The Parr | Bioethics Joint Lecture Series
Thursday April 4, 5-6:30 pm
Hyde Hall, University Room
Steven Joffe (Medical Ethics, Penn)
“Ethical Obligations Towards Research Subjects”
The ethical distinction between medical care, which seeks to advance the patient’s well-being, and biomedical research, which seeks to answer a question for the benefit of future patients, is widely recognized. Yet conventional analyses of the relationship between physician-investigators and research participants start from the ethics of the doctor-patient relationship, then ask how these norms can accommodate the demands of research. This approach is both conceptually unsatisfactory and inconsistent with much of current practice. A better approach is to start from the ethical obligations of scientists in the lab, then ask what constraints on the conduct of rigorous science are introduced by the involvement of human subjects—especially sick patient-subjects.
Steven Joffe, MD, MPH, is a pediatric oncologist and bioethicist who is currently Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Professor of Pediatrics, and Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. His research addresses the many ethical challenges that arise in the conduct of clinical and translational investigation; his over 100 published articles span research ethics, pediatric ethics, cancer ethics, genomethics, and science policy.