No act of autoexperimentation, no matter how worthy or well intentioned, should be sanctioned until three conditions are fulfilled: (1) The proposed experiment has been fully described; (2) potential sources of coercion influencing the experimenter have been investigated and excluded; and (3) the institutional and social consequences of the experiment have been thoroughly explored, particularly with respect to risks such as the appearance of condoning inconsistent standards for the protection of human subjects. In most cases, fulfillment of these conditions will result in autoexperimentation being held to the same standard of review as any other forms of human investigation. These conditions are expressly designed to protect both the experimenter—subject and the institution, in equal measure.

The decision-making process associated with auto-experimentation should, therefore, involve peer review, and it should accord with established criteria for determining the acceptability of experimental protocols. At the very least, judgments about the permissibility of autoexperimentation must weigh questions of risk, benefit, voluntariness, and scientific significance, as well as the more elusive issues comprehended by the term institutional interests. While the requirement for institutional review may induce some scientists to experiment on themselves outside the scientific mainstream, this effect is unlikely to prevail and, as a practical matter, is virtually impossible to repress.


SEE ALSO: Autonomy;Harm;Paternalism; Research, Human: Historical Aspects; Research, Unethical

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Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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