24/7 Space News
SPACE TRAVEL
Ethics rules needed for human research on commercial spaceflights, panel says
Axiom file illustration only
ADVERTISEMENT
Ethics rules needed for human research on commercial spaceflights, panel says
by Staff Writers
Seattle WA (SPX) Oct 01, 2023

New guidelines are needed to assure that research on human subjects performed on commercial spaceflights is conducted ethically, a panel of experts say in a commentary appearing in the September 28 issue of the journal Science.

Their paper is titled Ethically cleared to launch?

Private companies are expected to fly thousands of people into space in the coming decades. Those aboard will include workers and passengers who will have the opportunity to participate in research studies. Such research is not only essential to assure the safety of future space travelers but often also addresses critical issues of human health in general.

Bu? current ethical rules used to govern research on human subjects do not directly address the unique circumstances of research aboard commercial spaceflights, according to a panel convened by Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

"There has been a long tradition of astronauts from NASA and other national space agencies of volunteering for research, and the agencies have established tradition on how this research is done," said Dr. Michael A. Williams, professor of neurology and neurological surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and one of the paper's co-authors. "But how such research is going to be done aboard commercial flights, where incentives might be different, hasn't really been explored."

The panel calls for formulating guidelines based on four anchoring principles. The first of these is social responsibility. Commercial spaceflight is possible because of a substantial public investment, they argue, so research conducted on commercial spaceflights should benefit society at large.

Second, research conducted on commercial spaceflights should aim for scientific excellence.

"Poorly designed, duplicative, and low- priority studies beget poor-quality data. They cloud the evidence base, endanger participants, and waste resources," they write.

Third, research aboard commercial spaceflights should adhere to the principle of "proportionality," which holds the risk of research should be minimized "to the extent possible, and proportionately balanced in relation to the anticipated benefits of the individual commercial space flight participants and to society."

And, finally, the guidelines should promote the principle of "global stewardship" that assures that the "benefits of human space exploration be enjoyed by all."

The authors acknowledge that their guidelines emphasis on importance of social responsibility differs from other ethical guidelines that give primacy to the research subjects' autonomy in deciding whether to participate in a study, but they argue so few individuals are selected for spaceflight that participation should be encouraged.

"All prospective commercial space flight participants should be fully informed about the social value of any proposed research protocols and be encouraged to participate," they conclude. "Incentivizing participation may be justified, so long as the incentive is calibrated with the risks and does not create undue inducement. Commercial companies may give preference to those commercial space flight participants willing to participate in research, but further ethical attention is needed to determine whether commercial space flight participants should remain flight eligible even if they decline research participation."

NASA's practices may serve as a model, Williams said. "At NASA, for any given mission an individual might be eligible to participate in as many and 40 to 50 studies, but they get to pick and choose the ones they want to participate in. That respects the principle of autonomy."

The lead author on the Science paper is Vasiliki Rahimzadeh and the senior and corresponding author is Amy L. McGuire, both of the The Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor.

Research Report:Ethically cleared to launch?

Related Links
University of Washington
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

RELATED CONTENT
The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
SPACE TRAVEL
Global team recommends ethical rules for human research in commercial spaceflight
Garrison NY (SPX) Oct 01, 2023
The first ethical framework for conducting human research on commercial spaceflight was proposed in an article in Science by an international team that included Hastings Center president Vardit Ravitsky. Ravitsky's contribution focused on promoting diversity among the researchers and participants, which is essential to ensuring the research benefits society at large. Human research on commercial spaceflight is expected to expand significantly in the near future, and yet there are no rules for cond ... read more

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
SPACE TRAVEL
Law professor calls for ethical approach to human experiments in space

Ethics rules needed for human research on commercial spaceflights, panel says

Ethical guidelines needed before human research in commercial spaceflight is ready for liftoff

Global team recommends ethical rules for human research in commercial spaceflight

SPACE TRAVEL
Vega-C Zefiro40 Test: Independent Enquiry

Record-breaking launch of SpaceX's Starlink satellites

Maritime Launch unveils commercial suborbital program at Spaceport Nova Scotia

Blue Origin to remain grounded for now following crash probe

SPACE TRAVEL
Light rocks on deck, gray rocks in the hole: Sols 3966-3697

Dust removal delayed: Sols 3962-3963

Double DRT for a Soliday: Sols 3964-3965:

NASA's Perseverance captures dust-filled Martian whirlwind

SPACE TRAVEL
Astronauts honored for contributions to China's space program

China capable of protecting astronauts from effects of space weightlessness

Tianzhou 5 spacecraft burns up on Earth reentry

Crew of Shenzhou XV mission honored for six-month space odyssey

SPACE TRAVEL
Momentus announces $4M direct offering priced at-the-market under Nasdaq rules

Sierra Space increases total investment to $1.7B with $290M Series B Funding

Arlington Capital Partners to acquire Exostar from Thoma Bravo

Intelsat expands Brazil infrastructure, delivers new services

SPACE TRAVEL
US slaps Satellite TV provider with first-ever space debris fine

German tech factory reveals antenna prototype-ngVLA will open a new window into the Universe

Data storage of tomorrow

US TV provider given first-ever space debris fine

SPACE TRAVEL
A newly identified virus emerges from the deep

James Webb telescope captures planet-like structures in Orion Nebula

Scientists develop method of identifying life on other worlds

Study sheds new light on strange lava worlds

SPACE TRAVEL
Plot thickens in the hunt for a ninth planet

Large mound structures on Kuiper belt object Arrokoth may have common origin

Webb finds carbon source on surface of Jupiter's moon Europa

Hidden ocean the source of CO2 on Jupiter moon

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


ADVERTISEMENT



The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.