Of mice and men: violence and human experimentation

Mary Patricia Rawlinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Unethical human experimentation has long been a murky feature of medical research, most notoriously in the death camps of Nazi Germany. Despite the subsequent creation of the Nuremberg Code principles for the protection of human subjects, harmful medical trials continue to be conducted in the name of scientific inquiry and for the advancement of public health. Most, but not all, of the victims are marginalized groups, racially, ethnically and/or socio-economically defined, those for whom justice is often little more than a utopian hope. The article examines the violence behind the beneficent arm of the state in its role as health provider, and how the collaboration with medical science and the pharmaceutical industry have resulted in laboratories of human suffering involving society s most vulnerable. By locating the abuse of human subjects of medical research within the paradigm of state crime the article highlights the growing propensity for serious harm and abuse, diluted by the more common use of the term unethical rather than ?criminal?, as a consequence of this state, public health and corporate triumvirate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72 - 90
Number of pages19
JournalState Crime Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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