Name:FerhinAktherMadonnaId: 250502Subject:Medical Ethics-Assignment 1 Stanley Milgram ExperimentAtYale University, Stanley Milgram a psychologist carried out the most famousstudy of obedience in psychology. The experiment was focused on the battlebetween obedience to authority and personal ethics. In 1963, Milgram wanted to know how far aperson would go to obey the instruction if it involved harming other person.Milgram was interested to see how an individual could be unfair by committingmurders, for instance, the Germans in World War II. Milgram wanted to examinewhat was the common reason for the murderer in the Nazi in World War II byGermans, are they obedient to their superior. Milgram prepared an experiment atYale University giving an announcement that was printed in the newspaperhighlighting mostly the male member to take part in the study of learning withselected participantsForconducting the experiment it required participants who were 40 males agedbetween 20 to 50 and their jobs ranged from unskilled to professionals. Therewere two types of participants; one was called learner and the other was calledthe teacher.
But the participants (Teachers) were not alert that the learnerswere one of Milgram’s colleagues who was pretending to be the realparticipants. In the Yale Laboratory, there were two rooms used; one for thelearner and the other for the teacher and experimenter to manage with anelectric shock generator. In the other room, the learner would be strapped to achair with electrodes.
When the learner makes a mistake, the teacher are told togive electric shock on the learner by increasing the level of shock it couldalso go to the lethal level. Sometimes on purpose, the learner gives wronganswer to all the question they were asked by the teacher at that point theteacher has to give them an electric shock for the wrong answers. When theelectric shock reaches to the high level, the teacher’s refuses to give shockany further but the experimenter forces or give order to continue themAsper Utilitarian, the experiment conducted my Milgram is a total violation ofethics as many people kept continuing giving shocks even though they know theyare harming the learner just to obey the authority. According to Utilitarianview, the people have no personal interest. In the experiment majority of thepeople were following the instruction as given, they were even forced to shocksup to lethal level. So this shows that they had no personal interest and theyare most likely to be obedience to authority. The experiment did not considerthe wellbeing of other personal interest, thus this experiment is against theUtilitarian view.
The ethicists who have agreed with Utilitarian said that theexperiment done my Milgram was wrong to run.Accordingto Kantian view, our first duty is to fulfill the moral obligation. Hence asper Kantian view, this experiment did not implicate any ethical issues. Anindividual should not involve in harming others conscience or which is notmorally correct. But Kantian says thatour duties should be at first, we should follow the orders of authority.
Thecandidate in the experiment simply fulfilling their duties even though theyknew they were harming others. At some point, the shock was at a lethal level.But as per them, they are following what the authority asked them to do. Themoral obligation is to shock them when the answer is wrong.
So this does notbring up any ethical issues according to Kantian view.Inmy point of view, this experiment was unethical. The reason to this is becausewe had to notice how the teachers would go against the social expectations.
Thepeople who quits at 150 volts they disobeyed the experimenter and have shownthe real courage. That was the main emphasis of the experiment showing how manypeople would go against this experiment when they are ordered to harm otherpeople. Over 50% of the participants in the experiment went all the way until450 volts but the rest at some point have quit. This was an alternate outcomethat kept running against all expectation and shows the excellent hidden powerof social setting.Anotherreason to why this experiment was unethical is because Milgram began hisexperiment without any ethical guidelines for the protection of the human.
Theexperimenter deceived the participants and made them believe that they wereharming the learner by giving them pain and put them on stress. Some teachereven trusted that they have harmed or killed the learner causing a considerablemeasure of stress. Milgram also lied about the experiment, informing that thepurpose of this experiment was to study about the effects of punishment onlearning; however, the real purpose of the experiment was to measure theobedience of an individual. Even after the experiment was over the participantswere not informed what the purpose of the experiment was, opponents believedthat it was not enough because it did not stop the psychological damage thathas affected the participants. Reference:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxq4QtK3j0Yhttps://nature.berkeley.
edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7article/article35.htmhttps://psucc8.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/stanley-milgram-was-his-experiment-really-unethical/BookReference:”CaseStudies In Biomedical Research Ethics” By Timothy F.