Bioethics Blogs

Considering the Life and Legacy of Henry K. Beecher

by Krystal Bradford, CIP, Research Compliance Specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

PRIM&R is pleased to share a post from Krystal Bradford, CIP, a member of the PRIM&R Blog Squad for the 2014 Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference. The PRIM&R Blog Squad is composed of PRIM&R members who will blog here, on Ampersand, about the conference to give our readers an inside peek of what happened December 4-7 in Baltimore, MD.

Throughout the 2014 AER Conference, I had been looking forward to the last day. The slated keynote presentation, titled Beyond the Bombshell: The Legacy of Henry K. Beecher’s Call for Reform in Clinical Research Ethics, was one that I was eager to attend. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed. The session was so informative!

At times, within the research community, we can become desensitized to the history that gave way to our current system of research oversight. Susan E. Lederer, PhD, Robert Turell Professor of History of Medicine and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, offered a powerful reminder about why it is so important to remember that history. She spoke about Henry K. Beecher, an individual with whom many in the field are familiar. Beecher, the author of the seminal article, “Ethics and Clinical Research,” is often credited with prompting positive change in the clinical research enterprise.

Dr. Lederer’s talk was refreshing look at the historic paper and offered insight into the man behind the article. She highlighted the dysfunctional relationship that Dr.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.