Dr Tom Kerns
North Seattle Community College


Discussion Questions for
The Belmont Report

  1. Part A distinguishes (in the first line of Part A) between biomedical and behavioral research. Belmont doesn't explain the distinction, but what do you understand this distinction to mean?
  2. Part A also distinguishes between “practice” and “research.” What do you understand The Belmont Report to be saying (in Part A) about the distinction between practice and research?
  3. Of the three basic ethical principles outlined in Part B, which principle do you see as particularly important. In other words, understanding that all three principles are very important, if you had to pick one as especially important, which would you pick? Why?
  4. In the Informed Consent section of Part C (i.e., section 1.) the two key elements are Information (“Information” and “Comprehension”) and Free Consent (“Voluntariness”). Which of those areas do you see as likely to be the most problematic for researchers? Why?
  5. In the “Risks and Benefits” and “Selection of Subjects” sections of The Belmont Report, do you see any elements that you think we should be particularly aware of?

  6. Are there any parts of this document that you consider redundant, unnecessary, or ill-advised? I.e., are there any parts that you think could just as well have been left out?
  7. If you had to pick one element, or part, or aspect of this document as being the most important, what would that be?