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Last updated:

May 17, 2022


6 months


This course includes:

6 months

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

6 months


Ethics of Human Subject Research (2 credits) is offered by the Department of Health Policy and Management and the Distance Education Division, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and The Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute, Johns Hopkins University. The course introduces students to the ethics of human subject research. Ethical theory and principles are introduced, followed by a brief history of research ethics. Topics covered in lectures and moderated discussions include informed consent for research participation, role and function of institutional review boards, just selection of research subjects, ethical aspects of study design, and privacy and confidentiality. Student evaluation will be based on participation in moderated discussions, and informed consent exercise and written case analysis.

Course Objectives

After completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • Discuss the principles of bioethics and how these principles should be applied to the ethical conduct of human subject research.
  • Identify, define, and analyze ethical issues in the context of human subject research.
  • Identify, through case studies, ethical issues that arise in different contexts and begin to reason through an appropriate course of action.
  • Draft informed consent forms.

Course Topics

  • Ethical theory and principles
  • History of research ethics
  • Contemporary issues in research ethics
  • Balancing the benefits and harms of participation in research
  • Ethical issues in study design
  • Informed consent in research
  • Institutional Review Boards
  • Selection of research participants
  • Ethical issues in vaccine research

Course Curriculum

    • Introduction to Ethical Analysis 00:55:00
    • Cases and Codes 00:55:00
    • Assessment of Risks and Benefits 00:55:00
    • Respect for Persons and Informed Consent 00:55:00
    • Informed Consent and Cultural Relativism 00:55:00
    • Introduction to Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) 00:55:00
    • Protection and Access 00:55:00
    • Justice in Research Ethics: International Issues 00:55:00
    • Research Ethics and Human Rights 00:55:00
    • Coercion and Undue Inducement in Research: Money and Other Offers 00:55:00

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