"No doctor, however great his capacity or original his ideas, has the right to choose martyrs for science or for the general good." Human Guinea Pigs: Experimentation on Man Whistle-blowers tend not to make themselves popular. Maurice Pappworth's whistle was Human Guinea Pigs, the controversial book published in 1967 which examined unethical medical experimentation on humans, identified the researchers and institutions responsible, took the medical establishment by storm and provoked questions in Parliament. Brilliant, Jewish, already an outsider, Pappworth was recognized as the best medical teacher in the country. But Pappworth, convinced that the reasons for the experiments coming to his attention were purely for the career advancement of ambitious practitioners, chose to speak his mind. His exposes led eventually to stricter codes of practice for human experimentation and the establishment of the research ethics committees which remain in place today.
Maurice Pappworth's daughter, the late Joanna Seldon, re-assesses the importance of Human Guinea Pigs as a major milestone in the development of current medical research ethics, and demands a re-evaluation of the pioneering medical ethicist who compromised his own career in order to ensure the protection of the patient - and thus the moral values central to his profession.