Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 32, Issue 11, pp 1697–1705 | Cite as

Ethics and research in critical care




The past few years have witnessed several controversies regarding the ethics of conducting research involving critically ill patients, and such research is ethically challenging.


Research ethics is a changing field, one that is influenced by empirical data, contemporary events, and new ideas regarding aspects of clinical trial design and protection of human subjects. We describe recent thoughts regarding several aspects of research ethics in the critical care context.


The ability of the research community to conduct research ethically and to maintain public trust would benefit from heightened awareness to the principles and requirements that govern such research.


Research ethics Proxy consent Intensive care Vulnerable populations Informed consent Emergency research  


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.University Hospital Henri MondorAssistance Publique-Hôpitaux de ParisCreteilFrance

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