The Search for Universality in the Ethics of Human Research: Andrew C. Ivy, Henry K. Beecher, and the Legacy of Nuremberg

  • Kenneth L. Vaux
  • Stanley G. Schade
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 28)


The first ethical requirement of human studies is that of scientific excellence. Meaningful truth must be sought. This means three things: a worthy goal, sound design, and competent execution. Beyond scientific excellence, studies must possess two additional ingredients to meet the ethical requirement. We will call these the humanistic and altruistic imperatives. Humanistic law requires that we do not deliberately harm another. This is the negative dimension of ethics: non-maleficence. These evaluative perspectives built on the sure foundation of good science should be found whenever clinical investigations are undertaken in universities or hospitals. The members of institutional review boards, representing various disciplines, should assure that this tripartite examination is made of every protocol. Good science, protective and affirmative ethics should always be present. The assumption of this paper is that science itself is a value. Therefore, only excellent science can be ethical and only ethical science is of value.


Rheumatic Fever Ethical Dimension Good Science Ethical Requirement Administrative Control 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth L. Vaux
    • 1
  • Stanley G. Schade
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisChicagoUSA

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