Netherlands, Nijmegen

Biomedical Experimentation with Humans: History, Ethics and Social Policy

when 6 August 2018 - 10 August 2018
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS
fee EUR 600

This is a course about history, ethics, and policies of biomedical research involving human beings. Students will be introduced to evolution of social attitudes towards research enterprise. We follow the development of research ethics from researcher paternalism, through scandals and tragedies, to the most recent call for learning healthcare systems.
The course will present the most important questions of research ethics: What are the basic ethical principles for biomedical research? What constitutes informed consent? How to justly enroll participants into biomedical research? What is exploitation in the context of medical experimentation? Should research be an instrument of social justice in the world of inequalities? What is the age of consent/assent in case of research participation? What are the additional ethical considerations in low-income settings? Do researchers have the same moral obligations as physicians? What is the difference between research and practice of medicine?
Students will also be introduced to the legal regulations of research involving humans in the EU and the US, as well as to the most influential ethical guidelines concerning research (e. g. the Declaration of Helsinki, the Belmont Report, the Oviedo Convention, CIOMS Guidelines). The course is designed so that students will not only acquire knowledge and information, but also enhance their discussion and presentation skills, reading with understanding, and logical reasoning skills.
The course will be taught by an ethicist, who has background in philosophy, and by a researcher, who conducts research involving humans and has a practical view on ethical problems.
If you are researcher, this course may help you in preparing a research proposal and deal with a Research Ethics Committee. If you are interested in bioethics or studying bioethics at the moment, this course gives you an intensive introduction to research ethics. If you serve as a member of a Research Ethics Committee, this course enhances your knowledge about ethics and international regulations.

The course requires students’ active participation. The basic teaching methods are case-study discussions, group discussions, and Socratic conversations. Students will be given reading materials to study in advance or to prepare for case discussions. Movies and PowerPoint presentations will be used as a method of presenting information.

Course leader

Jan Piasecki, PhD, MSc
Assistant Professor
Department of Philosophy and Bioethics
Jagiellonian University, Poland
Phaik Yeong Cheah, PhD, MSc
Associate Profesor
Nuffield Department of Medicine
University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Target group

Master, PhD, postdoc. Students or researchers interested in bioethics and particularly in research ethics. Students, PhD candidates, and researchers from diverse background; such as nursing, medicine, philosophy, pharmacy, theology, psychology, public health, and law may consider their participation.

Course aim

After this course you are able to:
Discuss the scientific and social role of biomedical research in the contemporary world
Analyze ethical dilemmas concerning conducting research involving humans
Discuss the ethical problems of international biomedical research
Identify the most important legal regulations and ethical guidelines concerning biomedical research

Fee info

EUR 600: The fee includes the registration fees, course materials, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, lunch, and a number of social activities.


We offer several reduced fees:
€ 540   early bird discount – deadline 1 April 2018 (10%)
€ 510   partner + RU discount (15%)
€ 450   early bird + RU and partner discount (25%)

Register for this course
on course website