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Ethics in biomedical research

Omar N. Bradley


Abstract

‘You cannot pluck a flower without disturbing a star.’ This statement awakens in us a sense of the fundamental reality of the extent of inter-elatedness within our universe. The use of freon gas refrigerators in the northern hemisphere contributed to depletion of the ozone layer over the Antarctic. When mundane activities can influence remotely related phenomena, ethics becomes all the more pertinent to all deliberate human actions. It is not possible to subject every human action to ethical evaluation but moral and ethical codes have – over the years – been refined to enable mankind to lead an ‘ethically just’ existence. Notwithstanding continued refinement in ethical and moral codes, there are, and always will be, grey areas which create dilemmas in the practice of ethics.

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