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Selecting Subjects for Participation in Clinical Research: One Sphere of Justice
Journal of Medical Ethics (1999)
  • Charles Weijer, Dalhousie University

Recent guidelines from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) mandate the inclusion of adequate numbers of women in clinical trials. Ought such standards to apply internationally? Walzer's theory of justice is brought to bear on the problem, the first use of the theory in research ethics, and it argues for broad application of the principle of adequate representation. A number of practical conclusions for research ethics committees (RECs) are outlined. Eligibility criteria in clinical trials ought to be justified by trial designers. Research ethics committees ought to question criteria that seem to exclude unnecessarily women from research participation. The issue of adequate representation should be construed broadly, so as to include consideration of the representation of the elderly, persons with HIV, mental illness and substance abuse disorders in clinical research.

  • Eligibility Determination,
  • Patient Selection,
  • Research Subjects,
  • Human Experimentation
Publication Date
February, 1999
Publisher Statement
Dr. Charles Weijer is currently a faculty member at The University of Western Ontario.
Citation Information
Charles Weijer. "Selecting Subjects for Participation in Clinical Research: One Sphere of Justice" Journal of Medical Ethics Vol. 25 Iss. 1 (1999)
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