Vulnerability as a Regulatory Category in Human Subject Research

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 37 (1):12-18 (2009)
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Abstract

This article examines and critiques the use of the term “vulnerability” in U.S. and international regulations and guidelines on research ethics. After concluding that the term is currently used in multiple, often inconsistent, senses, it calls on regulators to differentiate between three distinct types of vulnerability: “consent-based vulnerability,”“risk-based vulnerability,” and “justice-based vulnerability.”

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