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Research Methods and Design

Human subject research ethics. The history behind human subjects' protection and ethics is quite rich.

Please read the following article,

After reading through this information, please share your thoughts regarding ethics and research involving humans. What is your reaction to the horrific research trials that were conducting prior to strict regulation of research involving human subjects? Where do we draw the line with research? How much risk should we take in order to find new discoveries that will improve the health and well-being of us all? If we are too strict or over-regulate our research we may miss findings that could be very beneficial. However, if we are not strict enough we may unnecessarily harm others.

A Brief History of Research Ethics
http://research.unlv.edu/OPRS/history-ethics.htm

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Information on Tuskegee Syphilis Trial
http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/tuskegee/time.htm
PBS Report of the Apology by President Clinton
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/may97/tuskegee_5-16.html

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Hi,

Have you read the articles yet? They are informative and interesting! Let's take a lcoser look.

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After reading through this information, please share your thoughts regarding ethics and research involving humans...

1. What is your reaction to the horrific research trials that were conducting prior to strict regulation of research involving human subjects?

One could be shocked and even angry (and many are); however, it is important to remember that back then there were no rules and regulations (however there were basic ethical precepts that were often ignore), and there was little research showing the extent of the negative impact on participants when subjected to such "horrific" treatment. Although we could argue it is common sense to NOT subject human beings to this types of 'horrific' treatment, it is also important to remember how human beings often justify their behavior through rationalization and justification and by using certain types of philosophies or ethical theories to argue that their action was indeed the right action. Utilitarian ethics, for example, might argue something to the effect: " it is okay to sacrifice the well-being of a few research participants for the good of many. Therefore, since research might save millions of lives and potentially harm only a few, it is right thing to do" from the Utilitarian ethics point of view. However, others argue against the utilitarian' viewpoint, and instead argue that all necessary safeguards must be in place to prevent any foreseen harm to the participants (e.g., signed consent - voluntary and to choose to stop participating at any time during the research project; if deception is used because within it, would challenge the results, the participants will be fully debriefed following the study) and for any unforeseen psychological consequences of the study offered professional counseling and the likes. The participant's well-bing is first and foremst, then society and science.

It wasn't until human rights became a political issue, that the treatment of human beings in a "fair" and "humane" manner became more important - which prompted human rights to be legislated into law. It made certain behaviors mandatory by law. These laws were then used to write codes of ethic which were (and still are) intended to guide people along 'legal' (to avoid legal suits) and ethical lines, including research behavior with human subjects as seen in the following excerpts.

EXCERPT

CURRENT REGULATIONS
In 1981, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued regulations based on the Belmont Report. DHHS issued Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 45 (public welfare), Part 46 (protection of human subjects). The FDA issued CFR Title 21 (food and drugs), Parts 50 ...

Solution Summary

Based on the article and ethics and research involving humans, this solution discusses one's reaction to the ethical issues in the article.

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