Thursday, October 30, 2008

Protecting human research participants

I started work in a Neurobiology lab which works with children who have Williams Syndrome. In order to see the data I needed to take a funny online course on doing studies with human subjects. The highlights are below:

The graphics were possibly the best part, especially the names they used for the files, below you see intro_questionMan.jpg

So you see I'm not making this up you can take a look:

My favorite line:
It is not considered ethical behavior to use individuals solely as means to an end.

And a close second . . with graphic!
Individuals should be treated as autonomous agents
Red colored male shape and black colored female shape standing.

Prisoners were another hot topicThis picture is called mugshot.jpg!

Here is one example question which was very difficult:
  1. For research involving pregnant women, participation requires ...
    1. That women have completed the first trimester.
    2. That the study be conducted first in men.
    3. Permission of the father.
    4. Consideration of risks and potential benefits for the fetus and the pregnant woman.

They were very intent on keeping the subjects data private and secure:
Here is one more example question:
What is an appropriate method for maintaining confidentiality of private information obtained from human subjects?

This question was a tongue twister
True or False: For HIV antiretroviral treatment trials conducted in developing countries, the NIH expects investigators/contractors to address the provision of antiretroviral treatment to trial participants after their completion of participation in the clinical trial.

In the end I passed all the quizzes and received my certificate of completion:



  1. Mazal tov! I am sure you studied long and hard for that.

  2. you inspire me. i thought i was the only one loling at this stuff. im totally framing my certificate... just saying.