Experimentation on humans and nonhumans

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (4):333-355 (2006)
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Abstract

In this article, I argue that it is wrong to conduct any experiment on a nonhuman which we would regard as immoral were it to be conducted on a human, because such experimentation violates the basic moral rights of sentient beings. After distinguishing the rights approach from the utilitarian approach, I delineate basic concepts. I then raise the classic “argument from marginal cases” against those who support experimentation on nonhumans but not on humans. After next replying to six important objections against that argument, I contend that moral agents are logically required to accord basic moral rights to every sentient being. I conclude by providing criteria for distinguishing ethical from unethical experimentation.

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