So, due to the ethical breaches associated
with a famous Tuskegee Syphilis Study,
due to that particular circumstance,
the Belmont Report was created
to codify how best to protect human
subjects in American Biomedical Research.
And the Belmont Report had some core
principles that we'll see repeated
several times as we talked
about the pillars of ethics.
The first is we have
to respect individuals.
Respect is a problematic
word, what does that mean?
It means you appreciate their ability
to make decisions for themselves.
Beneficence has to be a
foundational idea in medical ethics.
Beneficence is when
we try to do good.
And justice, what is justice?
Well, justice, essentially treating people
the same no matter what their background,
whether it's race,
whether it's gender,
whether it's age,
whether it's social class,
there must be justice involved.
Also, informed consent
was brought up again.
Informed consent is one of these themes
that we'll come back to again and again.
The individual must agree
to be experimented upon,
and that agreement
must be based upon
a genuine appreciation of the risks
associated with the procedure.
Speaking of risks, another core
principle is the assessment of the risks.
Is there an attempt or wasn't
an attempt by the researcher
to measure and to
quantify and to quantify
the potential risks and
benefits of their experiment?
how are the subjects selected?
This has to do
Are you targeting a particular
population because you think
they're more likely to
consent than others?
That's a problem.
One of the key criticisms
of the Belmont Report
is that it offers a kind of one
size fits all recommendation,
it doesn't consider that there
could be differences in ethnic
composition, gender, and culture in
the populations that you're looking at.
And that might help determine which of
the pillars you want to focus on more.
It also doesn't
give any guidance
on how to weight or prioritise
the core principles.
For example, is informed consent
more important than justice?
Is beneficence more important
than assessing risks?
We don't know.
It doesn't know and offers no guidance.