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ETHICS IN HEALTH CARE: INDUCEMENT AND HUMAN SUBJECTS

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Author(s): MUNIR HOSSAIN TALUKDER

Journal: Agathos : an International Review of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 2069-1025

Volume: II;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 118;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: benefits | ethical guidelines | inducement | informed consent | risks | subjects | prima facie right.

ABSTRACT
Currently, most health researchers or donor organizations considerinducement as a vital part in promoting research. They propose benefits, such as post research free medical treatment, food, insurance facilities, or even cash, in order to meet sufficient number of subjects. So, inducement may influence one to participate in a research. Is it ethical to offer inducement to human subjects? What are the risks in such practice? What will happen if the donor agencies use subjects by hiding possible risks from them? When an inducement can satisfy ethical criteria? The CIOMS, FDA, and other ethical guidelines hold that inducement is unethical because it involves enough risk for voluntary informed consent. Supporting this position, a group of ethicists has argued that inducement undermines voluntariness especially when subjects are poor and vulnerable, and thus, unethical. In contrast to them, others argue that inducement contributes to discover new knowledge which can improve miserable condition of the poor. In their view, an inducement maintains all ethical criteria including subject’s autonomy, and therefore, morally permissible. The paper focuses this debate and analyzes both types ofargument. It examines whether inducement invalidate informed consent.Even if inducement may not violate the basic components of informedconsent, the paper concludes, subjects may claim a prima facie right to enjoy research outcomes.
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