Guinea Pigs, Heroes & Desperate Patients: The History & Ethics of Human Research

Jeffrey Kahn, Alan C Regenberg, Debra JH Mathews and Joseph Ali, Johns Hopkins University

Learn about the ethical issues that arise when conducting human subjects research, as well as the history that grounds policies and debates in this area of biomedicine.

The objective of this course is to increase participants’ awareness and understanding of ethical issues that arise in the conduct of research on human subjects. The course will explore the history and future of ethical and policy challenges using a multi-disciplinary approach. Leading scholars in the ethics of human subject research will serve as course faculty.  This course will introduce participants to the history that grounds policies and debates regarding the use of humans in research. It will continue with discussion of how current international and US policies governing research are applied, how ethical norms and concepts have evolved, and how, in some cases, changes in research have outpaced changes in policy, leading to an often complicated mismatch between the two.

The lead instructor is Jeffrey Kahn, who is the Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy at the Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics.  He will be joined by colleagues who are all among the leading scholars in aspects of the ethical and policy issues related to research on human subjects, including Profs. Ruth Faden (history and theory of informed consent), Nancy Kass (public health research, research in international settings), Jeremy Sugarman (empirical approaches to research ethics, US research policy), Debra Mathews (US and international science and research policy), Gail Geller (participants' perspectives on research participation), Joseph Ali (law and research oversight in US and international settings), and Dan O'Connor (medical history, ethics and social media-based research).

Recommended Background

No background required--all materials are in English, so English reading and speaking proficiency is necessary.

Suggested Readings

Only public domain or open access readings will be required.  A non-required background reading list will be provided for those who would like additional materials or greater depth in particular topic areas.

Course Format

The class will consist of short (8-12 minute) topical modules that will be a combination of lecture, video content, and interviews.  Each module includes 1-3 integrated quiz and discussion questions.

FAQ

·  Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment. 

·  What resources will I need for this class?

For this course, all you need is an Internet connection, copies of the suggested readings (all of which can be obtained online for free), and the time to read, write, discuss, and enjoy thinking about the interesting issues raised by the lectures and materials.  

·  What is the most important thing I'll learn if I take this class?

Working with world class scholars, students will gain a greater appreciation of the ethics of research on humans, and the unique circumstances and personalities that shaped our present combination of ethical principles, oversight policies, and practices.

Dates:
  • Details to be announced
Course properties:
  • Free:
  • Paid:
  • Certificate:
  • MOOC:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
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  • Language: English Gb

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