Medical Ethics: What Do International Ethics Guidelines Say In Terms of The Scope of Medical Research Ethics

The question of ‘which is an ethical issue and which is not’ often arises doing research ethics. There are however many internationally known ethic guidelines and depending on which ethics guideline we consult, we may have various answers to this question. It is however ironical that we do not have a harmonized document which tells us what these various guidelines say and shows us the areas of consensus.

For this study, we extracted relevant information or imperatives from five internationally-known ethics guidelines and took note where the imperatives came from. Results of this research nonetheless indicated that there is no consensus on many of the imperatives and that in only 8.2 % of the imperatives were there at least moderate consensus. The results further indicated that there was a lack of consensus in most of imperatives from the five internationally-known ethics guidelines.

The reason was however partly attributed to the differences among the guidelines in terms of their levels of specification as well as conceptual/ideological differences.

AUTHORS:      Rosemarie D. L. C. Bernabe, Ghislaine J. M. W. van Thiel and Johannes J. M. van Delden
JOURNAL:      BMC Medical Ethics
PUBLISHER:   BioMed Central
URL:                https://www.biomedcentral.com

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