Based on Amazon’s unanimous decision, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has won the top spot on their “Best Books of 2010” list.

Written by PRIM&R’s 2010 Advancing Ethical Research Conference keynote speaker Rebecca Skloot, this work explores the life of a woman named Henrietta Lacks, who died of cervical cancer, but whose cells live on. A sample of Lacks' tissue was taken without [...] Read more


by Emily Butler, content coordinator

The tale of human subjects abuses committed during the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee—in which researchers intentionally withheld treatment from hundreds of black men from the 1930s until 1972—reverberates through the research ethics world as a sentinel reminder of why the vigilant protection of human subjects is so essential.

Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius issued a joint statement of apology for a scandal that is sadly reminiscent of the abuses that took place at Tuskegee. Between 1946 and 1948, a U.S. Public [...] Read more


by Emily Butler, content coordinator

Early phase clinical trials depend on the enrollment of healthy volunteers, who usually receive compensation for participation. Those in the research community, with input from bioethicists, have spent a great deal of time trying to determine what constitutes “fair” and “appropriate” compensation for subjects.

Researchers, sponsors, and IRBs/HRPPs are rightly concerned that excessive or otherwise “inappropriate” payments could constitute an undue inducement, thereby interfering with the prospective subject’s judgment and decision-making. In fact, some normal volunteers have come to regard clinical trials participation as a job, and, in those cases, the compensation they receive becomes their primary source of income.

A new book by Roberto [...] Read more