Title

Selecting Subjects for Participation in Clinical Research: One Sphere of Justice

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1999

Journal

Journal of Medical Ethics

Volume

25

Issue

1

First Page

31

Last Page

36

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jme.25.1.31

Abstract

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.

Notes

Dr. Charles Weijer is currently a faculty member at The University of Western Ontario.

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