Research with human subjects

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Research with human subjects

The headlines bring news of another scientist (this time a physician-scientist) caught committing fraud, rather than science. This story is of interest in part because of the scale of the deception — not a paper or two, but perhaps dozens — and in part because the scientist’s area of research, the treatment of pain, strikes…

I’m not a regular reader of the Huffington Post, but I received a pointer to an article there that strikes me as worthy of comment. The article, Why I Take Animal-Tested Drugs, was written by Simon Chaitowitz, the former Communications director for the animal rights group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. From the title, you…

Over at On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess, Dr. Isis looks at challenges of opening up participation in human subjects research to potential subjects who are not fluent English speakers: When one enters the university hospital here at MRU, there are a number of skilled and qualified translators that are available to help patients…

While the ScienceBlogs upgrade was underway, a shiny new Bloggingheads diavlog was posted, featuring yours truly and PalMD. Mostly we talked about medical ethics, with some time spent on ethical issues around research with human subjects.

Anesthesiology and addiction.

There’s an interesting story on The New Republic website at the moment, “Going Under” by Jason Zengerle, that relates the sad story of a young anesthesiologist’s descent into addiction. What I find interesting about it is the larger questions it raises about why this particular anesthesiologist’s story is not so unusual. Indeed, the article offers…

Back in November, at the Philosophy of Science Association meeting in Pittsburgh, I heard a really interesting talk by Jeremy Howick of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University about the challenges of double-blind trials in medical research. I’m not going to reconstruct his talk here (since it’s his research, not mine), but I…

Back in July, Science ran an interesting news article about an on again, off again clinical trial of chelation therapy in the treatment of autistic children. I found the story fascinating because it highlights some of the challenges in setting up ethical research with human subjects — not to mention some of the challenges inherent…

In the July 18, 2008 issue of Science, I noticed a news item, “Old Samples Trip Up Tokyo Team”: A University of Tokyo team has retracted a published research paper because it apparently failed to obtain informed consent from tissue donors or approval from an institutional review board (IRB). Other papers by the same group…

One of the key requirements that researchers conducting studies with human subjects must meet is that they obtain the informed consent of the participating subjects (or of a parent or guardian, if the subject is not able to give informed consent himself or herself). However, there are particular instances where giving the subjects complete information…

A colleague of mine (who has time to read actual printed-on-paper newspapers in the morning) pointed me toward an essay by Andrew Vickers in the New York Times (22 January 2008) wondering why cancer researchers are so unwilling to share their data. Here’s Vickers’ point of entry to the issue: