Ethical Issues in Research, Current Standards in

In the wake of public outrage over studies marked by egregious abuses to human rights (e.g., the Nazi experiments of World War II, the Tuskegee syphilis study, Laud Humphreys’s “tearoom trade” study), recent decades have commanded increased regulation of ethical processes for human research, especially for vulnerable populations. This entry examines the current definitions and standards regarding ethics in research, as well as the codes through which these standards are enforced.

Legal Acts Regarding Ethics in Research

With ethical cornerstones set by the Nuremberg Code (1947) and the Declaration of Helsinki (1964) as guideposts in research involving human participants, the U.S. Congress passed the National Research Act (1974), which mandates fundamental constraints for protecting the rights and welfare of human subjects. These constraints include institutional review and ...

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