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When Are Research Risks Reasonable in Relation to Anticipated Benefits?
Nature Medicine (2004)
  • Charles Weijer, Dalhousie University
  • Paul B. Miller, Dalhousie University

The question "When are research risks reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits?" is at the heart of disputes in the ethics of clinical research. Institutional review boards are often criticized for inconsistent decision-making, a problem that is compounded by a number of contemporary controversies, including the ethics of research involving placebo controls, developing countries, incapable adults and emergency rooms. If this pressing ethical question is to be addressed in a principled way, then a systematic approach to the ethics of risk in research is required. Component analysis provides such a systematic approach.

  • Clinical Trials,
  • Emergency Medical Services,
  • Research Ethics,
  • Internationality,
  • Placebos,
  • Research Subjects,
  • Risk Factors,
  • Therapeutic Human Experimentation
Publication Date
June, 2004
Publisher Statement
Reprinted in: Bankert EA, Amdur RJ. Institutional Review Board: Management and Function (2nd ed.). 2006: 389-393.
Also reprinted in: Amdur RJ, Bankert EA. Institutional Review Board Member Handbook. 2007: 133-137.
Dr. Charles Weijer is currently a faculty member at The University of Western Ontario.
Citation Information
Charles Weijer and Paul B. Miller. "When Are Research Risks Reasonable in Relation to Anticipated Benefits?" Nature Medicine Vol. 10 Iss. 6 (2004)
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