Tag Archives: Research Ethics

Dr. Anthony Fauci discusses the HIV rebound in the Mississippi baby and importance of HIV research ethics

Photo via dem10/iStockphoto.com

Photo via dem10/iStockphoto.com

The Friday, July 11th episode of the PBS News Hour featured a presentation on the young child from Mississippi who had been treated with early and unusually aggressive drug treatment after birth and then was seemingly virus-free for two years.

However, official just announced that the girl, now almost 4 years old, tested positive for HIV during a follow-up appointment last week. When asked about the trial that was to begin, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases emphasized the need to be ethical in the design of the study.

Please visit the PBS News Hour website for a video and full transcript of the program.

Issues of Research Ethics in the Facebook ‘Mood Manipulation’ Study: The Importance of Multiple Perspectives

 

By: Michelle Broaddus, Ph.D.

A new study using Facebook data to study “emotional contagion,” and the ensuing backlash of its publication offers the opportunity to examine several ethical principles in research. One of the pillars of ethically conducted research is balancing the risks to the individual participants against the potential benefits to society or scientific knowledge. While the study’s effects were quite small, the authors argue that “given the massive scale of social networks such as Facebook, even small effects can have large aggregated consequences.” However, participants were not allowed to give informed consent, which constitutes a risk of the research and the major source of the backlash.

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Issues of Research Ethics in the Facebook ‘Mood Manipulation’ Study: The Importance of Multiple Perspectives (full text)

 

By: Michelle Broaddus, Ph.D.

A recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes a mood manipulation experiment conducted by Facebook scientists during one week in 2012 that suggests evidence of “emotional contagion,” or the spread of positive and negative affect between people. The backlash to this publication has been significant. As two examples, Slate.com published a piece entitled “Facebook’s Unethical Experiment: It intentionally manipulated users’ emotions without their knowledge” and The Atlantic’s piece, “Even the Editor of Facebook’s Mood Study Thought It Was Creepy.”

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‘Generosity is penicillin to our culture of entitlement’: Cardinal Dolan on ethics, social justice and issues facing millennials

Cardinal Dolan (center) with Michael Menconi FCRH '14 (left) and Ken Ochs FCRH '14 (right)

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York (center) with Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 (left) and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 (right)

On Thursday, June 5, 2014, Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education Ethics and Society blog student editors Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 interviewed Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York. The 90-minute interview spanned a range of topics including political party participation, research on human and animal subjects, and how Catholic educational institutions should treat students who become pregnant, among others. He also provided background on many of the Catholic Church’s teachings and moral positions.

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Cardinal Dolan on the Ethical Questions of Our Time & Generation (Full Text of the Interview)

Cardinal Dolan (center) with Michael Menconi FCRH '14 (left) and Ken Ochs FCRH '14 (right)

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York (center) with Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 (left) and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 (right)

 

On Thursday, June 5, 2014, Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education Ethics and Society student editors Michael Menconi (FCRH ’15) and Ken Ochs (FCRH ’15) interviewed Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York. Cardinal Dolan is former President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a member of the Board of Trustees at the Catholic University of America, past chairman of Catholic Relief Services, and he also serves on the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization and Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Rome. His Eminence and the editors were joined by Father Thomas Berg, a moral theologian and advisor to Cardinal Dolan, at St. Joseph’s Seminary of the Archdiocese of New York for the interview.

Ochs: Thank you once again for having us. We would like to get started with our first question. You have had a great deal of interaction and dialogue with young people, and college students, particularly Fordham students. You’ve been to our university many times since you’ve been installed as Archbishop of New York. What values—ethical values, religious values, societal values perhaps—do you believe are most important for those in our generation to hold and put into practice?

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Sexual & Reproductive Health Program in South Africa Coordinated by Fordham RETI Fellow to be Funded by Mayor of Pretoria

Charmaine Thokoane, Fordham University RETI Fellow and Santander Universities International Scholarship Recipient

Charmaine Thokoane, Fordham University RETI Fellow and Santander Universities International Scholarship Recipient

South Africa has the highest rate of HIV infection in the world. Fordham University HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) Fellow Charmaine Thokoane is working to combat that statistic through a sexual and reproductive health program designed for 12-18 year-olds in South Africa. In fact, Thokoane’s work has caught the eye of the Mayor of Pretoria, who has agreed to fund the program she coordinates.

