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The assumption that developments in technologies and societies create new ethical issues for health and medical research is intuitively appealing. However, a closer inspection of the history of bioethics reveals a surprising consistency in the core issues that have formed the basis of bioethical debates over time. If the issues involved in bioethical debates remain essentially constant, are new discussions and new guidelines and principles—produced in the wake of research scandals or inspired by the introduction of new technologies—redundant? This article examines some of the implications of the history of bioethics for understanding current ethical debates and for the formation of a culture of ethical conduct in health research.