Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ethics in Research
Cary Stacy Smith & Li-Ching Hung
Ethical issues in social science research are of crucial importance not only to the individuals involved, but also to society. An understanding of what is and is not permissible arose through decades of debate beginning immediately after World War II, when information regarding how Nazi scientists treated prisoners in their care became general knowledge due to the Nuremberg trials. For instance, prisoners were placed into tubs of ice water to gauge the length of time it took to die from hypothermia; this was done in order to research how to save German pilots shot down over the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. The “high-altitude” experiments, in which prisoners were placed in a decompression chamber so the effects of too-little oxygen could be measured, were especially barbaric. Many subjects had their brains extracted and examined, though they were not dead and had not received any medication—they were, in essence, vivisected. ...