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Contemporary Authors in Bioethics: Silent Partners by Rebecca Dresser

April 20, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm


When is a human study ethical? For years, science and society have struggled with this question. Experts have put great effort into developing ethical principles and rules that adequately protect and respect volunteers in studies aimed at improving human health. But experts have made a serious omission: They have created a research ethics system without the help of people who know what it is like to be a research subject.

Scientists and ethicists often speak of subjects as partners in research, but the reality is quite different. Experienced subjects are rarely appointed to the advisory groups that create guidelines for ethical research, or to the committees that review individual studies to determine whether they meet ethical and regulatory standards.

Silent Partners moves research subjects to the forefront. It examines what research participation is like for healthy volunteers and patients. It explains why subjects’ voices should influence research ethics. Silent Partners shows how experienced research subjects can become real–not just symbolic partners in research.

This event is free and open to the public. Please bring a photo ID for security access to the Harvard Medical School campus.

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Center for Bioethics
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