Bioethics News

Do It Yourself? When the Researcher Becomes the Subject

December 6, 2016

(Science) – Medical martyrdom is rarer these days, in part due to increased regulation of human subject research after World War II, and fewer researchers dying for their work can only be a good thing. Nonetheless, autoexperimentation continues. The access to the subject is matchless, and the allure of big data and personalized medicine seems to be some nudging self-experimenters toward new types of studies. However, the regulatory environment remains somewhat vague, leaving it up to researchers to weigh practicality against ethical considerations. But if care and diligence accompany the appetite for adventure, scientists can responsibly conduct self-experimentation studies that help advance science—and potentially offer some fun and personal benefit to boot.

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.