State University of New York Institute of Technology
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After Decades, Research Conducted On Bowery Alcoholics Denounced As Unethical

This research that took place about 50 years ago has been resurrected recently by medical historians and is being condemned roundly as unethical.

Dr. Perry Hudson offered down-and-out alcoholics in New York’s Bowery district an alluring offer: a clean bed, free meals, and medical treatment if they underwent experimental biopsies for prostate cancer but Dr. Perry Hudson did not tell them that such biopsies would result in impotence and rectal tears from searching for cancer. Dr Perry Hudson also neglected to inform the volunteers about the consequences of this experiment.

Once medical historians wrote two papers stating the study to be unethical due to "the vulnerability and powerlessness of his subjects."  In the defense of Dr. Hudsod stated that the volunteers were paid, knowingly volunteered, and received the best treatment in New York, says Hudson, currently at age 96.

Although the alcoholics of Bowery District agreed to be a part of the experiment by receiving a clean bed to sleep, free food, and treatment in return, the fact that the volunteers did not know anything about the experiment makes this case unethical because the volunteers should have been informed about the whole experiment and it’s consequences if the cancer was found. This case is also unethical because the participants of this experiment did not have a say regarding their health. The participants should have been able to decide for their health.

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