Is There an Obligation to Participate in Biomedical Research?

  • Arthur L. Caplan
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 28)


While there is no dearth of writing about ethical issues regarding human experimentation in the literature of bioethics, surprisingly little has been written, particularly in recent years, about the question of whether or not any type of obligation might exist to participate in medical research. Most contemporary discussions focus on the adequacies and inadequacies of informed consent in combination with institutional peer review boards in protecting the welfare of subjects against abuse by researchers. Or, to put the point more accurately, the discussion of the ethics of research involving human beings currently consists of adversarial haggling about the details of specific legal and regulatory provisions concerning exactly what research must be reviewed, who is competent to consent, who ought to do the reviewing of experimental protocols, and exactly what degree of detail makes for a truly informed consent [20].


Public Good Biomedical Research Human Experimentation Social Contract Social Enterprise 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur L. Caplan
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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