In the Shoes of a Hospital Research Subject

Imagine meeting each month with a small group of doctors, nurses and a few fellow residents of your community at a local hospital. No, you are not organizing the gala benefit that annually raises funds for the hospital. Nor are you talking over your monthly assignment as a member of  the hospital's auxiliary and volunteer corps. 

You are a different kind of volunteer. You are there to discuss, evaluate and monitor several research projects with one common feature: these research projects require the participation of a select group of patients being treated at the local hospital where the doctors and nurses practice. Further imagine that your group is required by law to ensure the patients, who let's face it, did not volunteer to be hospital patients to begin with, do not become unwilling research subjects and that their rights to respect and nondiscrimination are safeguarded.

We imagined being in this position when we talked with Dave McDowell about his learning the value of "putting himself into the shoes" of a patient and research subject, during his first year as a community member of the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor.  

 

This podcast is part of the Michigan Ethics Economy Initiative, a project for discovering and having conversations with people in Michigan working in ethics-related professions and helping to create ethical enterprises and an ethics-based economy.