The exploitation of populations vulnerable to coercion or incapable of consenting to biomedical research studies, such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and the Willowbrook Hepatitis Study, resulted in the development of policies and codes known collectively as the Protection Model. The Belmont Report and the National Research Act of 1974 in particular defined vulnerable populations and called for their exclusion from clinical trials to protect them from harm they might encounter during the study. These historically exploited groups, now known as vulnerable populations, include racial minorities, the elderly, children, impoverished people, and women of childbearing potential. Women are shown to experience adverse drug reactions (ADRs) more than white men, who are seen as ideal research subjects. Studies show increasing differences in drug reactions between races and sexes, yet these groups are not being fairly represented in research. Does the Protection Model allow for equality in healthcare? How is the Protection Model impacting research today? This project will use the sameness and diversity approaches to achieving equality in healthcare to determine whether or not the Protection Model allows for equality. The drug Flibanserin will also be explored as an example of how the Protection Model is still impacting health research and drug development.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 4-18-2014


Laura Newhart

Department/Professional Affiliation

Philosophy and Religion

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars


Biological Sciences