Research Ethics

Basic biomedical research and clinical trials have been the means of understanding disease and discovery of effective treatments. While research science is portrayed as an objective, empirical field, it too is confronted with specific ethical issues and dilemmas. Yet medical and scientific research at times in its history has not always reflected a genuine concern for the principled research and particularly a commitment to the protection of human subjects. Building on such foundation documents as the Nuremberg Code, the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Belmont Report, modern research ethics emphasizes the importance of human subjects research protections in the an increasingly complex research environment spanning all areas of biomedical and biotechnological research and beyond, as well as the increasingly international and global nature of such research endeavors. Relevant issues to research ethics include among others: global and national governance, privacy, scientific integrity, reproducibility, conflicts of interest, therapeutic misconception, unintended and secondary findings, use of placebos, responsibilities of researchers to indigenous populations, and issues surrounding informed consent and autonomy.