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This guide is from 2015, and is no longer being maintained. Some of its information is outdated and some of its links are broken.
On this page you'll find resources that deal with issues of medical ethics.
OHRP: Informed Consent
Lots of information about informed consent from the Office for Human Research Protections (part of the US Department of Health and Human Services).
MedlinePlus: Informed Consent - adults
A description of what's supposed to happen when a doctor asks you for informed consent.
Immortal Cells, Enduring Issues
This article uses the story of Henrietta Lacks as the starting point for a discussion of informed consent. The article was published in Johns Hopkins Magazine in 2010, shortly after the publication of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Principles for the treatment of human research subjects
The Nuremberg Code
The Nuremberg Code is one of the earliest statements regarding ethical treatment of human research subjects. It was written in 1947 for a trial of Nazi doctors at Nuremberg.
The Declaration of Helsinki
A statement by the World Medical Association regarding the rights of human research subjects. The WMA originally adopted this declaration in 1964, and it has been regularly amended since then.
The Belmont Report
In response to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, Congress created the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. The Commission produced several reports; the most famous of these is the Belmont Report.
The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (a.k.a. the "Common Rule")
The "Common Rule" is a set of federal regulations that govern the use of human research subjects. Among other things, it requires that research involving human subjects be overseen by an IRB (Institutional Review Board).Click here
for an overview of the Common Rule and a list of US departments and agencies that have adopted it.
Selected noteworthy cases in medical ethics:
Video: Informed Consent and Medical Research
In this video clip, the show Religion & Ethics Newsweekly takes a look at ethical issues of informed consent, using the Havasupai and Henrietta Lacks cases as examples. Rebecca Skloot is one of several experts interviewed in the clip.