Distributive justice and clinical trials in the third world

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 22 (3):151-167 (2001)
One of the arguments against conducting human subject trials inthe Third World adopts a distributive justice principle found ina commentary of the CIOM'S Eighth Guideline for internationalresearch on human subjects. Critics argue that non-participantmembers of the community in which the trials are conducted areexploited because sponsoring agencies do not ensure that theproducts developed have been made reasonably available to theseindividuals.I argue that the distributive principle's wording is too vagueand ambiguous to be used to criticize any trial. Furthermore,the mere fact that an experiment does not fulfill this particulardistributive justice principle does not entail that it isunethical.
Keywords clinical trials  distributive justice  exploitation  HIV  Kant  Third World
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DOI 10.1023/A:1011452716028
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