Date of Completion

Spring 5-12-2023

Thesis Advisor(s)

Dr. Elizabeth Kline

Honors Major

Biological Sciences


Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Emergency Medicine | Health Services Administration | International Law | Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility | Patient Safety | Quality Improvement | Systems Biology


Emergency and acute care settings are some of the most volatile and high intensity areas of any healthcare operation. Better understanding of systems and treatments in these spaces are critical to improving outcomes for the high risk patients that are treated there. Clinical research serves as a cornerstone of modern medical research, and is critical to the further improvement of clinical care in these settings. This thesis serves to explore the ethicality of such research given the constraints of emergency medicine settings. Not only does this thesis provide a strong foundation regarding the history and current practices of clinical research, but it also utilizes vivid examples from current literature to illustrate the ethical questions that are raised. While it is clear that there are solutions to some of these questions, it is also evident that there are larger challenges that still need to be addressed in order to better satisfy the ethicality of this research given its need. Ultimately, this thesis reviews a number of modern publications on this topic, giving a synopsis of current standards and issues, as well as potential solutions to the ethical dilemmas found in emergency care clinical research.