Limits on the Waiver of Ancillary-Care Obligations

Henry S. Richardson

in Moral Entanglements

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780195388930
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979196 | DOI:
Limits on the Waiver of Ancillary-Care Obligations

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If it were permissible for researchers to ask potential participants to waive their ancillary-care claims up front, no account of these claims and their correlative obligations would have much practical import. Conceding that it is possible for participants to waive these claims, this chapter notes two kinds of moral obstacles to soliciting such waivers. The first is that (as argued in Chapter 3) researchers’ special ancillary-care obligations are ultimately grounded in a special responsibility towards their participants. Accordingly, even if the participants then turned around and also waived their ancillary-care claims, then, while that might extinguish researchers’ special obligations, narrowly understood, it would not extinguish their special responsibilities towards these participants. Secondly, because of asymmetries in medical knowledge between researchers and participants, important moral considerations call on medical researchers to exercise restraint in soliciting waivers of ancillary-care claims.

Keywords: research ethics; ancillary care; waiver; inalienable rights

Chapter.  6397 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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