This textbook is designed for use in the training of researchers and research ethics committee members throughout Europe and beyond. It is intended to be accessible to scientific and lay readers, including those with no previous experience of ethical theory and analysis. The book covers key issues in the ethics of research involving human participants, including some of the ethical issues associated with new technologies.
The scope of the textbook is the ethics of scientific research involving human beings. It contains case studies relating to a variety of scientific disciplines including biomedical and human life sciences, new technologies and the social sciences.
These have been chosen to illustrate and facilitate discussion of key ethical issues, and to give a flavour of the range of research settings in which these issues occur. It is of course impossible, even in a fairly large book such as this, to include examples of every type of research. However, the ethical problems illustrated by the case studies, and the principles that are invoked in the discussions of these problems, are relevant to many different kinds of research; and the textbook should equip students to recognise ethical problems and apply the principles in relation to other kinds of research that they might encounter either in their own work or as members of research ethics committees.