1932. The Government promised four hundred poor men cost-free treatment for bad blood which was epidemic at that time. The treatment was not given nor did these men receive standard treatment for syphilis even though penicillin was available. They were not informed about the research design and its risks to them.

This study represents medical misconduct and disregard for human rights that take place in the name of science. The government physicians published their reports of the study in medical journals. They used subjects who could not protect themselves. The government doctors did not get informed consent from them. Over one hundred of them died and others suffered from serious syphilis-related conditions. A civil suit was filed against the doctors but the case never came to trial. Each participant received $ 37,500 in damages and the heirs of the dead were given $15,000.

Most unethical choices by researchers are not easily identifiable or even easily definable by law as illegal. However, these behaviors remain unscrupulous and unacceptable by many standards of social research.


Based on the scenario and your research and readings, answer the following questions:

  • How is it possible that some actions are unethical, but remain legal?
  • What is scientific misconduct? What happens if you are unethical in your research?
  • What type of ethical decisions must researchers make when conducting experiments?
  • What are the costs and benefits of making ethical choices in research? Explain.

Submission Details:

  • Cite all soruces in APA format.
  • Attach a Report.

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