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Pain, pleasure, and the greater good : from the Panopticon to the Skinner box and beyond

Author: Cathy Gere
Publisher: Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2017. ©2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"How should we weigh the costs and benefits of scientific research on humans? Is it right that a small group of people should suffer in order that a larger number can live better, healthier lives? Or is an individual truly sovereign, unable to be plotted as part of such a calculation? These questions have long bedeviled scientists, doctors, and citizens. In Pain, Pleasure, and the Greater Good, Cathy Gere presents  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Cathy Gere
ISBN: 9780226501857 022650185X
OCLC Number: 975905787
Description: vii, 292 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction: diving into the wreck --
Trial of the archangels --
Epicurus at the scaffold --
Nasty, British, and short --
The monkey in the Panopticon --
In which we wonder who is crazy --
Epicurus unchained --
Afterword: the restoration of the monarchy.
Responsibility: Cathy Gere.

Abstract:

"How should we weigh the costs and benefits of scientific research on humans? Is it right that a small group of people should suffer in order that a larger number can live better, healthier lives? Or is an individual truly sovereign, unable to be plotted as part of such a calculation? These questions have long bedeviled scientists, doctors, and citizens. In Pain, Pleasure, and the Greater Good, Cathy Gere presents the gripping story of how we have addressed them over time. Today, we are horrified at the idea that a medical experiment could be performed on someone without consent. But for more than two centuries, the doctrine of the greater good held sway. If a researcher believed his work would benefit humanity, then inflicting pain, or even death, on unwitting or captive subjects was considered ethically acceptable. It was only in the wake of World War II, and the revelations of Nazi medical atrocities, that public and medical opinion began to change, culminating in the National Research Act of 1974, which mandated informed consent. Yet Gere cautions that that greater good thinking is on the upswing again today and that the lesson of history is in imminent danger of being lost."--Jacket.
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"In this powerful, intelligent, and often disturbing book, Cathy Gere shows clearly how nineteenth-century models of human nature nourished terrifying medical crimes during the twentieth century. The Read more...

 
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