Research Ethics Roundup: The Ethics of Charging Patients for Research, Ruling on Personhood Status for Chimps, and More

From considering whether it is appropriate to ask patients to pay for research to the responsibility to share research data, this week’s Research Ethics Roundup explores some of the important ethical questions that emerge in the conduct of research.


Chimps Aren’t People, New York State Supreme Court Judge Rules: Last week, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that “two research chimpanzees at a state university on Long Island shouldn’t be considered legal persons and given the rights bestowed by so-called personhood.” Corrine Ramsey reports on the ruling in this article from The Wall Street Journal.

How Ebola-Vaccine Success Could Reshape Clinical-Trial Policy: In this piece for Nature, Declan Butler, Ewen Callaway, and Erika Check Hayden consider the recent success of a clinical trial of an Ebola vaccine and its implications for “how future clinical trials are conducted in outbreaks.”

Pace of Research Should Not Barrel Ahead of Ethical Safeguards: Alexander M. Capron, Elisa A. Hurley, and David H. Strauss respond to a recent opinion piece in The Boston Globe that argued that bioethicists need to “get out of the way” of science. Capron et al. contend that “science unfettered by ethics is bad science.”

Scientists Are Hoarding Data And It’s Ruining Medical Research: In this piece for Buzzfeed, Ben Goldacre reports on scientists’ efforts to reproduce findings from clinical trials. He argues that researchers have a responsibility to make raw data available so others can reanalyze the work and verify the findings.

Should We Charge Patients for Medical Research?: Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Steven Joffe consider whether it is ethical to ask patients to pay for research in this opinion piece for The New York Times. They argue that “charging [patients to pay for research] would be a mistake.”