This week in my Marketing Research and Strategy class, we covered the topic of ethical and unethical practices. As a result, the purpose of this week’s blog post is to find an ethical or unethical research study. I read some interesting articles and the study that I finally chose was the Monkey Drug Trials. The point of this experiment was to understand the effects of drug use and addiction. There were a large group of monkeys selected for this study and they were trained to inject themselves with drugs. Some of the drugs used in the experiment were morphine, alcohol, codeine, cocaine, and amphetamines. Once the monkeys were addicted to the drugs, they were given a large supply of the drugs to take as much as they wanted to. The results of the experiment were horrifying. Some of the monkeys tried to escape and broke their arms in the process, while others tore off their fingers from possible hallucinations. It was also reported that one monkey taking amphetamines tore all of the fur off on its arm and abdomen. Monkeys that used a combination of morphine and cocaine sadly died.
It is obvious that there were unethical practices in this study. The treatment of the animals was inhumane. The monkeys were forced to take drugs and soon became addicted. This is no way to treat an animal, even if the research could help us learn more about the topic of drug abuse. The monkeys were put into serious danger by participating in this study because many of them harmed themselves and some even died from the experiment. This whole thing could have been avoided if the people conducting the experiment did not use any animals. Instead of using animals, they could have possibly used people that were already addicts. That way the experimenters could give people the choice of participating in the experiment, compared to forcing the monkeys to take the drugs. The most beneficial thing that can be learned from the experiment is that animals should never be used as test subjects. They have no choice in the matter and it is cruel to put them through something like this.
Here is the link if you would like to read more about the experiment and other experiments like it http://listverse.com/2008/09/07/top-10-unethical-psychological-experiments/