Ethics in Research
by Zewe Serpell, GPSYCH
In this video, Serpell explains how in-class discussions get students to consider ethical issues in research. The key question is, When does what we do in the name of science cross the line and violate individuals' rights? An in class discussion of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study focuses on the more "murky" or grey areas, for example, whether it is acceptable to simply observe outcomes and do nothing when we have knowledge that can help the group we are studying. A second example is whether it is acceptable to use data that were collected by Nazi scientists in ways that are consistent with the scientific method, but also extremely unethical as they often resulted in the death of participants. Serpell prompts students to think about how these questions may play out in modern contexts, considering health disparities among minority populations within the U.S., but also more globally in reference to pharmaceutical companies testing new drugs in developing nations and targeting communities where illiteracy is high and access to health services is low.
Below is a video of Zewe Serpell explaining the assignment. You may have to click once to activate the player and another time to play it.
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