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The Controversy over Retrospective Moral Judgment

The mandate of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments required that the Committee take a position on the validity of retrospective moral judgments. However, throughout its period of operation, the Committee remained divided on the question of whether sound judgments of individual culpability and wrongdoing should be included in its Final Report. This essay examines the arguments that various committee members marshalled to support their opposing views on retrospective moral judgment and explains the significance of the controversy.