Please tell me that I'm not the only one who thinks this simply shouldn't be allowed or practiced!

So today a friend messages me on Facebook. She asks me to help her with a project. Sounds pretty mundane, so I ask her about it. She can't tell me what it is, some sort of "trust" thing. It's apparently for an online course she's taking. She tries to make me promise to do whatever it is for at least a week. Already warning bells are going off in my head, because I don't believe in those sorts of projects.

I ask a lot of questions, which aren't too helpful. I finally agree because I'm not really sure how to say no. So she tells me to start drinking until I need to pee. I'm busy and all, but I figure it'll take 20 minutes. No. I go for about an hour or two, getting completely sick and finally in so much pain that I have to wonder how long this will go on until she lets me stop, wondering how on earth I can re-do this every day for a week. In addition, I have to constantly update her on how I feel. Then I find out that she honestly expects me to hold my pee for a week. Straight. Then I can have one bathroom break, and then one more week of holding it.

I freaked out when I finally peiced that together. Aside from the stabbing, stinging pain and pressure, I was sick to my stomach, lightheaded, tired, and then starting crying and hyperventilating. So I begged her for sweet mercy. She gave me a half-assed pep-talk. But I could not do it. I don't know how anyone could. She guilted me with her failing the class and not getting a scholarship. But I quit anyway. It's such an unethical assignment I don't think it's even legal. People could, quite literally, die. And she has to make 15 people do this!

After unsuccessful begging, when I finally told her I had to pee, she preceded to say how she had learned that I was untrustable and blah blah blah. I think she may have blocked me because she had no response to my talented groveling/apology. I rarely have an experience like this... It seems like the sort of thing that only happens on teen sitcoms. I'm pretty sweet, not too hard to get along with. Now I have to go to school afraid to see this girl.

So I feel a little bad, but not very. Because I don't think I could make someone do that, scholarship or not. And I'm going to beat up her professor.

Am I alone in being horrified by this? Is it legal? My psychology class showed me much tamer studies that were considered unethical. Not to mention that it would be far simpler to merely teach the material as it's known, rather than torture innocent people again and again. It's incredibly worrisome that a professor could have so little foresight!

Insights, opinions, similar stories? 

Tags: assignment, immoral, pee, study

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You want a moral ground to stand upon?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication

http://generalmedicine.suite101.com/article.cfm/water_intoxication

You started showing symptoms of a poisoning " ...stabbing, stinging pain and pressure, I was sick to my stomach, lightheaded, tired, and then starting crying and hyperventilating."

You were definitely correct on saying quits, and you should reconsider how good of a friend or how legitimate her professor was.
That is really very dangerous, I have heard stories of frats doing the same thing and killing people by haveing them drink a gallon of X substance and not letting people pee. If I was you I would find out where she was takeing the class from and then call up the director of acidemicas and have a talk about this. Since it is online it might be harder to do but this is super dangerous so you should at least warn her of this.
Holding your bladder can also be a huge problem, not just too much water itself. I doubt you'd want the medical complications that come with that. >.X

The professor needs to be reported to the school's IRB on human subjects. Before any study can be done, it has to be approved by them, and this would not have been approved of because of the known health risks.
Definitely unethical. Whatever is going on here, it should only (if at all) be done by willing volunteers who know up front what it's all about.
I could see a law suit or two in the offing.
Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it!

I tried mentioning how it didn't seem ethical or legal, and even brought up contacting her professor, but she ignored it, kept telling me to keep drinking. I'm surprised that (as far as I know) no students tried to stop this. I think it was a class somewhat about physiology, so I'm dumbfounded by it.

The school is called Bridgerland Applied Technology College. I looked it up and it looks as if only part of the school is online, and the school is in my state. I want to send an email, any ideas what I should say? They have a "contact us" form but it doesn't appear to let you send it to any particular department. I wonder if this alone would be effective. I looked in the directory and some of the faculty can be emailed, but I'm not sure who to contact. The highest up that I can find is " Assistant to the Campus President", would someone like that be appropriate to contact?
That person is not your friend. What she asked you to do is unethical by any modern scientific standard. No review board on the planet would allow that sort of unsupervised experiment. I'm sorry to say it but I suspect that you were played for a fool, and that there was no assignment. I would dig a little harder and talk to someone at the school, because I doubt you will get any honesty from you "friend."
I considered the possibility, but I wouldn't expect it from her. Please don't take anything I say as cruel to her, but she's not really the "type", I think: She's shy, sort of awkward, and... I'm not sure she has free-thought enough to consider the ethical implications of something like this, rather than just assignment = A. I don't think her mind has even tried to wrap around it. If the ringleader was from the girl's volleyball team, then yes I would be more worried. But this girl doesn't have time to plan extensive pranks, she's too busy reading manga.

I don't think it could have been reviewed, but I'd guess the teacher just didn't think it through and sent out the assignment. Which reminds me: at my own school, a teacher locks students in a room for an hour with the heat and humidity way up, and no personal space at all, and no talking, to give them empathy for holocaust victims. Yes, none of them like doing it, but I feel like the only one who questions the validity and morality of it, and whether it should be allowed at all! Are these students really so crazy?? Not to mention it's a little insulting to compare that to the holocaust, and you shouldn't be trying to make anything seem like the holocaust in the first place...
That sounds like a good idea. I would send a few different copies of the e-mail to different people in the school. I would just pretty much say the same thing you did here and just try to say you are worried about people getting hurt but also bring up the possibilty that they could be liable. Also make sure you come off strong and let them know what happened to you is NOT ETHICAL by any streach of the imagination, the worst is that you could come off weak and winny so you need to sound really sure of your self.
Had a look at the BATC Directory, and I think your best bet would be to write to both Associate Vice-Presidents for Instruction and the Health Services Department Head. And let each know that you've contacted the others.

As to what to write, basically what you've written above: what happened, your physical and mental distress, your concern that such an assignment would be given. Underlie your concern with what you have since learned about the health effects of forcibly holding urine (don't shy away from using this word; in this context it is far better than using pee, wee-wee or any other euphemism) in one's bladder and the dangers of water intoxication.
It's not healthy to put that much pressure on your bladder, you could have injured yourself. So yes, it is definately unethical. In a psychological or sociological experiment (or any experiment involving human subjects), no harm should come to the subject and at no point should the subject feel distressed, which you obviously were. Also, the benefits of the project should outweigh any forseeable risks, and since witholding urine for too long can result in urinary tract infections and damage to you bladder or kidneys, and the only benefit is your friend passing her online course, I'd definately deem this little project unethical. I'd do a little internet search on both research ethics and the effects of holding it in too long and then shove it in her face. That should put an end to her little guilt trip.
"I ask a lot of questions, which aren't too helpful. I finally agree because I'm not really sure how to say no "

When asked a favour,you may always simply say no.There is no obligation to justify your decision.

'A friend'? Is this some stranger you met on Facebook or a person you've actually met and know well? It's a crucial distinction ,especially in terms of trust. My trust may not be demanded. It is either earned or it is not


As describes,that person was a dishonest and manipulative twat who has no regard for you or your feelings. Her behaviour is not ethical or moral in my opinion.

MY response would be a flat refusal and a formal complaint to the head of the institution and would have no further dealings with your 'friend'
I know her in life, she went to my middle school and now my high school. We used to sit together. We're not very close, but I'd had no reason not to trust her.

Ironically, I have met someone recently on facebook, and then in real life. She's far more trustworthy. This would never have happened with her. She's also a heathen. Hmm. Maybe we're not all baby-eating sociopaths.

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