Homeopathy and Human-Subjects Research Ethics

Here are a pair of pieces from Policy Options, on the ethics of doing research on something we already know doesn’t work. Should we subject human beings to risk — or even inconvenience — to “test” something that is patently ridiculous?

Homeopathy and the ethics of researching magic, by Tim Caulfield
Homeopathy and research ethics, by Chris MacDonald

The 2 pieces represent a bit of a tempest in a teapot. Both authors agree that homeopathy is useless. They simply disagree somewhat over whether it could ever be ethically OK to engage in further testing, and whether it would in some way be harmful to explicitly forbid such testing.

About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.

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