Research with Prisoners

In: Science

Submitted By 09876abc
Words 2488
Pages 10
The history of conducting research with prisoners has been problematic. As a group, prisoners have been a population of convenience; researchers knew where they were and would be, often for many years. In addition, prisoners lived under controlled conditions conducive to research. It was generally accepted to use prisoners as research subjects for testing medicines, drugs, and medical devices without regard to the risks, benefits, and rights of those individuals.
As documented in Acres of Skin: Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison (Hornblum 1998), prisoners were used in lieu of laboratory animals to test the toxicity of cosmetics. In other experiments, prisoners were irradiated in research conducted by the Atomic Energy Commission, rendering some sterile and others badly burned. These are only two examples of many experiments using prisoners as subjects.
In 1978, the United States (U.S.) Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the predecessor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), issued additional regulations providing safeguards for prisoners as research subjects: Subpart C: "Additional Protections Pertaining to Biomedical and Behavioral Research Involving Prisoners as Subjects." These regulations address the fact that prisoners are under constraints that could affect their ability to make truly voluntary and un-coerced decisions to participate in research. Subpart C imposes strict limits on the involvement of prisoners as research subjects. The only research that may be conducted with prisoners as subjects is research that is material to the lives of the prisoners.
Learning Objectives
By the end of this module, you should be able to:
• Examine and apply the definition of "prisoner" in the federal regulations.
• List the four categories of permissible research with prisoners allowed by the federal regulations.
• Identify issues to…...

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