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Criminal Law

2009

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Civil liability

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Full-Text Articles in Law

When Human Experimentation Is Criminal, Song Richardson Jan 2009

When Human Experimentation Is Criminal, Song Richardson

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Medical researchers engaged in human experimentation commit criminal acts seemingly without consequence. Whereas other actors who violate bodily integrity and autonomy are routinely penalized with convictions for assault, fraud, and homicide, researchers escape criminal punishment. This Article begins to scrutinize this undercriminalization phenomenon and provides a framework for understanding why researchers are not prosecuted for their crimes. It argues that their exalted social status, combined with the perceived social benefit of their research, immunizes them from use of the criminal sanction. Whether these constitute sufficient grounds to give researchers a pass from punishment is a significant question because the state's …