The Dittrick Medical History Center & Museum will host the annual Rose & Anton Zverina Lecture Friday, Nov. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in Allen Memorial Medical Library’s Ford Auditorium.
Susan Lederer, the Robert Turell Professor and department chair of medical history and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, will present on her paper, titled “Henry K. Beecher’s Bombshell: ‘Ethics and Clinical Research’ (1966) and Protecting Human Subjects of Biomedical Research.”
In 1966, Henry K. Beecher, Harvard University professor of anesthesia research, authored a powerful critique of mainstream medical research in the New England Journal of Medicine. Since World War II, Beecher claimed, a new cohort of investigators had entered the field that were performing experiments on patients and healthy human subjects with little or no regard for their welfare and often without their knowledge and consent.
Beecher’s “bombshell” energized both the American public and Congress to take a more aggressive stance toward medical researchers.
Lederer’s paper explores the genesis and reception of Beecher’s critical engagement with biomedical ethics.