Research ethics committees and paternalism

Title

Research ethics committees and paternalism

Creator

Edwards SJ; Kirchin S; Huxtable R

Publisher

Journal Of Medical Ethics

Date

2004

Subject

Humans; Mental Competency; Paternalism; Risk Assessment; Research; Informed Consent; Moral Obligations; Altruism; Ethics Committees; Biomedical and Behavioral Research

Description

In this paper the authors argue that research ethics committees (RECs) should not be paternalistic by rejecting research that poses risk to people competent to decide for themselves. However it is important they help to ensure valid consent is sought from potential recruits and protect vulnerable people who cannot look after their own best interests. The authors first describe the tragic deaths of Jesse Gelsinger and Ellen Roche. They then discuss the following claims to support their case: (1) competent individuals are epistemologically and ethically in the best position to say which risks are reasonable for them, so RECs should be no more restrictive than the "normal" constraints on people taking risks with themselves; (2) RECs do not judge individual competence (that is for researchers and psychiatrists); (3) individual liberty is mostly limited by what serves the public interest, and RECs do not determine public interest; (4) RECs may have a paternalistic role in preventing exploitation of competent people vulnerable to the use of incentives, and in protecting the interests of incompetent people; however, (5) the moral and political authority of RECs has not been established in this respect.
2004

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Type

Journal Article

Citation List Month

Backlog

Pages

88-91

Issue

1

Volume

30

Citation

Edwards SJ; Kirchin S; Huxtable R, “Research ethics committees and paternalism,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 25, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/12752.

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