Does it Matter Whether Investigators Intend to Benefit Research Subjects?

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 20 (4):353-370 (2011)
It is widely agreed that clinical research should satisfy a number of ethical requirements. These include requirements to address a valuable question, to select subjects fairly, and to pose appropriate risks. In contrast, there remains considerable debate over the ethical relevance of investigator intentions: Does it matter ethically whether investigators intend to collect generalizable knowledge or to benefit subjects, or both? Some commentators do not mention investigator intentions when evaluating what makes clinical research ethical (Emanuel, Wendler, and Grady 2000). Others regard investigator intentions as central to the ethics of clinical research (Jonas 1969). These commentators argue that ..
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