Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal
Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus,
Virginia Commonwealth University.
Those who study the ethics of biomedical research need never wait long
for salient examples that demonstrate the risks and challenges inherent to
studies that employ human subjects. During the past decade, we have witnessed
congressional hearings that highlight the struggle between the public need
for disclosure of clinical trial results and the demands of patent owners
for the protection of proprietary data. Recently, we have also been placed
in the position of having to re-examine the risks and benefits of smallpox
vaccine by applying our understanding of the vaccine’s hazards to the
new, human-made indication of a potential terrorist attack. With these and
other examples at hand, one can easily appreciate the timeliness and importance
of Sydney Halpern’s book, Lesser Harms.
Blackman SC. Human Research. JAMA. 2005;294(5):626-627. doi:10.1001/jama.294.5.626