How can medical experiments on people with intellectual disabilities legally justified?

When you think of the deeds of Julius Hallervorden in the 1940s, it is clear why research on mentally disabled people is a sensitive issue. Mental disability is expressed primarily by an impaired intelligence. Since impaired intelligence alone does not define a detectable value, a distinction to be made ​​between equally intelligent people and the mentally ill. definition approaches are numerous, however, is unfortunately still no conclusive definition found. One can, however, summarize the approaches so that a mentally disabled person is someone who needs according to his limited intellectual capabilities to help protect and secure existence.

Necessity of research on learning disabilities

Research on people with intellectual disabilities is primarily necessary to improve their health care. Mentally disabled people are generally more prone to mental illness and an intellectual disability is often associated with a variety of physical abnormalities, such as in Down syndrome. Here, common medicines and treatments have yet to be tested. Also, new drugs are discovered and investigated accordingly. Meaningful results are obtained, however, only if a drug is tested on the group of people, in which the disease occurs. Especially with genetic disabilities drugs often act differently from other people. Ultimately, one must not forget that the mental retardation can also be mere by-product of various diseases or bodily malfunction. To cure the underlying structure of illness can, a medical research subjects is essential in order to find a treatment method.


Consent of the assisted

Unless the mentally retarded person in the particular case in a position to assess the scope of the procedure accordingly (the capacity to consent is), no additional consent of the supervisor is required. Here is the self-determination principle, according to which the consent of the patient always enjoys primacy, where he can make the decision themselves. In those cases, the legal representative shall refuse to sign the contract not treatment, except by serious other reasons for which the Supervised be due to his condition could not include them in its deliberations. Unless a legal representative appointed or not reachable, the physician must act with lack of communication ability after the presumed wishes of patients.