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Fordham RETI Fellows Publish in JERHRE Special Issue

RETI Cohort 1& 2 Fellows and Faculty

RETI Cohort 1& 2 Fellows and Faculty

Six Fordham University HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) Fellows recently published articles in a special issue of the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics (JERHRE). The special issue highlights recent innovative research and scholarship on ethical issues critical to the responsible conduct of HIV prevention research.

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Clinical trials can & should be designed to include people with disabilities

Clinical trials tend to exclude vulnerable populations, such as people with disabilities. Speaking to Joshua Howgego of SciDev.net, Dr. Celia B. Fisher, Director of the Center for Ethics Education, explained that clinical trials can — and should — be designed to include people with disabilities.

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Improved Regulations to Protect Human Research Subjects Would Reduce Burden on IRBs While Better Protecting Study Participants

NAS

Proposed updates to federal regulations that protect human research subjects need additional clarification when applied to the social and behavioral sciences, says a new report from the National Research Council.  Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia B. Fisher was a member of the committee and an author of the report.

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HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute Now Accepting Applications for 2014

2013 HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute Faculty, Fellows and Staff

2013 HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute Faculty, Fellows and Staff

Now in its fourth year, the Fordham University HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) is now accepting applications for the 2014 Summer Institute and Mentored Research Program.

This NIDA-funded program, directed by Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia B. Fisher, provides early career investigators in the social, behavioral, medical and public health fields with an opportunity to gain research ethics training.

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Introducing the Research Ethics Scales and Measures Website

How do you measure research on research ethics?

The Fordham University Center for Ethics Education in partnership with the HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute has recently introduced Research Ethics Scales and Measures, a continuously-updated evidence-based research ethics resources website for investigators who wish to use scales and measures to study all aspects of research ethics.

The website contains an extensive bibliography on quantitative approaches to research on research ethics which is divided into the following categories: Consent Assessment & Enhancement, Institutional Review Boards, Investigator and Institutional Perspectives, and Participant Perspectives.

In addition to the website, the scales and measures are also available on this blog.

We welcome submissions of scales and measures on research on research ethics. Please contact Elizabeth Yuko (eyuko@fordham.edu) with submissions or for more details.

Advance Directives for Research Involving Adults with Advancing Dementia

By Celia B. Fisher, Ph.D.

As advance directives for health care have become increasingly accepted in society, some have suggested that similar directives by those with advancing cognitive impairment can enhance substitute decision-making for research participation once an individual’s mental capacity has been compromised.

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Changes in HIPAA rule increases penalties for ‘business associates’ but purports to make it easier for researchers to obtain children’s health information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has modified the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules to address breaches by business associates, reported to reduce research burdens by making it easier for parents and others to give permission to share proof of a child’s immunization with a school.
Will this new ruling reduce or add to burdens of conducting research designed to help children that involves the coordination of large data sets across health, educational and service settings?
For additional information visit the HHS website.  

Will Proposed Changes to Federal Regulations Impact Barriers to Research Involving Children and Adolescents?

For the first time in twenty years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is considering changes to a portion of federal regulations governing research known as the “Common Rule” (45 CFR 46, 2009; Subpart A). At present, the proposed changes are not sufficiently sensitive to the potential impact on research involving infants, children and adolescents.

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Are the Workers Alright? Moral Distress Among Mental Health Researchers

By Adam L. Fried, Ph.D.

Psychologists and psychiatrists have devoted increased attention to their own self-care in response to high levels of stress in treating individuals with serious mental health conditions. Little attention, however, has been paid to those conducting research with these populations and the unique moral dilemmas encountered by researchers on the front lines.  This is especially true for the graduate students, research assistants, and other research staff who are out in the field or in hospitals providing research-related clinical assessments and interventions, as well as other more traditional research tasks, such as participant recruitment and enrollment, with individuals with high levels of anxiety, depression, and trauma.

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Welcome to the 2013 HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute Fellows

The Fordham HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute is pleased to announce that the following individuals have been selected as the 2013 fellows: Dr. Stella Njuguna (Kenya Medical Research Institute of the University of California Berkeley), Dr. Nicole Overstreet (Yale University), Dr. Alexis Roth (University of California San Diego), Dr. Darpun Sachdev (HIV Vaccine Fellow, San Francisco Department of Public Health), Dr. Andrew Spieldenner (Hofstra University), and Dr. Sean Young (University of California Los Angeles). Continue reading