This scenario highlights ethical issues in reporting violations in a situation where extensive federal regulations and guidance apply. Specifically, the lab was using animals in ways that violated its own protocol and included making unauthorized purchases of animals.
The driving issue in this scenario is how to handle the discovery that another lab might have violated these regulations. Labs often have a great deal of autonomy and faculty members may feel uncomfortable questioning the conduct of their colleagues. Professor Prenlen appears to be violating animal care regulations, and involving students in those violations. This creates a difficult situation for the graduate student who observes these violations as well as his or her adviser. The goal of the role-play is to engage students in thinking through the choices presented, resources for addressing them and alternatives for responding to the observed problems.
Gunsalus, C. K.; Loui, M. C.; and C. K. Gunsalus, M. C. Loui, and their students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "Responsible Conduct of Research Role-Plays: Animals" (2009). Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse. Paper 272.
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