Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (4):387-405 (2014)

Authors
Ariella Binik
McMaster University
Charles Weijer
University of Western Ontario
Abstract
Minimal risk is a central concept in the ethical analysis of research with children. It is defined as the risks “. . . ordinarily encountered in daily life . . . .” But the question arises: who is the referent for minimal risk? Commentators in the research ethics literature often answer this question by endorsing one of two possible interpretations: the uniform interpretation or the relative interpretation of minimal risk. We argue that describing the debate over minimal risk as a disagreement between the uniform and the relative interpretation impedes progress on the identification of a justifiable referent for minimal risk. There are two main problems with this approach: constructing the debate over minimal risk as a disagreement between a uniform and a relative interpretation misconstrues the main difference between competing interpretations and neither the uniform nor the relative interpretation identifies one unique and consistent group of children as the referent for minimal risk. We conclude that progress on the debate over minimal risk requires that we abandon the uniform and relative interpretations and address the main moral problem at stake: whether healthy children or the subjects of the research should be the referent for minimal risk
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhu020
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References found in this work BETA

Minimal Risk as an International Ethical Standard in Research.Loretta M. Kopelman - 2004 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (3):351 – 378.
Risk Standards for Pediatric Research: Rethinking the Grimes Ruling.David Wendler - 2004 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 14 (2):187-198.

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Citations of this work BETA

Adolescents Lack Sufficient Maturity to Consent to Medical Research.Mark J. Cherry - 2017 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 45 (3):307-317.
The Upper Limits of Pain and Suffering in Animal Research.Tom L. Beauchamp & David B. Morton - 2015 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 24 (4):431-447.
Shifting the Focus While Conserving Commitments in Research Ethics.Tyron Goldschmidt - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (2):103-113.

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Minimal Risk as an International Ethical Standard in Research.Loretta M. Kopelman - 2004 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (3):351 – 378.
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On the Minimal Risk Threshold in Research With Children.Ariella Binik - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics 14 (9):3-12.
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