Playing God: The Ethics of Human Subjects Research
From the CTY Course Catalog (2018):
From the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to Stanley Milgram’s psychology lab at Yale, human subject research has often been conducted using horrifying methods without the participants’ informed consent. This course examines the troubling history of human subject research in social context, and the harmful, lasting sociological implications of the exploitation of vulnerable populations for the “greater good.” Students grapple with key ethical concepts in research, including questions of consent, the role of privacy and confidentiality, and evaluating the potential benefits of research against harm that may come to the participants. Through multiple disciplines and case studies, they analyze some of the most challenging ethical issues that surround human subject research today, including under what circumstances, if any, may researchers deceive participants or justify harming them because of potential benefits.