Case Studies in Biomedical Research Ethics

From Basic Bioethics

Case Studies in Biomedical Research Ethics

By Timothy F. Murphy





This textbook for instruction in biomedical research ethics can also serve as a valuable reference for professionals in the field of bioethics. The 149 cases included in the book are grouped in nine chapters, each of which covers a key area of debate in the field. Some of the case studies are classics, including the famous cases of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study (in which subjects with syphilis were not given treatment) and the Willowbrook hepatitis studies (in which institutionalized subjects were intentionally exposed to hepatitis). Others focus on such current issues as human embryonic stem cell research, cloning by somatic nuclear transfer, and the design and function of institutional review boards. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction that places the issues raised in context; this is followed by a number of cases (each of which is no more than a few pages). Study questions meant to encourage further discussion follow each case. After an introductory discussion of the history and tenets of ethics in medical research, the book's chapters cover the topics of oversight and study design; informed consent; the selection of subjects; conflicts of interest; the social effects of research; embryos, fetuses, and children; genetic research; the use of animals; and authorship and publication. Following these chapters are appendixes with the texts of the Nuremburg Code and the World Declaration of Geneva, two key documents in the establishment of bioethical standards for research. Also included are a glossary, a table of cases by general category, and an alphabetical listing of cases.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262134378 360 pp. | 7 in x 10 in


$40.00 X ISBN: 9780262632867 360 pp. | 7 in x 10 in


  • Tim Murphy has created a wonderful new book. It has been sorely needed for a long time and has promise of being a classic in the field. I am amazed by the breadth, number, and depth of the cases.

    Gregory Pence

    Department of Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Timothy Murphy has produced a thought-provoking collection of cases in biomedical research ethics that is astonishing in its breadth, and will prove highly useful in education.

    Mark H. Waymack

    Department of Philosophy and Co-Director of Graduate Programs in Health Care Ethics, Loyola University Chicago