The Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research is a statewide advocate for biomedical research that promotes the life, dignity and rights of every human being at each developmental stage.
Biomedical research undermines human dignity when it discriminates against certain human beings based on their developmental stage, or when it treats humans as mere physical objects that can be harvested for their parts. To treat the human being as too old, too young, too feeble or as a mere body is to treat the person in an unequal, discriminatory and dehumanizing manner. Therefore, biomedical research must respect the whole person, body and spirit, at every stage of development and guarantee the basic human rights of equality and nondiscrimination.
To promote human well-being, biomedical research must be conducted in accord with the following fundamental, time-honored ethical principles that protect basic human rights:
Beneficence means that biomedical research must do no harm to the human subject of research or to the human community.
Justice means that the basic human rights possessed by every human being be upheld and protected in biomedical research.
Autonomy means that a human being is free to choose to participate in biomedical research. To choose freely, a human subject must be adequately informed about the purpose, requirements and potential benefit or harm of the research.
Biomedical research that violates any of these fundamental ethical principles, even for the express purpose of improving the physical/spiritual condition of the sick or disabled, undermines the life, dignity and rights of every human being. The Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research wholeheartedly supports biomedical research performed in accord with these principles.
Respect for human life, dignity and rights is based upon the following:
The human being (human person) begins as a single-celled organism who contains all of the genetic material necessary to develop into an adult.
The human being has inherent dignity that is independent of societal recognition, developmental stage, age, gender, religion, health, financial position, etc.
The human being is to be loved and never used merely for someone else’s goals, no matter how worthy or far-reaching.
To be truly ethical, biomedical research must correctly apply the principles of beneficence, justice and autonomy based on the following:
All human beings (including embryonic and fetal human beings):
Should be granted all the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution;
Must be protected from research that is harmful or that deprives them of their lives;
Must not be violated or destroyed even if such violation could lead to treatments for other human beings suffering from disease or disability.