"Self-experimentation" in vulnerable populations

Allen C Cheng
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05302.x
Published online: 5 May 2003

To the Editor: I note with interest the case study of experimental Ancylostoma caninum infection in a 22-year-old student.1 In his accompanying editorial, Van Der Weyden highlights the courage of these researchers, as well as some of the risks and discomforts associated with their participation,2 including in two studies in which he was a co-author.

  • Infectious Diseases Unit, Menzies School of Health Research, Casuarina, NT.


  • 1. Landmann JK, Prociv P. Experimental human infection with the dog hookworm, Ancylostoma caninum. Med J Aust 2003; 178: 69-71. <eMJA full text>
  • 2. Van Der Weyden MB. Researchers as guinea pigs [editorial]. Med J Aust 2003; 178: 52-53. <eMJA full text>
  • 3. Altman LK. Who goes first? The story of self-experimentation in medicine. Chapter 6: The myth of Walter Reed. New York: Random House, 1987.
  • 4. World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. Ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. Initiated 1964. Available at: (accessed Feb 2003).
  • 5. Miller FG, Rosenstein DL. Reporting of ethical issues in publications of medical research. Lancet 2002; 360: 1326-1328.


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