Ethics Topics > Science, Medicine & Research

Overview

Researchers and practitioners in the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, and medicine face an ethical responsibility to their research subjects, clients, and patients, as well as a duty to ethically and accurately report complex information and share data.

Professional Codes of Conduct often exist to support scientists and health care providers, but professionals in these fields must often make ethical judgments that fall outside of such guidelines.

These resources explore ethics concepts and dilemmas related to research in the sciences and the practice of health care in addition to a broader array of topics that may impact ethical decision-making in these fields.

Begin by viewing the suggested videos for an introduction to ethics concepts most applicable to working in the sciences and health care fields, such as the self-serving bias and the distinction between a subject of moral worth and a moral agent. To dig deeper, watch additional videos to learn about the behavioral ethics biases, such as the slippery slope and loss aversion, that may influence research design and impact data reporting. Other videos explain biases and pressures, such as conflict of interest, that challenge professionals in every field. To prompt conversation, use the discussion questions which follow each video. Each video has teaching notes for details on the ethics concept, and (often) assignment suggestions.

Read the case studies for real-world examples of both practice-related and research-related ethical dilemmas in science and medicine. To go further, answer the case study discussion questions and sketch the ethical decision-making process outlined in the case. The case studies can start your class discussion on ethics.

To explore further, watch “related” videos and read their corresponding case studies. Many of the ethics concepts covered by Ethics Unwrapped operate in tandem with each other, so the more you watch, the greater your understanding of ethical issues.

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Additional Case Studies

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