Case Studies in Biomedical Research Ethics

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This textbook for instruction in biomedical research ethics can also serve as a valuable reference for medical professionals and bioethicists. The 149 cases included in the book are grouped in nine chapters, each of which covers a key area of debate in the field. Some of the case studies are classics, including the famous cases of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study (in which subjects with syphilis were not given treatment) and the Willowbrook hepatitis studies (in which institutionalized subjects were intentionally exposed to hepatitis). Others focus on such current issues as human embryonic stem cell research, cloning by somatic nuclear transfer, and the design and function of institutional review boards. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction that places the issues raised in context; this is followed by a number of cases (each of which is no more than a few pages). Study questions meant to encourage further discussion follow each case.

After an introductory discussion of the history and tenets of ethics in medical research, the book's chapters cover oversight and study design; informed consent; the selection of subjects; conflicts of interest; the social effects of research; embryos, fetuses, and children; genetic research; the use of animals; and authorship and publication. Following these chapters are appendixes with the texts of the Nuremburg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki, two key documents in the establishment of bioethical standards for research. Also included are a glossary, a table of cases by general category, and an alphabetical listing of cases.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Marjorie A Cage, PhD (Medical College of Wisconsin)
Description: This is a comprehensive and intriguing set of case studies in biomedical research ethics that spans both topics and history. The study questions following each case study are sure to engage the reader in discerning the ethical fine points.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a textbook in biomedical research ethics which develops important concepts and stimulates debate. The goal is a worthy one and the author succeeds in holding the reader's interest and scrutiny.
Audience: The book is written for students of ethics, but I think experienced practitioners in the human research protection field will find the case studies a rich source for thought and discussion. The author has written other books on research ethics, has been a visiting scholar with the AMA, and is currently a professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. He is well qualified in this subject matter.
Features: The book addresses ethical concerns in all areas of research, ranging from study design to informed consent and the selection of subjects to conflicts of interest and the use of animals. The breadth and depth of the topics is a reflection of an author who knows his topic and can present the material in an engaging and creative manner. A short glossary is followed by both an alphabetical and categorical listing of the case studies. Along with the very detailed index, a reader can easily find a topic or reference. The only shortcoming is in the chapter on informed consent, where the author fails to explore common strategies and techniques for eliciting truly informed consent.
Assessment: This is an outstanding book on biomedical research ethics. It is of great utility in the classroom and as a standard reference for those in the field of research ethics.

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262134378
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Series: Basic Bioethics
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy F. Murphy is Professor of Philosophy in the Biomedical Sciences at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. He is the author of Case Studies in Biomedical Research Ethics (MIT Press, 2004), Gay Science: The Ethics of Sexual Orientation Research, and other books.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Cases by Chapter
Introduction 1
1 Oversight and Study Design 13
2 Informed Consent 53
3 Selection of Subjects 91
4 Conflicts of Interest 127
5 Social Effects of Research 153
6 Embryos, Fetuses, and Children 193
7 Genetic Research 221
8 Use of Animals 249
9 Authorship and Publication 273
App. A The Nuremberg Code 307
App. B The Declaration of Helsinki 309
Glossary 315
Cases by General Category 319
Alphabetical List of Cases 327
Index 333
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