© 2018

The Ethics of Research with Human Subjects

Protecting People, Advancing Science, Promoting Trust


  • The first book to develop a philosophical framework for thinking about the ethics of research with human subjects from the perspective of trust

  • Provides guidance for investigators and oversight committees based on insights from moral theory, and the psychology and philosophy of trust

  • Contains research and guidance of value to both the novice and expert alike


Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 74)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. David B. Resnik
    Pages 1-12
  3. David B. Resnik
    Pages 13-51
  4. David B. Resnik
    Pages 53-85
  5. David B. Resnik
    Pages 113-147
  6. David B. Resnik
    Pages 149-163
  7. David B. Resnik
    Pages 165-191
  8. David B. Resnik
    Pages 193-213
  9. David B. Resnik
    Pages 215-234
  10. David B. Resnik
    Pages 235-256
  11. David B. Resnik
    Pages 257-270
  12. David B. Resnik
    Pages 271-277
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 279-316

About this book


This book provides a framework for approaching ethical and policy dilemmas in research with human subjects from the perspective of trust. It explains how trust is important not only between investigators and subjects but also between and among other stakeholders involved in the research enterprise, including research staff, sponsors, institutions, communities, oversight committees, government agencies, and the general public. The book argues that trust should be viewed as a distinct ethical principle for research with human subjects that complements other principles, such as autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. The book applies the principle of trust to numerous issues, including informed consent, confidentiality, risk minimization, risks and benefits, protection of vulnerable subjects, experimental design, research integrity, and research oversight.This work also includes discussions of the history of research involving human subjects, moral theories and principles, contemporary cases, and proposed regulatory reforms. The book is useful for undergraduate and graduate students studying ethical policy issues related to research with human subjects, as well as for scientists and scholars who are interested in thinking about this topic from the perspective of trust.


ethics of research research with human subjects moral theory research integrity ethics and informed consent research ethics human research ethics the perspective of trust ethical research dilemmas research design and benefits special duties of beneficence

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.National Institutes of HealthNational Institute of Environmental Health SciencesResearch Triangle ParkUSA

About the authors

Dr. Resnik has an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and J.D. from Concord University School of Law. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Davidson College.  Dr. Resnik was an Associate and Full Professor of Medical Humanities at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU) from 1998-2004, and an Associate Director of the Bioethics Center at ECU and University Health Systems from 1998-2004.  Dr. Resnik was Assistant and Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wyoming (UW) from 1990-1998, and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Ethics at UW from 1995-1998. Dr. Resnik has published over 200 articles on various topics in philosophy and bioethics and is the author of 8 books. He serves on several editorial boards and is an Associate Editor of the journal Accountability in Research. Dr. Resnik is also Chair of the NIEHS Institutional Review Board.  Dr. Resnik’s research interests focus on ethical, philosophical, and legal issues in scientific research.  

Bibliographic information