Theses Bachelor's

Vulnerability and Protection in Research: Is It Ethical to Use Prisoners as Research Subjects?

Straus, Sarah A.

This paper reviews the basis for and the literature pertaining to the ethical issues surrounding the use of the vulnerable population of prisoners as subjects for research protocols. The foundation for the development of ethical guidelines to protect this population comes from the exploitation of vulnerable populations including prisoners in the Holocaust, totalitarian regimes, and even in countries with long histories of democracy. The main ethical issues relevant to research with prisoners are respect for persons, justice, and the theory of Utilitarianism. Within the ethical guidelines there is a conflict between protecting prisoners from exploitation in research and prisoners right to participate in research. Therefore, many ethical codes attempt to safeguard this especially vulnerable group without completely restricting them from the benefits of research.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
Psychology (Barnard College)
B.A., Barnard College
Published Here
May 16, 2011