David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Bioethics 22 (4):224–238 (2008)
This article examines international and European regulations on research involving prisoners for consensus, differences, and their consequences, and offers a critical evaluation of the various approaches. Agreement exists that prisoners are at risk of coercion, which might interfere with their ability to provide voluntary informed consent to research. Controversy exists about the magnitude of this risk and the consequences that should follow from this risk. Two strategies are proposed for a method of protecting prisoners that does not lead to discrimination: first, more caution to assure non-coerced consent and second, restrictions on the type of research. Most regulations stress the importance of the principle of equivalence of healthcare in places of detention as part of an efficient protection against research risks and discrimination. All the presented approaches have shortcomings. While 'over-use' of prisoners for research as compared to the general population is ethically unjustified, not granting prisoners access to studies beneficial to their own health because of over-strict regulations is equally unjustified. A middle solution should be preferred, one that grants a minimum of protection together with the lowest possible barriers. Research that does not entail a direct benefit for the individual detainee should be restricted to types of research that have a benefit for detainees as a group and that are of low risk. What will ultimately protect prisoners best, while producing the greatest benefit for them, is access to the same healthcare available to members of the community including research as a true option.
|Keywords||research prisoners ethics international|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Loretta M. Kopelman (2004). Minimal Risk as an International Ethical Standard in Research. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (3):351 – 378.
D. B. Resnik (2005). Eliminating the Daily Life Risks Standard From the Definition of Minimal Risk. Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (1):35-38.
Citations of this work BETA
Deborah Zion, Linda Briskman & Bebe Loff (2010). Returning to History: The Ethics of Researching Asylum Seeker Health in Australia. American Journal of Bioethics 10 (2):48-56.
Géraldine Ruiz, Tenzin Wangmo, Patrick Mutzenberg, Jessica Sinclair & Bernice Simone Elger (2014). Understanding Death in Custody: A Case for a Comprehensive Definition. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 11 (3):387-398.
Similar books and articles
Eric Chwang (2010). Against Risk-Benefit Review of Prisoner Research. Bioethics 24 (1):14-22.
Lynn Pasquerella (2002). Confining Choices: Should Inmates' Participation in Research Be Limited? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 23 (6):519-536.
David L. Thomas (2010). Prisoner Research – Looking Back or Looking Forward? Bioethics 24 (1):23-26.
Valarie Blake, Steve Joffe & Eric Kodish (2011). Harmonization of Ethics Policies in Pediatric Research. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 39 (1):70-78.
Celia B. Fisher, Susan Z. Kornetsky & Ernest D. Prentice (2007). Determining Risk in Pediatric Research with No Prospect of Direct Benefit: Time for a National Consensus on the Interpretation of Federal Regulations. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (3):5 – 10.
Carson Strong (2011). Minimal Risk in Research Involving Pregnant Women and Fetuses. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 39 (3):529-538.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads15 ( #173,428 of 1,725,935 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #268,758 of 1,725,935 )
How can I increase my downloads?