In recent years, increasing concern has been voiced about the nature and extent of human experimentation and its impact on the investigator, subject, science, and society. This casebook represents the first attempt to provide comprehensive materials for studying the human experimentation process.
Through case studies from medicine, biology, psychology, sociology, and law—as well as evaluative materials from many other disciplines—Dr. Katz examines the problems raised by human experimentation from the vantage points of each of its major participants—investigator, subject, professions, and state. He analyzes what kinds of authority should be delegated to these participants in the formulation, administration, and review of the human experimentation process. Alternative proposals, from allowing investigators a completely free hand to imposing centralized governmental control, are examined from both theoretical and practical perspectives.
The conceptual framework of Experimentation with Human Beings is designed to facilitate not only the analysis of such concepts as “harm,” “benefit,” and “informed consent,” but also the exploration of the problems raised by man’s quest for knowledge and mastery, his willingness to risk human life, and his readiness to delegate authority to professionals and rely on their judgment.
JAY KATZ is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor Emeritus of Law, Medicine, and Psychoanalysis at the Yale Law School.