Has regulation slowed Scientific Progress.
As we read and went over in class, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, I kept thinking about how all of the scientists conducted their research until, various laws and such came about which made their practices illegal. And so I thought about the question: Has increased regulations throughout the years led to a decrease in scientific progress? and was wondering what everyone thought about it. I for one think believe that it has hindered research and progress in many ways. If you think about it, most of the major medical discoveries of our time occurred way before most of our current regulations were introduced. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, there are references to doctors in injecting patients with cancer and syphilis without warning them. The Tuskegee institute injected healthy black men with Syphilis to study the effects of the disease. Dr. Southam injected patients (without their knowledge) directly with HeLa cells to test if patients could catch cancer from them. The HeLa cells, which the book is about, were taken without her knowledge but have lead to incredible discoveries such as the cure for polio, gene mapping, chemotherapy, and new cancer drugs. Had the current regulations been around in the time when Henrietta was being treated, all of these studies would never of happened but we wouldn’t have half of the medical discoveries that we do today. The case is strong to say that regulation slows progress, but there’s a point when we tradeoff human rights for scientific progress, and without regulation we would all unknowingly be lab rats. But is it worth trading our basic human rights to save thousands of lives?