Thursday, July 12, 2012

[PL 431] Voluntary Compulsion

From roughly 1999 to 2006, the IDF tested an anthrax vaccine on its soldiers. After numerous cases of severe side-effects started to surface, the Israel Medical Association conducted an investigation and determined that the anthrax experiments were "unjustified."

At the time, however, the experiments were approved by a committee whose public representative was Asa Kasher, the IDF's in-house philosopher.
the Health Ministry's Helsinki committee on human experiments has found that the experiment was necessary, that its scientific background was solid and that its protocol met all the standards codified by the World Medical Association's Declaration of Helsinki, thus leading the committee to approve the experiment.
According to the WMA Declaration of Helsinki (Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects), "participation by competent individuals as subjects in medical research must be voluntary."

Now, in what sense can a conscript's participation in a military experiment be said to be "voluntary"?

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