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Ahmed Elsayyad '15: Rethinking Clinical Trials

The Research

Ahmed Elsayyad, a public health studies major minoring in philosophy and bioethics, is investigating the ethical implications of an alternative way to get consent for human subject research. Typically, patients need to opt-in or sign a release if they participate in research. Elsayyad is proposing an opt-out system, where patients are automatically enrolled for their data to be used unless they specify otherwise. He is conducting interviews with key informants to assess patient attitudes and determine whether the alternative method is ethically justifiable.

In His Own Words

“My research combines my seemingly opposite interests in philosophy and public health. In my philosophy classes, I learn how to make claims about how things should be. While in my science classes, I learn how to attempt to discover how things are.”

Advisers: Hilary Bok, Associate Professor, Philosophy and Nancy Kass, Phoebe R. Berman Professor of Public Health and Bioethics