Tag Archives: Research Ethics

‘High-Profile and HIV+’ Revives Ethical Questions

Screenshot 2015-11-18 10.16.08

This piece was originally published yesterday on
the Fordham News blog

By: Gina Vergel

Actor Charlie Sheen made headlines in 2011 with a number of trips to rehab, his dismissal from hit show Two and a Half Men, and a public meltdown.

Four years later, he’s back in the news, as he revealed he is HIV positive in a TODAY interview with Matt Lauer.

“It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life,” the 50-year-old actor said to Lauer.

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NIH’s New Definition of “Children” Finally Gets it Right: A Welcome Change for Children’s Health Equity


By Celia B. Fisher, Ph.D.

Under current federal research regulations, a “child” is defined as an individual younger than 21 years of age – a policy that has produced inequities in health research for youth younger than 18 years of age.

Beginning January 25th, 2016, that will change: the age of a child will be defined as an individual less than 18 years old. This is a welcome change that can begin to address the urgent need for age- and population-targeted research to avoid the use of treatments tested in young adult populations that may be unsuited for adolescents and children.

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Minimal risk and minimal experience: Can researchers competently navigate OHRP’s new risk categories?

human subjects

Photo via

By: Celia B. Fisher, Ph.D.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced proposed revisions to modernize federal regulations governing the protection of research participants’ rights and welfare. The newly proposed regulations have many positive features that will improve the informed consent process through transparency and stricter requirements to protect participant privacy and enhance informed consent.

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Fordham RETI Fellow Receives $100K Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Photo via Clark University.

Photo via Clark University.

Fordham University Center for Ethics Education HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute Fellow Dr. Nicole Overstreet was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine the needs of those affected by intimate partner violence.

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The FDA, Finances, & Feminism: Why the third time was the charm for so-called “female Viagra”

By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

Money can’t buy happiness, but evidently is instrumental in gaining FDA approval for controversial drugs with low efficacy and significant side effects.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Addyi (Flibanserin) to treat acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women, after denying approval in 2010 and 2013 because the risks of the medication did not outweigh the benefits.

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When are Researchers Accomplices to a Crime? Navigating Moral Boundaries

On the run cover

By: Celia B. Fisher, Ph.D.

In her book, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, sociologist Alice Goffman describes driving her passenger, “Mike,” a young man participating in her 6-year field study, looking to revenge the death of another young neighborhood man (Re: “Heralded Book on Crime Disputed” New York Times, C1, June 6, 2015). Irrespective of the legal implications of Dr. Goffman’s complicity in what might have been a felony, her honest portrayal of her own feelings of revenge and sorrow illuminates the ethical quandaries faced by researchers who immerse themselves in the lives of individuals living in crime-ridden neighborhoods. 

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Fordham’s Dr. Celia B. Fisher weighs in on failed HIV prevention trial in Africa

A recent failed HIV prevention drug trial in Africa has raised concerns over the ethical design and implementation of research involving payment to participants in poor countries.

According to the New York Times: “The trial — known by the acronym Voice, for Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic — was abruptly halted by independent safety monitors because it was not working: Women who were given pills or vaginal gels containing anti-H.I.V. drugs were becoming infected at roughly the same rate as women who were given placebos.”

Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia B. Fisher is also the director of the HIV and Drug Abuse Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) —  a program funded by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (# 1R25DA031608-01), for which she also serves as the principal investigator.

“Be wary of blaming payment for research participation for inadequate research methods and participant consultation,” Fisher, an internationally renowned expert in research ethics and health disparities, advised.

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