Traditional vaccine trials rely on large sample populations and natural infection processes. A quicker, cheaper, but riskier method, called Controlled Human Infection Model studies (CHIMs), has also been in practice for some time. In CHIMs, volunteers are deliberately infected with a pathogen to study its effects or to test the efficacy of a vaccine. In this article, Aditi examines the science behind CHIMs and the ethical implications of legalising this method in India, where such trials are presently banned.
The Indian National Science Academy recently published a book with detailed analysis and recommendations on ethical practices for doing science in India. With contributions from eighteen different authors, the book delves into multiple areas of concern and enumerates ethical guidelines for researchers and policymakers at several different levels. The book is freely available to download on INSA's website.
'Informed consent' is the process which ensures that human participants in a research study are given comprehensive information about the study, which allows them to make a conscious decision on whether or not to be part of it. However, theory does not always translate into practice, and in a country as vast and diverse as India, implementing true informed consent sometimes becomes a challenging task, as is examined in this next article in our series on research ethics.
Adherence to high ethical standards is of critical importance when it comes to scientific research performed on human subjects. In this next article in our series on research ethics, we explore the various guidelines that have been put in place to ensure ethical conduct of clinical trials in India and discuss the various challenges involved in enforcing the same.
Growing access to high-end imaging facilities and photo-editing software has brought with it increasing allegations of imaging fraud, manipulation and misconduct. In this first article in our new series on research ethics, we explore the causes, consequences and possible solutions to India's growing problems with the ethics of digital imaging.