Clearly, scientific investigation has extended and enhanced the quality of life and increased our understanding of ourselves, our relationships with others, and the natural world. It is one of the foundations of our society's material, intellectual, and social progress. For many citizens, scientific discoveries have alleviated the suffering caused by disease or disability. Nonetheless, the prospect of gaining such valuable scientific knowledge need not and should not be pursued at the expense of human rights or human dignity.
National Bioethics Advisory Commission, 2001
Bioethics Projects and Interests
Research into human subject protections
Research that involves vulnerable persons is our special concern and the focus of several past and planned activities. With support from the National Insitutes of Health, we developed and now provide related resources. More about human subject protection and our resources . . .
Ethical, legal and social implications of genetic research
Underway and in development are studies of ethical, legal and social issues raised by genetic research, including research into substance use disorders. These interests align with those of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, as well as the National Human Genome Research Institute and its vision for genomic research’s future. More about our NIH funded Law & Ethics of Drug Addiction Genetics Research (LEDGER) study . . .
Training and continuing education in research ethics
Our Cardiovascular Disease Research Ethics ("CADRE") program provides ethics training across the U.S. for researchers involved in heart disease research, and is funded through 2010 by the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. More about CADRE . . .
Rural mental health and drug use disorders
We are interested in how stigma and discrimination may affect rural residents’ access to mental health and drug treatment. Read the President’s New Freedom Commission report on changing the approach to mental health care.
Law and ethics play a crucial role in protecting and promoting the public’s health. We are concerned about how laws and ethics further or constrain public health and judicial responses to public health matters, and providing public health professionals and judicial officials with relevant resources. More on public health law and ethics . . .