Relevant Ethical Principles The ethical principles and professional standards that pertain to this case are as follows: 0 Respect for Colleagues. Shamoo and Resnik’s Responsible Conduct of Research describes having respect for colleagues as “Help[ing] to educate, train, mentor, and advise the next generation of researchers. ” (Shamoo, 18). This is important because, as a lead researcher, you are taking responsibility for the researchers working under you.
If a researcher practices ethical misconduct in the lab they are setting a bad example for their fellow researchers and therefore could be liable for any future misconduct their mentees commit. Also, in failing to pass on good research ethics to their mentees lead researchers are setting the future of scientific research up to fail. OProtection of research animals. Researchers conducting experiments with animal research subjects should protect the welfare of their animal research subjects.
In order to do this researchers should not use animals in experiments that are not necessary or that are poorly designed (Shamoo, 19). In using animals for research, especially invasive research, we are taking them out of their natural environment and taking from then any chance of what they would see as a “normal life”. Because these animals are being used for our betterment, and to their detriment, we should take as much care as possible to keep them from any unnecessary distress. Practicing Stewardship.
Stewardship involves taking good care of all aspects of the lab. This includes research sites, tools, samples, and materials (Shamoo, 19). This is important because not taking good care of all aspects of the lab could render the lab useless. If a lab and the tools are not cleaned properly contaminants could ruin the research and cost the federal government thousands or even millions of dollars. Also, if proper care is not taken of the samples they could be rendered useless or, if used in the research, could be the cause of devastating errors.
Possible Courses of Action Below are three possible courses of action: A possible course of action for this case is that all charges against Dr. Edward Taub be dropped. If it is found that Alex Pacheco had orchestrated the poor condition of the lab Dr. Edward Taub may be awarded compensation for the cost of lawyers and discredit that was done to his name. Also, if it is found that Pacheco was at fault for the lack of stewardship in the lab then he would be the one who had practiced ethical misconduct and therefore could have charges pressed against him.
Since it was found that Dr. Edward Taub had not practiced ethical misconduct the Federal Government may return the remaining grant money and expect the research to be continued, either by Dr. Edward Taub or another qualified scientist, using the previously collected data. The seventeen monkeys would then be used in the concluding of the research. Another possible course of action for this case is that Dr. Edward Taub be charged and convicted of animal cruelty for acting unethically in his research. He would be found guilty due to his lack of stewardship in the lab, which is seen in the poor condition of the lab.
This includes the strong smell of ammonia that emanated from the lab and the buildup of feces on the floors of the monkey’s cages (Carlson). Dr. Edward Taub would also be found guilty due to his failure to protect his animal research subjects. Many of the Monkeys being used in Taub’s research were found having inflicted serious wounds to their numb limbs (Carlson). Since the goal of the experiment was to teach the monkeys to use their numb limbs Dr. Edward Taub should have designed an experiment that protected the monkey’s numb limbs from self-harm (Smith).
Lastly, he would be found guilty for not respecting his colleagues. By conducting the previous two examples of ethical misconduct Dr. Edward Taub was setting a bad example for his two research assistants and his student volunteer (Smith). It would also be reasonable to expect that Dr. Edward Taub be banned from conducting any further animal research as he had previously conducted sever ethical misconduct. Also, since Dr. Edward Taub had practiced ethical misconduct while utilizing Federal Grants the Federal Government could sue for all of the grant money received for the Silver Spring Monkey Experiment.
The monkeys used in the research would then be sent to rescues or zoos where they could live out the rest of their lives. I The last possible course of action would be that Dr. Edward Taub be found not guilty of ethical misconduct and that questions would not arise whether or not Alex Pacheco had orchestrated the conditions of the lab. If this course was taken all charges against Dr. Edward Taub would be dropped. He would be allowed back into research, however, the Silver Spring Monkey Experiment may not be resumed.
The Federal Government would not give the remaining grant money back to Dr. Edward Taub to resume his research, however, they also would not sue him for the money that had already been spent on the research. Depending on the condition of the monkeys they would either be euthanized and used to collect further data for the research or transferred to zoos (Raber). Pick a course of Action If I were deciding the outcome of this case I would go with the first course of action. I believe that Dr. Edward Taub was not guilty of failure to protect his research subjects.
I do not think that this experiment could be designed in a way that would prevent the monkeys from causing damage to their numb arms. I do, however, think the lab was lacking in stewardship. The lack of cleanliness in the lab and the neglect to properly care for the monkeys wounded limbs was unacceptable. However, I do not think this was at the fault of Dr. Edward Taub, who had left on vacation before Pacheco had taken his evidence to the police. Dr. Edward Taub left on vacation believing that his lab would be maintained by his two lab assistants and his student volunteer.
Shortly after he left on vacation his two assistants left and the student volunteer, Alex Pacheco, was the only person maintaining the lab. Since Pacheco entered the lab “undercover” in an attempt to shine a light on the unethical treatment of animals in scientific research it is believable that Pacheco would use the opportunity he was given to set up Dr. Edward Taub. For this reason I think that the charges against Dr. Edward Taub should be dropped and that charges should be brought against Alex Pacheco for his unethical lack in stewardship.