Unethical business research and unethical business practice unfortunately seems to occur more often than it should and it could be found in various types of organization around the world. Organizations must make sure to keep the greatest degree of ethical behavior and in every aspect of their business. Moral principles are also crucial to consider and important when implementing business research. Majority of the times, rules and regulations are set in place to avoid unethical practices in organizations. Somehow, for whatever reason, unethical research is conducted and ethical behavior is simply ignored by many organizations.
If business research is conducted unethically, there could be many reasons for it such as greed, gain, stratification, and sadly at times the excuse is that it was meant for the good of others. Whatever the reason, it does not justify the unethical practice and conduct. Ignoring rules and regulations set in place will eventually cost more harm than good but the sad truth is that some organizations will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.
In April, 2003 writer Kolesnikov, Jessop (Singapore Sonia) wrote an article titled “Unethical behavior” in the South China Morning Post. In the article it talked about unethical research behavior happening on the other side of the world in Asia. It also shows the importance to have tightened rules and regulations for ethical behavior in medical research. Singapore Biotech Hub
With Singapore tourism sector not being what it used to be, the Singaporean government turned their focus to the biotechnology sector for future growth and to become the biotech hub of Asia. The Severe acute respiratory syndrome, also known as “SARS”, an outbreak in Asia raised the importance of the biotechnology sector; SARS also raised the bar for researchers to find a cure. S$3 billion was pledge “to build infrastructure, train scientist, fund research, and start-ups” (Kolesnikov, 2003). Finding a cure first for the SARS could put Singapore in the spot light and bring them to the forefront of becoming the biotech hub for Asia.
In a push in becoming the biotech hub of Asia, Dr. Shorvon, Simon, head of the National Neuro-Science Institute and researcher Viswanathan Ramachandran cut corners with ethics by breaching ethical guidelines and putting patients at risks was eventually investigated by an independent panel. During the investigation it was found that Dr. Shorvon approved for his research assistant to alter the medication of 127 Parkinson’s patients and to monitor their physical response to the medication; without their permissions or the knowledge of their doctors. This unethical decision put their patients’ health at risk. The project was part of the $10 million project to study DNA mutations with patience that has the Parkinson and epilepsy (Kolesnikov, 2003).
This unethical behavior was uncovered and showed that not even respected doctors can be trusted with good ethics. The scandal was a huge shock to Singapore authorities that created an even bigger investigation in the medical field. The board of doctors who cleared Dr. Shavron’s project did not have enough details about it but still cleared it. The many loopholes that were found in the hospital’s rules and regulations led this particular project to be cleared and exposed their patients to high health risks; these loopholes was the reason why Dr. Shavron was also found not guilty of breaking any hospital guidelines. With the unethical research that was performed, people’s health and lives were put at risks. The Singaporean government was forced to immediately change their approach in their medical research procedures. New hospital committee was put in place to tighten rules on ethics and more information is required for any medical research.
Rules governing access of patience medical information, and clearer guidelines for non-clinical drug trials was established. Noticing the need for more strict rules and guidelines, Professor Lim Pin head of the Bioethics Advisory Committee stated “Singapore could not afford to take any unethical short cuts as it put itself on the fast track to becoming a top biomedical hub”. In conclusion, the scandal in Singapore is the prime example of an organization who was trying to achieve a meaningful goal for the greater good of others. They chose to ignore their ethical responsibilities to their community and patients, ended up putting their patients’ health at risk. One could argue that this scandal occur because of the lack of rules and guidelines that was in place. Although it is a valid argument, one would think the common-sense of professionals and researchers that they would not continue with clinical trial drugs, at least not without the consent of their patients.
Kolesnikov, SINGAPORE Sonia, J. (2003, April 29). Unethical behaviour. South China Morning Post [Hong Kong], p. 13. Http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/docview/265757212?accountid=458