In the past decade, ethical issues in research involving human subjects have exploded into the public consciousness. In reviewing past human subject abuse, it is evident that, in human experimentation, legislation has not been sufficient to curb excesses. Selected journal reviews indicate that informed consent is often not reported for studies where such consent is deemed appropriate. This does not necessarily mean that consent was not obtained, or that subjects were abused or exploited. It does, however, introduce the possibility that many researchers either are not cognizant of, or merely pay lip service to, the principles that form a code of ethics. Ethics in research involving human subjects is not a settled issue. Researchers ought to be aware that the principles they accept may be less conclusive, and the guidelines they apply may be less protective, than such principles and guidelines appear to be. Testing human subjects is not a right, but a privilege, and the rights of the subject ought to outweigh the desires of the researcher to conduct research.
- Codes of ethics
- Informed consent