Research Ethics

Under what conditions is it permissible to conduct medical research with human subjects?  There is a broad consensus that this at least requires the informed consent of the individual subjects.  But what is required to secure an individual’s consent?  What else is required besides consent?  For example, are certain trial designs ruled out in principle (say, placebo controls where there is a proven effective intervention available for the condition under investigation)? And what are the broad ethical concerns in the responsible conduct of research?

Trent Center faculty play a lead role in providing coursework in research ethics education at Duke and address a range of ethical issues in research. Select articles and interviews by Trent Center faculty working in the area of research ethics include:

Christian Simon

            Will We Sacrifice Ethics and Quality in our Haste to Understand COVIC-19?

           Implementation of a responsible conduct of research education program at Duke University School of Medicine Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance (2019). Co-written with Duke colleagues.

Jennifer Hawkins

            Exploitation and Developing Countries:  The Ethics of Clinical Research (Princeton, 2008). Co-edited with E. Emanuel.

Kevin Weinfurt

            Public views regarding the responsibility of patients, clinicians, and institutions to participate in research in the United States Clinical Trials (July 2019)        

Gopal Sreenivasan

            What is Adequate Understanding? American Journal of Bioethics (2019).

See more information about Trent Center faculty whose research focuses on bioethics.