Facing up to Paternalism in Research Ethics<sup>1</sup>

Alan Wertheimer

in Rethinking the Ethics of Clinical Research

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199743513
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827145 | DOI:
Facing up to Paternalism in Research Ethics1

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Although research ethics has generally emphasized the importance of autonomy and informed consent, it has not faced up to the fact that the reigning regulatory and ethical frameworks for human research emphasize the protection of research subjects and is paternalistic at its core. This chapter argues that this regulatory regime is best justified as a form of group soft-paternalism in which IRBs compensate for deficiencies in subject decision-making.

Keywords: research ethics; paternalism; autonomy; informed consent; subject protection; soft paternalism; hard paternalism; risk assessment; benefit assessment

Chapter.  10018 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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