Article

Synthese

, Volume 177, Issue 3, pp 427-447

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

In favour of a Millian proposal to reform biomedical research

  • Julian ReissAffiliated withFaculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Email author 

Abstract

One way to make philosophy of science more socially relevant is to attend to specific scientific practises that affect society to a great extent. One such practise is biomedical research. This paper looks at contemporary U.S. biomedical research in particular and argues that it suffers from important epistemic, moral and socio-economic failings. It then discusses and criticises existing approaches to improve on the status quo, most prominently by Thomas Pogge (a political philosopher), Joseph Stiglitz (a Nobel-prize winning economist) and James Robert Brown (a philosopher of science). Finally, it sketches an alternative proposal and argues for its superiority. The proposal has four components: changing the intellectual property regime; instituting independent clinical research; aligning innovators’ and patients’ interests; and enacting additional regulation.

Keywords

Biomedical research John Stuart Mill Global Justice Methodology