The ethics of biomedical military research: Therapy, prevention, enhancement, and risk

Alexandre Erler, Vincent C. Müller

Onderzoeksoutput: Hoofdstuk in Boek/Rapport/CongresprocedureHoofdstukAcademicpeer review


What proper role should considerations of risk, particularly to research subjects, play when it comes to conducting research on human enhancement in the military context? We introduce the currently visible military enhancement techniques (1) and the standard discussion of risk for these (2), in particular what we refer to as the ‘Assumption’, which states that the demands for risk-avoidance are higher for enhancement than for therapy. We challenge the Assumption through the introduction of three categories of enhancements (3): therapeutic, preventive, and pure enhancements. This demands a revision of the Assumption (4), alongside which we propose some further general principles bearing on how to balance risks and benefits in the context of military enhancement research. We identify a particular type of therapeutic enhancements as providing a more responsible path to human trials of the relevant interventions than pure enhancement applications. Finally, we discuss some possible objections to our line of thought (5). While acknowledging their potential insights, we ultimately find them to be unpersuasive, at least provided that our proposal is understood as fully non-coercive towards the candidates for such therapeutic enhancement trials.
Originele taal-2Engels
TitelHealth care in contexts of risk, uncertainty, and hybridity
RedacteurenDaniel Messelken, David Winkler
Plaats van productieCham
Aantal pagina's18
ISBN van elektronische versie978-3-030-80443-5
ISBN van geprinte versie978-3-030-80442-8, 978-3-030-80445-9
StatusGepubliceerd - nov. 2021

Publicatie series

NaamMilitary and Humanitarian Health Ethics (MHHE)
ISSN van geprinte versie2524-5465
ISSN van elektronische versie2524-5473


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