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Personal knowledge and study participation
  1. Rebecca Dresser
  1. Correspondence to Professor Rebecca Dresser, Schools of Law and Medicine, Washington University School of Law, Box 1120, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA; dresser{at}


Scientists in earlier times considered personal research participation an essential component of their work. Exposing themselves to untested interventions was seen as the most ethical way to gauge the human response to those interventions. The practice was also educational, for it generated useful information that helped researchers plan subsequent human studies. Self-experimentation was eventually replaced by more comprehensive ethical codes governing human research. But it is time to bring back the practice of self-experimentation, albeit in modified form. Through serving as a study subject, investigators and other research professionals can obtain valuable information about their work.

  • Clinical trials
  • Education for Health Care Professionals
  • Research Ethics

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