The blog of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues

Author Archives: Karen Meagher

Bioethics Commission Meeting 24: Member Discussion of Future Educational Materials

Member discussion wrapped up the Bioethics Commission’s twenty-fourth meeting. During this session, members considered future plans for their educational materials. Plans include expanding on the over 50 educational tools currently available on the Bioethics Commission website. Members addressed new topics, audiences, and design of the educational resources. First, members considered possible future topics, including ethics […]

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Modernizing Human Subjects Research Protections: Legally Authorized Representatives and Consent Capacity

This is the last installment in a series of blog posts about recent proposed changes to the Common Rule, and how they relate to the work of the Bioethics Commission. The Common Rule currently requires permission from a legally authorized representative (LAR) to enroll participants who lack consent capacity in research. LARs consider and evaluate […]

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Bioethics Commission Recommends Further Research on Consent Capacity and Ethical Protections for Participants

In Gray Matters: Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) provided ethical analysis of three topics, including consent capacity and neuroscience research. More than one billion people globally, including millions of people in the United States, are affected by neurological disorders.[1] Neuroscience […]

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PRIM&R Conference Update: Research Ethics and Incidental and Secondary Findings

Recently, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) facilitated a didactic workshop session at the Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) Advancing Ethical Research Conference. This past Saturday, December 6, Bioethics Commission staff led the workshop IRB Primer: Incidental and Secondary Findings. The presentation provided an overview of the Commission’s […]

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Anticipating and Communicating Incidental and Secondary Findings in Research

Incidental findings can arise during the course of some research studies involving human participants, presenting ongoing challenges for researchers. For example, some imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound can reveal aspects of a research participant’s physiology outside the area of interest to researchers. The research setting is distinct, warranting ethical guidance […]

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Core Principles: Anticipation and Communication of Incidental and Secondary Findings

In its recent report, Anticipate and Communicate: Ethical Management of Incidental and Secondary Findings in the Clinical, Research, and Direct-to-Consumer Contexts, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues’s (Bioethics Commission) ethical analysis relies on a core set of principles consistently outlined in its work. The four common principles—respect for persons, beneficence, justice and […]

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Member Spotlight: Daniel P. Sulmasy

“Ethics is about what to do when ‘what to do’ is up to us,” quipped Dr. Daniel P. Sulmasy, capturing moral philosophy in a nutshell. His simple summary communicates a notion central to applied ethics, revealing how he spends half his time reflecting upon ethical theory. But one can imagine this skill of translating the […]

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Applying lessons learned in Guatemala to research today: Exploring the PCSBI Study Guide

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues has consistently noted the marked need for effective ethics education. With this commitment in mind, the Commission recently released a companion study guide to its 2011 historical investigation report, “Ethically Impossible” STD Research in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948,in which the Commission detailed the egregious treatment […]

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Recent Workshop on “Ethically Impossible” Study Guide Hosted by PRIM&R

Commission Senior Advisor Paul Lombardo, Ph.D., conducted a workshop about the Commission’s newly developed teaching resource, A Study Guide to “Ethically Impossible” STD Research in Guatemala, at the Advancing Ethical Research annual conference hosted by Public Responsibility in Medical Research (PRIM&R).  PRIM&R, a professional group working to advance the ethical conduct of research with humans […]

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This is a space for the members and staff of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to communicate with the public about the work of the commission and to discuss important issues in bioethics.

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